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NASHVILLE (BP) -- Vendors no longer have to be sponsored by a Southern Baptist Convention entity in order to obtain space in the SBC annual meeting exhibit hall, the result of unanimous Executive Committee action at its February meeting.

Beginning with the 2013 annual meeting in Houston, the exhibit hall will be expanded to include, on a space-available basis, "vendors which meet the stated purpose and guiding principles of the exhibitor policy," according to the amended Executive Committee policy.

The previous policy, as worded, allowed non-SBC entities to obtain space only if "sponsored by an SBC entity or Woman's Missionary Union, or if that SBC entity has Convention responsibility for the area of work represented by the group (i.e. Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists sponsored by the North American Mission Board.)"

Bill Townes, vice president for convention finance and convention manager, said the Executive Committee is excited to welcome new vendors.

"With the approved expansion of the SBC Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall, we are excited about welcoming our SBC missions and ministry organizations to Houston, Texas, June 11-12, 2013, but also look forward to inviting additional vendors that will help us assist churches by inspiring and informing them of resources which will encourage, equip, engage and empower them to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world," Townes said.

Vendors still must meet certain guidelines as specified in the exhibitor policy. "Any vendor who meets the stated purpose and guiding principles of our revised exhibitor policy, which can be found at www.sbcannualmeeting.net, should contact Don Magee, assistant convention manager, by email at dmagee@sbc.net for possible consideration," Townes said.

Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Diana Chandler. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2013 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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