MEMPHIS, Tenn. — NEWS RELEASE FROM MEMPHIS TOURISM:
Memphis Tourism, the official destination marketing organization for Memphis and Shelby County, has finalized plans to welcome the AutoZone National Sales Meeting back to the Home of Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll in September 2021.
The annual meeting for the Memphis based Fortune 250 company will take place at the Renasant Convention Center, the first large scale meetings event to take place at the facility following a recent $216-million renovation and modernization project. Bringing approximately 3,000 attendees to Memphis between September 27-30th of 2021, the meeting of AutoZone associates from across the country will generate an economic impact of nearly $2-million for the Memphis destination, and drive demand for over 3,500 room nights at hotels in the area surrounding the Mid-South’s premier meetings facility.
Featuring 300,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit & pre-function space, the AutoZone National Sales Meeting will utilize all available spaces and new amenities found at the Renasant Convention Center. The Memphis meetings facility was awarded the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR, a third-party validation that meeting and event facilities have implemented strict protocols for biorisk situations such as the coronavirus.
“We are very excited to recognize our amazing AutoZoners, support local partners and hold our National Sales Meeting in downtown Memphis at the newly renovated Renasant Convention Center,” said David McKinney, Vice President, Government and Community Relations, Customer Satisfaction for AutoZone.
The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department no longer places restrictions on large gatherings or requires approval of plans for meetings and events, sending the signal that hosting and travel to in-person meetings is safe and good for the visitor economy. Prior to the pandemic, Memphis welcomed over 12.4-million visitors in 2019, generating a $3.6 billion economic impact for Memphis and Shelby County.
“Meetings and events are once again happening with health and safety in mind, and we look forward to the return of the AutoZone National Sales Meeting at our fully renovated Renasant Convention Center,” said Jim Strickland, Mayor of Memphis. “In-person events such as this provide education and training opportunities, along with creating connections not possible in a virtual format. We hope this is just the beginning of more meetings in Memphis, we want the world to know our city and meetings facility is open for business.”
Direct spending generated by the meetings, conventions and trade show industry saw a decline of $97-billion in the U.S. alone in 2020 as meetings and events were canceled around the world. A top to bottom renovation of the Renasant Convention Center was well underway when healthy and safety protocols prevented large gatherings from taking place.
“The tourism and hospitality industry as a whole has been severely impacted by the pandemic, especially the meetings and events sector, now is the time to get back to business,” said Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Tourism. “AutoZone is sending a strong message to the business world as a Fortune 250 company, demonstrating it is possible to safely resume in-person meetings, and that business travel remains a critical part of growing the bottom line.”