To our clients and friends,
Many of you know me, some of you may not, however you are surely all aware of protests that have broken out across the country over the last week against racial and social injustice. I think we can all agree: It’s time for change.
As the organizations that proudly promote and encourage visitation to our city, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission also proudly promote the characteristics of our city that make it worth visiting, one of the most valuable of which is our diversity. When members of our city are in pain, we are all in pain. Many of us have been in pain for quite some time. Although we don’t have all the answers, we know that we can’t stay silent.
We’re proud to be among nearly 3,000 local businesses whose leaders have signed a petition for Columbus City Council to declare racism a public health crisis and are pleased that Ohio is on its way to being the first state to make said declaration. But this is just a small step. It’s just the beginning. We intend to continue to speak out against systemic racism and social injustice. We vow to ensure that next time you’re in Columbus, it’s a better Columbus; a stronger, more unified and safer Columbus.
When you bring your group to our city, we’ll make sure you’re aware of volunteer opportunities that continue to break down barriers for communities of color. You’ll see us promoting minority-owned businesses your attendees can support during their visits.
It is efforts like these that reflect the spirit of our city – collaborative, forward-thinking and eager to stand up for what matters.
Please, don’t be silent. I encourage you to engage in conversations that so many have already started. Tell us what you want to see from us. Our voices, every single one, are what makes Columbus the city we are proud to call home.
We’re here. We’re listening. We’re determined to make a difference.
Vice President, Convention Sales and Services
COLUMBUS’ COMMITMENT TO SAFETY
Meetings and conventions are important to the Columbus community. As the majority of travel around the country is currently on hold, businesses in Columbus are committed to safe reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Live Forward Pledge
When you’re in Columbus, look for the Live Forward Pledge window decal to easily recognize which businesses signed a commitment to follow federal, state and local health and safety guidelines for proper reopening practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses have agreed to:
- Follow, enforce and adhere to safety guidelines outlined by the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and relevant industry organizations.
- Require that employees wear protective gear and clearly communicating expectations to guests on any requirements for them.
- Implement and enforce social distancing practices.
Find out more, including who has signed up, here.
GBAC STAR™ Accreditation
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Accreditation is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. This performance-based accreditation program offers third-party validation to help facilities demonstrate they have the work practices, procedures and protocols to prepare, respond and recover from outbreaks and pandemics to instill confidence in customers, staff and key stakeholders. Learn more here.
Several of our city’s primary visitor touchpoints have committed pursuing this level-up pledge opportunity.
Business interested in taking this additional step can find more information here.
While many of us have stayed home throughout the COVID-19 crisis, hospitality workers stayed on the frontlines to keep our local restaurants, retail establishments, hotels, attractions, and other business going, and greeted us from afar with a not-so-distant smile. Now, as recovery begins, with restaurants and shops reopening – they’ll continue working with optimism and the same reliable hospitality as ever. We’ve teamed up with BrewDog, whose U.S. headquarters is in Columbus, to honor these essential workers with a much-deserved toast, three cheers and their favorite BrewDog beers. Check out who has been nominated here and look for these hospitality heroes on your next visit.
COVID-19 TRAVEL INDUSTRY RESOURCES
COVID-19 Resource Center
An updated 2020 outlook.
The Above and Beyond Foundation is providing urgent grants to hospitality industry workers who lost jobs.
COVID-19 and Travel Sentiment Survey
Tracking the meeting industry's response to Coronavirus
The CARES Act, the relief package that delivers economic support to the travel industry.
What is the status of events in Columbus?
As Ohio slowly begins the process of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, mass gatherings (currently groups over 10) are still prohibited where social distancing is not possible. However, as of June 1, catering and banquet centers are allowed to reopen under similar guidelines as restaurants, which includes six feed distancing between tables and no congregating. Currently, crowd size is capped at 300 where distancing allows. For more, please see guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health.
Can I rebook my event in Columbus?
We would love to rebook you in our city for a future date. Please contact your sales manager to discuss availability for future meetings.
Is the convention center being used as a medical facility?
The Greater Columbus Convention Center has been converted into a 1,000-bed field hospital for potential overflow of COVID-19 patients, though the city has been lucky not to use it thus far.
The setup will remain intact until July and if the center is needed as a surge site, it is prepared to operate as such for 30 days and would house non-critical patients starting to recover but not ready to go home. If activated, an additional three weeks of shut down would be required to ensure proper decontamination and sanitization has taken place.
At the same time, the convention center is open, with businesses inside the center operational and meeting rooms being used in a new way for traffic and eviction court hearings.
Columbus: Your Next Meeting Destination
Columbus, the 14th largest city in the United States as well as the fastest-growing city in the Midwest, is a smart and open community with a dynamic convention package that can fit the needs of any group. Located within a one-day drive or one-hour flight from more than half of the U.S. population, Columbus is easily accessible for all. Learn More.
Columbus is proud to have been selected to host PCMA’s Convening Leaders in 2023. Known as one of the nation’s most creative, forward-thinking and exciting cities, we look forward to showing thousands of attendees how Columbus is transforming meetings.
Will your group be next?
Contact us or submit an RFP now.
No matter where you are in your planning process, our highly skilled team of dedicated professionals is here to make your next meeting, conference, trade show or event in Columbus a success.