How Organizers Can Leverage Local Assets With the Help of Experience Columbus

A Sponsored Message From Experience Columbus

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       

group of people behind columbus sign in front of skyline

COSI (Center of Science and Industry) is one of many unique venues in Columbus open to hosting business event functions, including meetings, sales events, and galas of 5,000-plus guests.

Thanks to Experience Columbus’ extensive network of partnerships, business event organizers who want to squeeze the most out of the destination will find that the legwork has already been done for them. Read on for examples and ideas of how the DMO has leveraged local partnerships to benefit business events held in Columbus.

Innovation Hub

Columbus’ economy spans a diversity of industries, from finance to health care to fashion. Sixteen Fortune 1,000 companies and five Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here, including household names like Cardinal Health, Nationwide, and Bath & Body Works, Inc. To boot, more than 50 college and university campuses call Columbus home. Not only does this intellectual capital provide organizers with an impressive pool of experts to pluck speakers and panelists from, it also offers the added bonus of potential local attendees to market to as well.

Columbus consistently recognizes the positive impact business events have on the destination. One way organizers can signal this local support is by inviting Columbus city leaders to attend or personally welcome their group to the city. For example, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther — who has attended more PCMA Convening Leaders than any other mayor — welcomed attendees at PCMA’s 2023 Convening Leaders held in Columbus last January.

two men shaking hands on stage

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther (left) welcomed PCMA CEO and President Sherrif Karamat and attendees during the opening keynote of PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2023 in January, held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Amplifying Diversity

Earlier this year, Experience Columbus worked with Columbus City Council to create the Minority Business Program. This program offers an opportunity for event organizers to support a diverse vendor pool of minority-owned local businesses offering on- and off-site services for events, such as photography, catering, and wellness services. For example, Mindful Movements & Stretching LLC and the Tranquility Salt Cave offer post-session activities for attendees to unwind and rejuvenate after a long day of meetings.

Versatile Venues

In Columbus, venues offer more than just space — they’re collaborative canvases for organizers to craft their unique event vision. COSI — voted best science museum in the country four years in a row by USA Today — can be transformed into a festive evening party, complete with food, drinks, and music against the backdrop of a skyline illuminated by the distinct colors of the hosting group projected onto buildings. At Huntington Park, the Triple-A Columbus Clippers’ baseball stadium, organizers can entertain attendees with guided tours, lively interactions with the team mascot, and unique experiences in reimagined spaces, like a carnival held on the infield.

Taste of Columbus

Infusing local flavor into the event experience is made easier through Experience Columbus’ established partnerships with local F&B businesses. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — a well-known brand that originated in Columbus — is open to hosting on-site celebrations at Jeni’s locations in Columbus and across the country. Experience Columbus frequently takes Jeni’s delicious pints on the road to trade shows and host National Ice Cream Day events for clients in Washington, D.C. Brownie Points, a made-from-scratch bakery known nationwide for having the most brownie flavors on Earth, can customize gift boxes for corporate gifting. Stop by the Experience Columbus booth in The District during PCMA Convening Leaders next month to create your own brownie box.

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