Columbus Leads the Way with Innovative Practices

A Sponsored Message From Experience Columbus

Author: Jessica Poitevien       

Columbus Ohio night skyline

Columbus continues to find new and innovative ways to appeal to meeting planners, while also addressing important issues such as sustainability and accessibility.

As the fastest-growing Midwest city for GDP, job growth, and population, it’s no surprise that Columbus is also welcoming back meeting planners and attendees. Just in time to accommodate a growing number of events, the Hilton Downtown Columbus is expanding with a new tower opening this fall that will make it the largest hotel in Ohio. The new, 28-story building will offer 1,000 guest rooms, 75,000 square feet of meeting space, and four new dining concepts. Attendees of 2023 Convening Leaders will be among the first event participants to experience this new addition to Columbus’ hotel collection. While Columbus experiences a healthy return in its visitor numbers, representing a strong recovery from the pandemic, the city also continues its work as a leader in the Midwest, forging an innovative path focused on sustainability, accessibility, and more.


Meeting planners can rest easy knowing that hosting a large event in Columbus doesn’t mean they have to compromise on sustainability. Sustainable Columbus is a city-wide initiative that weaves eco-friendly practices into all facets of life and development in Ohio’s capital, with the convention center boasting a particularly noteworthy — and unconventional — sustainability program.

Beyond earning LEED Silver certification for its North Building, the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is also home to the indoor, hydroponic vertical SmartFarm, the first of its kind in a convention center. Producing nearly 5,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs every year, the SmartFarm ensures that attendees are always treated to fresh, responsibly grown produce, with any leftovers donated to local charities.

When it comes to recycling, even attendees with the best of intentions can confuse what recyclables should go in which bin. To decrease the amount of recyclable material that ends up in a landfill due to inaccurate sorting, GCCC makes things simple with a single-stream recycling program that allows all recycled materials to be discarded into the same containers. In an effort to also reduce unnecessary energy usage, GCCC has installed motion lighting and real-time tracking throughout the facility. For added good measure, GCCC also offsets 100 percent of its energy usage by purchasing renewable energy credits equivalent to the total amount of energy used.

event attendees take a selfie in Columbus Ohio

Every year, Columbus attracts millions of event goers, leisure travelers, and business professionals of all backgrounds.


Columbus prides itself on being a destination that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. Case in point, the city’s new Accessibility Guide. Designed to serve as a resource for locals and visitors alike, the guide highlights information on Columbus attractions, hotels, restaurants, and transportation options that are accessible to everyone.

In order to ensure that all types of accessibility issues are addressed, the guide provides details on offerings in the categories of mobility, vision, hearing, and cognition. The guide currently features more than 20 listings that have been reviewed and screened by disability inclusion experts. Experience Columbus plans to continually update the Accessibility Guide as more businesses and venues open or share current accessibility information. For meeting organizers, this takes the guesswork out of planning events that can be enjoyed by all attendees.


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