EXPY Award Nominations


The Experience Columbus EXPY Awards recognize outstanding contributions by businesses, groups, organizations or individuals to the local hospitality industry and/or the Greater Columbus visitor experience. EXPY winners demonstrate the best of US and serve as role models for creativity and collaboration. They bring awareness to the importance of the local visitor industry and the economic activity it generates.

Award recipients must demonstrate outstanding support in one or more Experience Columbus Strategic Initiatives during the previous year. These Strategic Initiatives are directed toward growing the local visitor industry and its economic benefit to Greater Columbus and include:

  • Make it Columbus: nominees must be local businesses, associations, government entities or individuals who have successfully worked to bring meetings, conventions, trade shows and sporting events to Columbus
  • Collaborative Brand Marketing: nominees must be community partners who have developed and promoted the Columbus image and brand outside Central Ohio with demonstrated measurable results
  • Enhanced Visitor Experience: nominees must be organizations, attractions and events that have created a vibrant, fun, enlightening and/or educational experience for visitors through creative programming, exhibitions and events that have attracted incremental numbers of visitors. (Note: Established events are awarded EXPYs only during years when they have celebrated anniversaries or other important milestones.)
  • Connectivity: nominees must be entities that have made significant contributions to the ease of getting visitors to and around Greater Columbus
  • Infrastructure: nominees must be entities that have made significant build enhancements to the destination such as meeting facilities, hotels, public art, exhibition centers, green spaces, improvements to districts and neighborhoods

Nomination forms are accepted from the public and must be accompanied by a minimum of two letters of recommendation from sources outside the organization. 2016 EXPY award nominations are not yet open. More information will be available soon. 

Experience Columbus will be accepting 2016 EXPY award nominations until Nov. 28, 2016. The EXPY Awards will be presented at the 2017 Experience Columbus Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Please fill out the form below to submit a nomination.

2016 EXPY Nomination Form

Congratulations to the 2015 EXPY Award recipients:

Red, White & BOOM! Celebrating 35 years

In 35 years, since its debut in 1981 as a small downtown Independence Day fireworks display, Red, White & Boom! has grown to become one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks displays in the Midwest. In 2016, nearly a half million residents and visitors enjoyed Columbus’ largest one-day event. Traditionally held before July 4 so it won’t interfere with other community events, Red, White & Boom! provides a festive, family-oriented and free patriotic celebration for residents and visitors. Red, White & Boom! is a model of collaborative spirit bringing together more than 100 sponsors, volunteers, property owners and media.  Their investments pay off big for Columbus --  in 2015 Boom! generated an economic impact of more than $10 million.

Central Ohio Transit Authority for CBUS

Since its introduction by the Central Ohio Transit Authority in May 2014, CBUS has provided visitors with unprecedented access to the Columbus experience with a route that circulates through Downtown, the Arena District, Short North Arts District and Brewery District. And it’s free! CBUS operators help visitors find their way through our city and connect visitors to experiences. In addition, CBUS provides service beyond normal operating hours for special events, such as the Arnold Sports Festival, Pride Weekend and HighBall.  By connecting hotels, meeting sites, shopping, dining, businesses and sports and cultural events, CBus has enhanced the visitor experience for growing numbers of convention and event attendees and leisure travelers.

Columbus Museum of Art for Margaret M. Walter Wing Addition

The recent transformation of the Columbus Museum of Art mirrors the transformation that is taking place all over the city. With architecture that honors the old and celebrates the new, a design that feels inclusive and open and a creative vibe that is palpable, CMoA provides a larger, livelier space to showcase the permanent collection and enables the museum to host more national and international touring exhibitions. The renovation and expansion has received extensive media attention, and the Wall Street Journal included the new museum wing in its year-end roundup of the best new architecture in the world.

NHL All-Star Weekend Celebration, Including 60th All-Star Game

Columbus scored big in January with the 2015 National Hockey League All-Star Celebration, including the 60th All-Star Game. Thousands of visitors came from all corners of the hockey universe and nearly 400 credentialed media spread the good word about Columbus. The Blue Jackets’ Winter Park engaged thousands with an outdoor ice rink, snow slide, live music and other fun activities. The reviews were glowing, especially NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s declaration that Columbus as a host city earned an A++. Collaboration and participation from the public and private sectors turned this opportunity into a defining moment for the city.

Columbus Crew SC for 2015 MLS Cup

 Columbus played a starring role in December as the American soccer world focused on Mapfre Stadium to watch Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers compete for the 2015 MLS Cup. With less than a week to prepare, Crew SC pulled off a smashing success, rallying the entire community around the mantra “For The Cup. For Columbus.” Nearly 22,000 tickets sold out in 15 hours, more than 400 local, national and international media outlets sent journalists and 1.2 million viewers in 140 countries tuned in on ESPN, Unimas or online streaming. The 2015 MLS Cup providing a showcase for Columbus as a 21st century city and a premier soccer destination.