For the second time in his 15-year career as director of convention services, Experience Columbus’ Bill Behrens, CMP, CTA, has been named the Convention Services Manager of the Year by the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) and Successful Meetings Magazine.

The award accepts nominations from meeting planners and honors individuals who have done an exemplary job servicing meetings. Nominees are evaluated on the nominator’s comments on their service mentality, how effective they were as a meeting partner and instances of going above and beyond what is expected. Each year, one winner each is selected from a convention and visitors bureau, a hotel and a convention center.

Bill was nominated this year by Dr. Janiece J. Sneegas, Ph. D., with the Unitarian Universalist Association for his work on the 2016 General Assembly. The convention welcomed 5,000 attendees to Columbus and took place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) June 20-27, 2016. During this time, the GCCC was halfway through its $125 million renovation and expansion project.

We are so proud of Bill and know we are lucky to have him on our team! For those of you who haven’t worked with Bill much, we asked him a few questions to get to know him a bit better.

Tell us a fun fact:

I really like to travel, but I absolutely hate to fly.

What’s your favorite memory from your years as a convention services manager?

My annual city tour with the Quarter Horse Queen candidates is always fun because the young ladies are dressed in sparkly outfits and command a lot of attention wherever we go. On an ongoing basis, I really enjoy the long-term relationships that I’ve been able to form with groups and meeting planners, some of whom I’ve worked with since the day I started here 18 years ago.

What’s your favorite place to go to unwind after a long day?

My pool in the summer, and any new restaurant or bar in the winter.