Every spring since 2005, the Convention Management class students bring a spectacular, exclusive event to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The students work diligently all semester long to put together Passions of the Palate all while learning the fundamentals of convention and meeting management.
Over the years, Passions has grown to be one of the most anticipated events of the year due to the reputation of the special guests, the exclusivity of the event,and the generosity of our industry partners in donating exceptional packages that make this a signature event for guests who dine, stay, and play at America’s very best. Attendees to the event are presented with a tasting dinner from a five guest chefs and a silent auction filled with anything from a local artists painting to vacation packages at various New Orleans hotels.
The proceeds from the silent auction benefit the students and faculty of the Department of Economic Development & Tourism. The proceeds raised provide scholarships for students. Without Passions, our students may have missed opportunities of a lifetime. The department has sent many students to the following events:
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Lodging Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
New Orleans Field Trip and Hotel Tour
International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show in New York, New York
the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, Illinois
The Passions funds allowed the department to pay students travel and lodging for these trips, otherwise the students would not have been able to attend. When the event is over, the students have learned what it takes to pull together an event, and the attendees have experienced one of Hattiesburg's most sought after events.
When & Where
Department of Economic Development and Tourism
The Department of Economic Development & Tourism at The University of Southern Mississippi is very fortunate to have a very strong core of individuals and groups that partner in the educational experience of our majors. Students and faculty in this department recognize and promote the importance of collaboration between business and education.