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Industry Briefs

After successfully hosting 5,500 attendees for the 2019 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Meeting and Exposition, being chosen to host PCMA’s 2023 Convening Leaders and being named one of Travel Channel’s top 10 domestic destinations in 2020, Columbus has quickly been making its way to the top of everyone’s must-visit list.

 As we’ve moved through recent months of uncertainty and unrest, planners are beginning to realize that they need more from a city than solid infrastructure and affordable accommodations. Concrete commitments to the safety of meeting attendees and social justice initiatives are rising to the top of priority lists.

Columbus, the country’s 14th largest city, is leading the charge on both fronts.

Safety is Our Priority

Hosting best-in-class meetings and conventions is important to the Columbus community, and our city is doing what it takes to make the new normal a more successful normal. .

The Live Forward Pledge, signed by nearly 200 local businesses, signals a commitment to follow local, state and federal health guidelines while operating amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, many of Columbus’ highest visitor touchpoints, like John Glenn International, have leveled-up their commitment with GBAC STAR™ Accreditation, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.

Columbus was the first city to welcome back live basketball in July with The Basketball Tournament (TBT) and the lessons learned through hosting the first successful sports ‘bubble’ carry through to all events hosted in Columbus.

While state mandates currently allow events up to 300 people with a food and beverage component, Columbus’ collaborative and innovative hospitality industry is ready to help successfully host hybrid events regardless of scale or requirements.

Diversity is In Our DNA

Columbus’ open-minded and welcoming mentality makes it a vibrant and desirable destination for visitors.

With the 15th-largest LGBTQ population in the nation, Columbus has received the highest possible score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion on municipal law and policy, for seven years in a row.

And let us be clear: Black Lives Matter.

It’s time for the tourism industry to join the fight against racial and social injustice. Columbus City Council declared racism a public health crisis in June after nearly 3,000 local business leaders signed a petition in favor of the action. Groups meeting in Columbus can expect to see promotion of minority-owned businesses and volunteer opportunities that continue to break down barriers for communities of color.

Experience Columbus’ Vice President of Convention Sales Dan Williams is also pushing for an industry-wide movement. He joined 20 other Black CVB executives in an open letter to tourism entities calling for institutional change, and in a recent video, he answers ‘ 5 Questions About Race.’

Columbus: Live Forward

The future of events is going to look extremely different than anything we’ve ever seen before. Instead of looking to return to normal, Columbus is setting a new normal. If you’re ready to tap into the next generation of meetings, Columbus is the city for you.

Innovative events need an innovative city. Learn more at

Meet Brilliantly