Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Wednesday, October 23 2019

New Orleans Convention Center Authority Launches Latest Expansion

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SEBconnect brings small businesses one click closer to opportunity

New Orleans, LA – The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center Authority, the governing board of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, announced the launch of SEBconnect, a new, first-of-its-kind tool built to create awareness and educate local business owners in real-time about available contracting and purchasing opportunities at the Convention Center. 

Because research shows 90% of mobile time is spent on apps, SEBconnect is an efficient way to engage with small businesses. According to the Authority’s Small and Emerging Business Committee Chair, Bonita Robertson, “Small business growth is so important to the development of our state and local economy.  We are committed to maximizing small and emerging business opportunities between the Convention Center and local vendors, and SEBconnect is a great example of how we’re answering the call from our local business community to better streamline the process of connecting with the Center.”

Through various research methodologies including two focus group studies, the Convention Center found many local small business owners were missing opportunities because either they were not aware of these openings, or that these opportunities were not available for their business. SEBconnect, the first mobile app of its kind, is designed to simplify the process by connecting local businesses with push and text notifications to the most up-to-date contract and purchasing offerings at the Convention Center. 

Moreover, for those who are not certified, SEBconnect makes the certification process easy and transparent by connecting business owners with the right point of contact for certification through the Hudson, State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (SLDBE) and Louisiana Unified Certification Program (LAUCP).

SEBconnect represents another important milestone for the Small and Emerging Businesses program which launched in 2017. Earlier this year, the Authority hired Small Business Program Director, Rocsean Spencer to help promote the importance of diversity, inclusion and small business development at the Convention Center.

“Connecting has been cited as the number one unwritten rule of success in business,” said Spencer. “Who are you connected to? Let’s SEBconnect!”

In addition to SEBconnect, the SEB program has a dedicated webpage at, devoted to assisting business owners with State and Local program certification as well as an integrated outreach campaign to educate business owners on the opportunities at the Convention Center.

“Since launching our SEB outreach program, we’ve made great strides in better connecting with our local small business vendors. The SEBConnect app will make it easier. I am extremely proud of the dedication our team and the Authority has shown and look forward to seeing what’s next,” said Michael Sawaya, President and General Manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. 

Free download available for Android on October 10th, and for iOS in November.  For download information visit


About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center features an award-winning staff and first class amenities and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation.  A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments. 

About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority

The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, 10 appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.


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