Welcome to the Cvent Columbus meeting planning guide, where you can find hotels, restaurants, other meeting space and a wealth of Columbus meeting planning information. With an enticing city package that includes historic neighborhoods, recreation, art and culture wrapped within the comfort and convenience of a clean, manageable city, Columbus has been catching the eye of meeting planners nationwide. Its central location makes Columbus an ideal meeting place. Easily accessible, Columbus is located within one day's drive or a one-hour flight of half the population of the United States and Canada. Visitors who touch down at the Port Columbus International Airport will find a modern facility just 10 minutes east of the downtown area.
Once inside the city, the convenience continues with over 21,000 hotel rooms from which to choose. Ranging from luxury boutiques to familiar chains, Columbus has accommodations to meet a wide variety of needs and price points. Although Columbus is a major metropolis, it is extremely navigable. Traversing the city is a breeze with quick and efficient bus service. Columbus also shows its hospitality with the presence of Capital Crossroads Ambassadors. Identified by their green shirts and blue coats, these helpful attendants are on hand seven days a week to direct visitors and answer questions within a 32-square-block area from the convention center.
Convention and meeting facilities abound in downtown Columbus. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers 426,000 square feet of exhibit space, 61 meeting rooms and two ballrooms located just steps away from the vibrant Arena District and Short North Arts District. The convention center has been host to such prestigious organizations as the National Society of Black Engineers, United Pentecostal Church International and Lions Club International.
Beyond the convention center, Columbus offers several other sizable event facilities. The Nationwide Arena, Columbus' premier sports and entertainment attraction, can accommodate a wide range of functions from intimate gatherings to large-scale events of up to 20,000 people. Another alternative is the Franklin County Veterans Memorial. Located on the west side of the downtown waterfront, the space offers 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, plus a 3,916-seat auditorium perfect for award ceremonies and presentations. Groups willing to travel just outside of the downtown area can utilize the very meeting-friendly Ohio Expo Center, a 360-acre complex offering one million square feet of flexible space. With so much to offer, it is no wonder Columbus welcomes approximately 33.2 million visitors each year.
Aside from its convenient location and world-class facilities, Columbus bubbles with action and activity. The city is host to several renowned festivals including the Columbus Arts Festival, German Village Oktoberfest, Festival Latino and the Dublin Irish Festival. In addition to these phenomenal events, Columbus is host to the annual PGA Tour Memorial Tournament. A celebrated golfing destination, the city was voted number 2 in the Top 50 Golf Cities in America by Golf.com.
The Scioto Mile, a massive revitalization of the downtown riverfront that stretches from the Arena District to Whittier Peninsula, opened in 2011. redefining the cityscape. The Mile features plazas, parks, bikeways, pedestrian paths and a promenade that connect the river with the downtown area.
Along with its population, the Columbus economy continues to grow, and it is one of the top 10 economies in the United States. Many major corporations are headquartered in Columbus including Bank One, Wendy's International, CompuServe, Red Roof Inns, Limited Brands and Nationwide Insurance. Additionally, several high profile colleges and universities call the city home, including Ohio State University, which boasts the largest college campus in the United States.
The largest city in Ohio and the 15th largest city in the United States, Columbus is an ever-evolving metropolis ripe with energy, flavor and the magic of the Midwest. Located halfway between Cleveland and Cincinnati at the geographic center of the state, Columbus is situated where the Scioto and Olentangy rivers meet. A surprisingly distinctive destination, this sparkling city is home to an eclectic collection of arts districts, restored neighborhoods, quiet parks and public markets, which are quickly escalating the city to the status as the core of Ohio arts and culture.
Named for explorer Christopher Columbus, the city was founded in 1812 and became Ohio's state capital in 1816. Today, the city of Columbus is home to a population of 733,208 people who reside within its 210 square miles. From 2002 to 2005, Columbus was the 2nd fastest-growing major metropolitan area in the United States. This sky-rocketing growth is largely due to the area's superior quality of life. People from nearly 100 different countries around the world have migrated to the metro area to become "Columbusites" and enjoy the lifestyle of this clean, friendly and affordable city. In fact, Money Magazine deemed Columbus the 8th Best City in Which to Live, and Forbes named Columbus the 9th Most Affordable Place to Live Well. At present, the Columbus metropolitan area, which includes eight counties, is home to a staggering 1,754,337 people and counting.
The Columbus cityscape combines towering skyscrapers with meandering parkland and a medley of endearing neighborhoods. The distinctive boroughs peppered throughout the city give Columbus its characteristic charm. Just north of downtown Columbus, the Short North Arts District offers an eclectic blend of galleries, restaurants, pubs and boutiques. To the south, the lovingly restored neighborhood known as German Village features 19th century historic homes, urban gardens, restaurants and shops nestled along quaint, brick-paved roads. Steps from the German Village, the Brewery District lives up to its name with fine restaurants and small micro-breweries serving an extensive selection of beers and ales.
The independent spirit of Columbus' neighborhoods spills over into the area's blossoming art scene. The arts play such a prominent role in the city's identity that some have nicknamed it "The Indie Art Capital of the World." Columbus is home to three historic theaters: the Ohio, Palace and Southern. These three majestic Columbus event venues set the stage for some of the city's most prestigious performing arts groups including the Columbus Symphony, BalletMet, Broadway Across America-Columbus, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and Opera Columbus. The city also boasts the Columbus Museum of Art and the internationally-known Wexner Center for the Arts.
With so many offerings, the arts in Columbus have been creating quite a buzz. Columbus was named the 10th Top Arts Destination among major metropolises in the United States by AmericanStyle magazine. A dynamic destination, Columbus also offers a number of distinctive attractions that convey the city's unique spirit including the Arena District, COSI Columbus, Jack Nicklaus Museum, Topiary Garden and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Columbus enjoys four distinct seasons due to its humid continental climate characterized by hot summers and cold, dry winters. The average temperature in summer is 71.6°F, while temperatures in winter average 29.3°F. Spring and fall are relatively mild with temperatures in the low to mid-50s. The coldest month in Columbus is January and the hottest is July.
Columbus sees an average annual rainfall of 37.8 inches, and average snowfall of 28 inches. Like most of the Midwest, Columbus is subject to severe weather that includes thunderstorms and tornadoes, most often occurring during the months of June to October. The best time to visit Columbus is during spring when the weather is mild, festival season is in full swing and many of the lush gardens are in bloom.
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Located just eight miles from Port Columbus International Airport, this Columbus meeting facility attracts 2.5 million visitors annually. Situated in the heart of downtown Columbus, the center is within walking distance to more than 3,000 hotel rooms and steps away from the booming Arena District's and Short North Arts District's shops, restaurants and attractions. With such a prime location, the Greater Columbus Convention Center ranks among the top 25 Most Active Convention Centers in North America.
Following an $81 million renovation in 2001, the convention center is now a 1.7-million-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility offering 426,000 square feet of exhibit space, two ballrooms divisible into five sections, 33 loading docks and 61 meeting rooms, making it the largest of all Columbus meeting facilities. The center's expansive Battelle Hall provides 90,000 square feet of exhibit space that can accommodate 450 10-foot-by-10-foot exhibit booths or tiered seating for up to 7,500 people. The added benefit of an on-site food court and retail mall only heightens the convenience of events held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Additional amenities include high-speed Internet access, catering provided by ARAMARK, decorator services, ushering, audio-visual equipment, ATM machines and 3,000 parking spaces on-site with an additional 10,000 in the immediate vicinity.
The Ohio Expo Center & State Fair
Just five minutes north of downtown Columbus and only seven minutes from Port Columbus International Airport, the Ohio Expo Center is an expansive multi-use complex offering more than one million square feet of under-roof event space featuring 23 buildings. Host to more than 175 events annually including the Ohio State Fair, this 360-acre complex can accommodate events ranging in size from small meeting groups to large conventions.
The Expo Center complex includes an array of expansive facilities such as the 154,912-square-foot Bricker Multi-Purpose Building, the 6,000-seat Coliseum and the 66,000-square-foot Buckeye Building with seating for up to 5,000 guests banquet-style. Several hundred hotel rooms are located adjacent to the Expo Center, while thousands more are situated within just a few miles. Amenities include on-site parking for 14,000 cars, catering services, comfortable air-conditioned spaces, concession stands, high-speed Internet access and audio-visual equipment.
Experience Columbus works hard to create a positive and unmatched Columbus experience for both visitors and meeting planners alike. The staff is ready and willing to provide planners with complimentary services such as preparing formal invitations on behalf of the city and Experience Columbus, finding Columbus meeting facilities, making presentations to boards, committees and general assemblies, and arranging for and hosting site inspections. Convention staff is also on hand with services such as promotional materials, on-site Experience Columbus ambassadors, customized referrals to local services and much more to ensure your attendees have terrific memories of experiencing the city.
Franklin County Veterans Memorial
300 West Broad StreetColumbus, OH 43215Total Meeting Space - 110,000 Sq. Ft.
Port Columbus International Airport (CMH)
Approximate taxi fare: $26 USD
With its convenient location eight miles northeast of downtown Columbus, and extensive service by 12 major airlines, Port Columbus International Airport provides easy access to the city from all corners of the United States. One of the fastest growing airports in the country, Port Columbus International offers 180 daily non-stop flights to 47 destinations in the United States and Canada and services more than 7.7 million passengers per year.
The airport features a number of amenities including free wireless Internet access, a meditation room, massage chairs, game room, skycap service, business center and an array of shops and dining options. The airport's six-level parking garage boasts approximately 15,000 spaces and provides short-term, long-term and valet parking. An artistic centerpiece of the airport, Concourse B is home to a towering 26-foot-tall sculpture entitled "Brushstrokes of Flight" by late Ohio State alumnus Roy Lichtenstein.
Airline carriers serving Port Columbus International Airport
The Central Ohio Transit Authority operates bus lines in Columbus and throughout Franklin County, Ohio. COTA maintains 234 buses and services 55 routes; its network extends 562 square miles and provides 50,000 rides per weekday. Single trip fare is $1.50 for regular buses and $2 for express buses. Discounted fares for seniors and children are available, as are multiple ride passes.
Arch Transportation, Super Shuttle and Urban Express Transportation each offer shuttle service from Port Columbus International Airport to downtown Columbus. Shuttle buses can be pre-arranged or riders can walk up for services upon arrival. Larger groups can arrange for a charter bus or limousine service prior to their arrival or departure. Fare for shuttle service from the airport to the convention center is approximately $17.
Port Columbus International Airport provides service from eight on-site rental car companies. Customers of Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty can find the check-in counters on the ground floor of the parking garage.
Taxis are available 24 hours a day from the ground level at Port Columbus International Airport. Fare to downtown Columbus from the airport is approximately $23 to $28.
Photo Credit : Randall L. Schieber
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