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main photo: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Conventional Wisdom
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
With its French Quarter parties, delectable restaurants, and vibrant music scene, New Orleans has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting destinations in the country. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River at the epicenter of the city's cultural landscape, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCC) boasts 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space that can be divided into 12 halls. Completion of the new 60,300-square-foot Great Hall in early 2013 added 25,000 square feet of ballroom and prefunction space, along with an outdoor pedestrian plaza and indoor and outdoor balconies from which to view New Orleans in all of its historic glory.


WHERE TO SLEEP
The MCC is within walking distance of thousands of hotel rooms in and around the French Quarter and Arts District. Across the street from the venue, the Hyatt Place New Orleans offers business-class amenities, as does the nearby Hampton Inn New Orleans Convention Center, which is located in a restored landmark building.

WHAT TO EAT
The MCC has an array of cafes for lunch, but to nosh with the locals, head to the nearby Corporation Bar & Grill, a dive bar with famed po'boys. For luxurious entertaining, Calcasieu has four private dining rooms for 30 to 200 people, or treat clients to a sophisticated dinner with Cajun flair at the legendary Emeril's New Orleans.

HOW TO GET THERE
The Louis Armstrong International Airport is 13 miles from the MCC. A taxi costs approximately $36 for one or two passengers ($15 for each additional passenger), and round-trip shuttle service is available for $44 (www.airportshuttleneworleans.com). The area around the venue has numerous public parking ramps and surface lots. While the MCC has its own parking facilities, they do not offer in/out privileges.


The MCC has exclusive providers of electrical, plumbing, telecommunications, advertising, and internet services. Rigging must be contracted through the general service contractor.

Exhibitors may hand carry equipment into the venue through the front doors. The use of dollies and wheeled carts is not allowed.

Full-time employees of exhibiting companies may set up their own exhibits without union labor.

The on-site UPS Store has a business center in Lobby F that sells general office supplies and offers copying, printing, and shipping services.

Combustible materials stored in a booth are limited to a one-day supply, and nothing may be stored behind pipe and drape.

All food and beverage in an exhibit must be purchased from the venue's exclusive food-service provider, Centerplate.

High-density Wi-Fi is capable of serving 20,000 users simultaneously.

Use of canopies, tents, or awnings requires approval from the convention center and the New Orleans Fire Prevention Division. Requests must be submitted two months in advance.

Louisiana is a right-to-work state.

The MCC is the sixth largest convention center in the United States.
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