Welcome to the Cvent Columbus meeting planning guide, a city guide where you can find hotels, restaurants, and other meeting venues, as well as a wealth of Columbus meeting planning information. With a walkable, condensed convention package, entertainment districts, historic neighborhoods, art, and culture, Columbus is a highly accessible, clean, manageable city, making it an ideal meeting place.
Although Columbus is a major metropolis, it is extremely navigable and safe. The smart and open community offers a dynamic convention package that is sure to fit the needs of any group. Columbus is located within a one-hour flight or a day's drive of half of the U.S. population. Visitors who touch down at John Glenn Columbus International Airport find a recently renovated facility just 10 minutes east of downtown. Getting downtown is a breeze with the AirConnect express circulator, and once there, numerous transportation services, including the free CBUS circulator and self-driving shuttles that operate along the Scioto Mile, make it easy to get around.
The 1.8-million-square-foot Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) sits directly at the heart of Columbus' burgeoning downtown, lively urban entertainment districts, and diverse array of welcoming neighborhoods, making it easy to get to surrounding activities on foot. In July 2017, the GCCC completed a $140 million renovation and expansion project, highlighted by 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space.
Beyond the convention center, Columbus offers several other sizable event facilities. 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. Groups willing to travel just outside of the downtown area can utilize the very meeting-friendly Ohio Expo Center, a 360-acre complex offering 1 million square feet of flexible space.
Supporting the package are 4,250 rooms available downtown, with 2,250 rooms connected or adjacent to the convention center. An additional 1,000 rooms are currently under construction, including a 468-room expansion of the Hilton Columbus Downtown that will create a 1,000-room convention hotel connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center by 2022. Ranging from luxury boutiques to familiar chains, hotel venues in Columbus meet a wide variety of needs and price points.
Held annually in March, Columbus' Arnold Sports Festival attracts more athletes than the Olympics do. The largest multi-sport event in the country takes over venues across the city, with more than 18,000 athletes from 80 nations competing in 50 sports and events.
Along with its population, the Columbus economy continues to grow. The city is home to four Fortune 500 companies: L Brands (Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, etc.), American Electric Power, Nationwide, and Cardinal Health. Other major corporate headquarters in Columbus include Abercrombie & Fitch, DSW, Express, Hexion, Huntington, Mettler-Toledo, Red Roof Inn, Rogue Fitness, Safelite, Scotts, Wendy's, White Castle, and Worthington Industries.
Experience Columbus' highly skilled services team, led by Bill Behrens, CMP, CTA, director of convention services and two-time ESPA Convention Services Manager of the year. The team works closely with planners to ensure that attendees have a terrific experience in Columbus and that any event exceeds all objectives and expectations. More than 2,000 front-line employees and volunteers who have earned the national Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) designation — the largest number of active CTAs in any city in the country — are ready to welcome and assist visitors to ensure that everyone has a positive experience in the city.