Abby Hunt

Event Manager | Landers Center

Abby Hunt, event manager at Landers Center, the 8,400-seat multipurpose arena in Southaven, Mississippi, has words of thanks for “all the women who came before me.”
“I’ve been around the industry professionally for over 10 years now and have always had strong women to look up to,” she said. “I work with a lot of women coming into our building, from promoter reps to production managers and clients in our convention hall.”

Her top mentor, however, is her father Todd Hunt, senior vice president of Venue Coalition and long active in IAVM. He’s run the Tupelo Coliseum and Humphrey Coliseum at Mississippi State University in Starkville, and his experience extends to positions at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and running kayak events during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

“I’ve watched him run venues my whole life, and he’s the first person I text when I have a question,” Hunt said. “I even texted him about this questionnaire. He’s taught me that there’s no job too big or too small, and I try to pass that along to our staff. Running venues is a team effort.”

Hunt says that after working for six years in collegiate women’s basketball, where most of her coworkers were women, she has had to “relearn how to work with mostly men.”

“It’s been an adjustment for sure,” she said.

Hunt counts the work she’s done since ASM Global took over Landers Center among her top accomplishments.

“Our staff took over the operation of the BankPlus Amphitheater in town and reopened it last year after a complete renovation of all guest areas,” she said.

Hunt is bullish on the live entertainment industry and sees the momentum of the last two years continuing.

“We’ve had a great lineup of shows, and I go to other venues’ shows for fun,” she said. “Every time it feels like there’s a slump, it picks right back up again. Artists seem to be living their best life on tour, and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.”

Hunt said her favorite show last year was Ed Sheeran at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

“Seeing an A-lister in an intimate setting is hard to pass up, and $90 face value tickets are even harder to pass up,” she said. “He did an amazing job of including the audience in the show, and I would not have been able to have the same incredible experience at a bigger venue.”

Next up for Landers Center is the breaking of ground of a new convention center since Landers Center is booked to capacity.

“We currently have a 17,000-square-foot convention hall that’s already booked every weekend remaining this year,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to bring bigger and more events to the Landers Center.”


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