COLUMBUS – Columbus is emerging as the next big destination for meetings, conventions and tradeshows. Today, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) selected the city to host its 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition.
“This will be the first time ASAE will hold its Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus. Columbus is a great convention city, and they are excited to welcome the association community. Columbus has planned unique and exceptional events that will surprise and delight our members. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is also undergoing some renovations to its meeting and exhibit space that will provide meeting planners with more flexibility. We're looking forward to working with the city of Columbus and can’t wait for our members to experience everything it offers,” said John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, ASAE president and CEO.
Columbus is within a one-hour flight or one-day drive from more than half of the U.S. population and has daily direct flights to and from 34 destinations, so it is easily accessible for all attendees. The city’s convention package boasts 27,000 rooms citywide, 4,000 of which are downtown, with 2,100 connected or adjacent to the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC).
The GCCC is currently undergoing a $125 million renovation and expansion that will be complete in July 2017, after which exhibitors will enjoy 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. Highlights of the renovated center also include bringing the interior up to hotel-like quality, adding 10,000 square feet of two-level meeting space and 10 new rooms with outside windows, a large, two-level open atrium entrance on the north end and a new 800-space parking garage connected by covered skywalk.
“This is a game-changer for our community,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “Hosting ASAE puts Columbus on the map with key decision makers and influencers planning meetings for their national associations. Our community should be very proud of the collaborative effort put forth to win this conference. We look forward to wowing attendees when they come in 2019.”
Columbus is celebrated for its incredible arts, entertainment, fashion and culinary offerings; exciting collegiate and professional sports teams and events; and spectacular riverfront with a 33-acre sprawling ribbon of parkland on the Scioto Mile that runs through downtown. Even better, all of that and more is accessible on foot from the GCCC, located in the heart of Columbus’ burgeoning downtown, lively urban entertainment districts and diverse array of welcoming neighborhoods.
“Columbus is excited to host the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Conference,” said City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Conference attendees will experience first-hand our vibrant, smart and open city with all the amenities meeting planners are looking for in a convention destination city.”
The annual conference will draw over 5,000 attendees to the GCCC August 10-13, 2019, filling 16,800 hotel rooms.
Based in Washington, DC, ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners, representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. ASAE members plan over 376,000 meetings, expositions and seminars that reach over 200 million attendees annually.
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As the convention and visitors bureau for Ohio’s capital city, Experience Columbus’ mission is to sell, market and promote the best of the destination to visitors. For more information about all Columbus has to offer for meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to meet.experiencecolumbus.com.