Experience Columbus, the destination marketing organization for Ohio’s capital city, is primed to welcome meetings, conferences and conventions of all sizes in 2022, with a newly redesigned website for meeting planners, the opening of the state’s largest hotel and numerous new attractions launching throughout the year. 

For meetings and event planners looking for the perfect host city, Columbus, the 14th largest city in the United States and the fastest-growing city in the Midwest, offers hospitality partners committed to continued pandemic safety protocols with the Live Forward Pledge, new and expanded lodging options, and attractions and a convenient and accessible location within a one-day drive or one-hour flight for more than half of the U.S. population.

New Lodging Options

Columbus will be home to the state’s largest hotel, the Hilton Columbus Downtown, when it expand with a new tower that opens in fall of 2022. The new 28-story building will house a total of 1,000 rooms and provide 75,000 square feet of space for meetings, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, plus a new signature restaurant on High Street, and a rooftop bar with stunning aerial views of Downtown Columbus. The Hilton Columbus Downtown is attached to the Convention Center making it a just short elevator ride away from conferences and meetings for hotel guests.

Additional new hotels in the city’s core include the AC Hotel by Marriott with 154 rooms and a popular rooftop bar and the 152-room Hyatt House in the University District. 

Attendee Experience

For meeting and event attendees, the Experience Columbus Attendee Savings Pass provides access to exclusive deals and discounts on activities and meals all over the city. The Attendee Savings Pass is a digital pass downloaded to your mobile device that unlocks deals and discounts when presented at participating businesses. 

Visitors to Columbus can also take part in self-guided experience-themed trail packages focused on local coffee, beer, and artisan made goods, which offer individuals a unique, way to enjoy the best of Columbus. An new addition, the Columbus Distillery Trail, launches January 15 and unites seven local companies all specializing in the creation of spectacular spirits with a local twist. With a digital passport and plenty of time to complete it, this trail will show you that the proof is in the proof right here in Columbus.

New Attractions

In 2021, Columbus Crew, the MLS Cup Champions in 2020, began playing in their new stadium, Lower.com Field in the Arena District. All of Columbus’ professional sports teams now play within a few blocks of each other, and the convention center. Annually, more than 130 professional soccer, hockey and baseball games will take place on Nationwide Boulevard. 

Unique features of the Lower.com Field include a continuous wraparound roof, a 360-degree concourse, new off-site event space and a 5,000-square-foot brew hall that will also be open on non-match days. The venue hosted the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) in October 2021, and will host USMNT again for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on January 27, 2022. 

New food destinations are popping up all around the city, from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ Budd Dairy Food Hall in Italian Village, a restaurant incubator offering spaces for entrepreneurial, chef-driven concepts, to the upcoming Bubbly Hall food hall in New Albany and the East Market in Olde Towne East both opening in 2022. With globally-inspired vendors and local retailers, these new concepts are sure to delight your hearts (and tastebuds). 

Many communities around Columbus have launched a DORA, or designated outdoor refreshment area, and for visitors they are a great new way to experience a different neighborhood or area of the city. Through these programs, residents and visitors can purchase an alcoholic beverage and enjoy it while strolling the streets and taking in shops or entertainment within a set boundary. 

Columbus has dozens more new happenings in 2022 for visitors, and the city is ready to welcome you and your organization for any meeting or event this year.

For more information about planning your conference or meeting in Columbus, visit https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/meetings/ or call 614-222-6106 or email sales@experiencecolumbus.com