Top U.S. Trade Shows List | Events In America

Greater Columbus Convention Center


Designed by internationally recognized architect Peter Eisenman, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, with its unique spaces, sharp angles, wide spotlights and spacious walkways is a bold landmark luring millions of visitors each year.

The modern design of every meeting room, exhibit hall and common area is as vibrant as the downtown neighborhood right outside.

We have more than 1.7 million square feet of space offering a combination of settings that are perfect for events of all sizes, including Battelle Grand, the largest, multi-purpose ballroom in the state of Ohio. There are approximately 50,000 square feet on the main floor and approximately 24,000 square feet on the mezzanine level, with the option of five different configurations in Battelle Grand. The room offers an expansive view of downtown Columbus and a high-tech ceiling system, which provides customized lighting options.

Source : Venue Website


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Source : Venue Website

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Press Releases

Sep 23, 2019

Public Invited to Cruise into Return of AIMEXPO Presented by Nationwide

(Columbus, September 23, 2019) — North America’s largest motorcycle and powersports trade show and lifestyle event returns to the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) featuring 500 exhibitors from around the world and Sideways Saturday Flat Track Racing when the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) presented by Nationwide revs up Columbus from September 26-29.

“We’re more than excited to be back in Columbus,” said Cinnamon Kernes, the event’s show director and vice president and general manager of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), producer of the event.

The show is known for being progressive, comprehensive and offering enjoyment for business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking, sales, demonstration rides and motorcycle-focused lifestyle features.

The event first offers two trade and media days with presentations in the Media Hub within the trade show. Trade show hours for the industry and media are Thursday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, September 27, followed by the opening of the indoor exhibits to the general public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29.

General admission tickets are $14 in advance and $16 onsite for adults, and free for children 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult on September 28 or September 29. Adult two-day tickets are $22. Additional information about group tickets and combination tickets is available at

AIMExpo presented by Nationwide is occurring concurrently with Powersports Industry Week. A Dealer Summit will be held Wednesday, September 25 at 1:30 p.m., and include a presentation by Gene Marks, a small business export, Forbes columnist and author.

The general session on Thursday, September 26 at 4 p.m. will focus on the theme “Increasing Ridership—A Commitment to Building Our Future.” The Industry Party will be held Thursday, September 26 and is not open to the public.

New this year is a show floor plan featuring neighborhoods and community hubs – The Shop for V-Twin and custom bikes, The Camp for dirt and adventure bikes, and The Alley for street and urban motorcycles. Sideways Saturday Flat Track Racing in Exhibit Hall D on September 28 at 6 p.m. requires a separate ticket that can be purchased at The show promises “hooligans, e-bikes, wild customs and much more” in this indoor racing event with Hooligans, Flat Track Futures for kids age 11-14, Run What Ya Brung, e-bike and Industry Class categories.

The AIMExpo presented by Nationwide will be the final stop on the Good Ride Rally with Carey Hart and Big B at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 28. Additionally, the Cycle Volta e-Pavilion will offer an area featuring electric-assist bicycles and other products. AIMExpo Outdoors demonstration rides will be offered in the East Lot, located on East Nationwide Boulevard near North Fourth Street. The latest street models will be offered by Harley Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Vanderhall Motor Werks and Yamaha. Motorcycle parking and gear-check stations will be provided free of charge. The AIMExpo presented by Nationwide is the unifying entity gathering the powersports industry, media, dealers and consumers in a single location to create a premier exposition stage for motorcycling in North America.

“We are excited to welcome back the largest powersports expo in the country,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “We’re able to provide exhibition space and a massive 400,000-square-foot outside demonstration area that will be great for their event.” 

Sep 12, 2019

Greater Columbus Convention Center Director Of Event Management & Parking Joe Shaw Receives Northstar Meetings Group’s Passion Made Possible Award

(Columbus, September 12, 2019) — Joseph Shaw, director of event management & parking for the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center, was honored in the convention service manager category during Northstar Meetings Group’s Passion Made Possible Awards 2019 in Las Vegas last night.

As a result of being selected for this accolade, Shaw received a travel and lodging expense-paid accommodation to attend the awards reception held in conjunction with IMEX America, a premier event in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry. He will also be featured in the print and online editions of Northstar Meetings Group publications, including the October print issues of Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings and Incentive Magazine, the Meeting News digital newsletter and in an awards tribute video online at

“Each year, Northstar’s ‘Their PASSION MADE Your Event POSSIBLE’ awards program, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, celebrates well-deserving and often unrecognized industry professionals,” said Northstar Meetings Group Executive Vice President David Blansfield. “It’s the dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment to service from people like Joe Shaw who make our events successful and make our industry great.”

The awards are designed to bring recognition to unsung heroes and behind-the-scenes industry professionals who embody the “Passion Made Possible” spirit and contribute to successful business events for their organizations and customers. Shaw’s nomination was submitted by his longtime assistant, GCCC Office Manager Deb Clark, and GCCC Senior Marketing & Communications Manager Jennifer Davis.

A GCCC veteran with 38 years of service, Shaw watched the facility being constructed during his time onsite as a contract security guard and joined the staff when the building opened in 1980. His many titles have included security supervisor, security manager, Battelle Hall operations/event manager, building services manager/parking and housekeeping, senior event coordinator and event coordination manager. He assumed his current position in 1998 and directs the Event Coordination and Parking Departments, inclusive of multiple parking facilities, more than 4,000 spaces and logistical coordination for more than 350 annual events, such as Top 200 trade shows, the nation’s largest multisport festival and the recent ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. Shaw is both a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) and Certified Meeting Professional and has served as a CTA class facilitator and community volunteer assisting a variety of organizations.

Shaw’s nomination noted, “He has developed dozens of event managers into confident professionals and provided thousands of clients, service providers and event planners with expertise fueled by passion, dedication and logical guidance to ensure their events are a great success. He is the maestro of behind-the-scenes event orchestration!”

“I have had the pleasure to know and work with Joe for over 20 years and he is so very deserving of this honor,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “I am so proud of Joe! He is one of a kind and our GCCC sage with his bounding expertise in our facility’s history, client assistance and event execution ensuring complete customer satisfaction and cultivating repeat business for our award-winning facility.” 

Sep 3, 2019

Greater Columbus Convention Center Celebrates Earning Leed Silver Certification For Existing Building And Conversion To 100 Percent Wind Energy

(Columbus, September 3, 2019) — The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is celebrating earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for Building Operations + Maintenance – Existing Building and announced its commitment to offsetting its entire electricity usage to wind energy.

The entire GCCC North Building is now Silver certified through the Green Building Rating System certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Business Certification Inc. organization.

Certification of the existing building follows the receipt of LEED 2009 New Construction and Major Renovations Silver certification received in May 2018 in connection with the GCCC’s $140 million expansion and renovation project completed in 2017. Certification verifies that the design, construction and operational processes at the GCCC assist in conserving resources and reducing waste and negative environmental impacts, while maximizing the health and productivity of the building occupants.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It is the hallmark of “healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings and a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.”

“We are proud that the existing north building has joined the GCCC expansion in becoming LEED Silver certified,” said GCCC Assistant General Manager Ryan Thorpe. “Expanding our green footprint and environmental stewardship is a continuing journey. Our latest significant step is acquiring the electricity we need in a more clean, affordable and responsible manner through wind energy.”

The GCCC purchased Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated from wind power to match 100 percent of the facility’s annual electricity demand. RECs guarantee that an equal amount of renewable energy is delivered to the electric grid.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, 6.5 percent of the country’s electricity in 2018 was delivered via wind energy, which powered the equivalent of 26 million homes. There are currently more than 57,000 wind turbines in 41 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. Wind energy utilization has tripled in the last decade and is now the largest source of renewable generating capacity in the United States.

Wind power refers to the process of creating electricity using the air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Modern wind turbines are used to capture kinetic energy from the wind to generate electricity. Typical turbines start to generate electricity when wind speeds reach six to nine miles per hour. Wind farm turbines are connected so the electricity that is generated can travel to the power grid. When wind energy is available on the main power grid, utility companies can send electricity to the businesses and residences that need it.

The utilization of wind energy is the latest in an array of green initiatives in place at the GCCC, ranging from the conversion to compostable service ware by South Café & Marketplace merchants and Levy, the food service provider, to the in-house Smartfarm generating 2.5 tons of vegetables and herbs annually for culinary use.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), founded in 1993, is a private 501(c)3, membership-based non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. USGBC is best known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating systems and its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. USGBC was one of eight national councils that helped found the World Green Building Council.

Aug 26, 2019

Greater Columbus Convention Center Celebrates City’s Successfully Hosting Asae 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition August 10-13

(Columbus, August 26, 2019) — The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) joins the entire Columbus hospitality community in celebrating the record-setting successful hosting of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition from August 10-13.

Known as “the Super Bowl of meetings,” the event attracted 5,476 attendees, including 2,625 executives and 1,866 exhibitors, along with 985 others, including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff.

The sold-out exposition hall featured 710 booths representing 445 companies, with an almost even ratio of buyers to sellers. The Classic, the ASAE Foundation’s fundraising event to support its programming and research, featured Ohio-born singer John Legend and attracted the highest attendance and revenue in the event’s 13-year history. The Closing Celebration concert on August 13 featured country singer Brad Paisley.

Additionally, the community rallied to provide 600 volunteers during the event. They established a warm welcome for attendees from the moment they landed at the airport to their being enthusiastically applauded by a tunnel of facility employees as they emerged from the Battelle Grand Ballroom closing keynote event. The GCCC employs the city’s largest contingent of Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

“We’ve never seen 600 volunteers for our event before,” confirmed interim ASAE President and CEO, Susan Robertson, CAE. “The City of Columbus and the Greater Columbus Convention Center went above and beyond to provide our attendees with a stellar experience.”

Traditionally, 20 percent of association executives attending the ASAE event then book their own meetings in the host city over the next five-year period or so. This is a potential opportunity for $500 million in future revenue for Columbus.

“We are so proud of the way our city welcomed and hosted the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “It is now our mission to continue the momentum by inviting these executives to book their own events at the GCCC and then providing them with the same level of service excellence they enjoyed during their introduction to Columbus.”

Based in Washington, D.C., ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership, represents organizations and individual association professionals from a variety of economic sectors and professions and provides opportunities to build knowledge, enable learning, foster community and engage in advocacy for its members. A membership organization, ASAE is composed of more than 46,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage and work in, or partner with, organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer and better every day. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate non-profit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and non-profit profession and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and non-profit community. Visit for more information.  

Aug 7, 2019

Greater Columbus Convention Center Joins ‘Menstrualmovement’ By Offering Aunt Flow Products To Guests In Facility Restrooms

 (Columbus, August 7, 2019) — The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) has joined the “menstrual movement” and begun stocking its restrooms with 100 percent organic cotton Aunt Flow-brand tampons and sanitary pads and ensuring they are readily available to guests.

“We are so excited to get this started and definitely think the GCCC is showing the community how to do it better,” said Anne Weigand, Aunt Flow director of happiness.

Aunt Flow is a Columbus-based company that provides businesses and schools across North America with menstrual products to promote greater access to quality tampons and pads that are free of chemicals, synthetics, dyes and perfumes. The company was founded in 2016 by 18-year-old Claire Coder following her inconveniently and unexpectedly needing to depart from an event in order to purchase menstrual products.

Aunt Flow products are now available at more than 350 businesses and schools throughout North America, including Google, Columbus School for Girls, Land Grant Brewing Company, Twitter, Stauf’s Coffee, Viacom, Ohio University, Otterbein University and others. Aunt Flow products produce 30 percent less waste than other brands and are biodegradable. The company’s research has shown that offering free, quality menstrual products increases work productivity and school attendance and improves the restroom experience by providing the assurance that Aunt Flow amenities will be available when needed.

“We are excited about this Columbus-based program enabling us to purchase 100 percent organic cotton menstrual products and offer them to guests. For every 10 products purchased, Aunt Flow then donates one product to the community,” said GCCC Assistant General Manager Sue Graves. “Aunt Flow has already donated 350,000 menstrual products. We are proud to become a new Aunt Flow supporter.”

Attendees of the 2019 ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) Annual Meeting & Exposition will discover Aunt Flow products in GCCC restrooms when visiting August 10-13.

Additionally, on Sunday, August 11 at 4 p.m., Nadya Okamoto, founder and executive director of PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement will be an ASAE Game Changer speaker in the Battelle Grand Ballroom. A 20-year-old Harvard University student, she founded her organization at age 16. Okamoto is the author of Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement and will talk about the power of Generation Z activism and overcoming adversity through advocacy. 

Jul 15, 2019

Greater Columbus Convention Center Becomes World’s First Convention Center To Qualify As Kulturecity Certified Sensory Inclusive

(Columbus, July 15, 2019) — The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) has become the first convention center in the world to become Certified Sensory Inclusive through KultureCity.

The GCCC collaborated with KultureCity to improve the capabilities of the facility and staff to accommodate guests with sensory processing challenges and provide an inclusive, seamless and enjoyable experience for them at the GCCC.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of many innovative programs, and making all of our guests feel welcome, safe and accommodated is at the top of the list,” said GCCC Director of Culture & Training Amy Huggins. “We are especially proud to partner with KultureCity to receive additional training and resources to become a better host to our guests with special sensory needs.”

The certification process involved the GCCC staff being trained by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and handle sensory-overload situations. GCCC associates successfully completing the training and online quiz were awarded certificates.

Sensory sensitive and sensory regulation challenges are most often experienced by those with autism, dementia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and similar health concerns affected by overstimulation and noise.

The GCCC is now equipped with Sensory Bags guests can borrow when presenting a valid photo identification card in exchange. The bags are equipped with special KultureCity VIP identification badges for guests to wear, noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads to comfort guests that may be overwhelmed by the busy environment. The bags are available at the two GCCC Guest Service Centers, located within the South Cafe & Marketplace and across from Exhibit Hall A. Guests also have access to quiet zones for additional solace.

To prepare for their visit, guests can download the free KultureCity mobile app to view the sensory features available at the GCCC and the social story providing a preview of what they can expect when they arrive at the venue.

“To know that families will be able to attend events at the GCCC with their loved ones with sensory challenges is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity. “Our communities are what shape our lives, and to know that the GCCC is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”

Based in Birmingham, Alabama, KultureCity is a leading non-profit organization recognized nationally for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created more than 300 sensory inclusive venues in four countries and during events including the National Football League’s Super Bowl and Pro Bowl and the Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend. The award-winning company was named by FastCompany as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2019.

Jun 19, 2019

National Pta 2019 Convention & Expo Brings Learning Sessions And Free Palooza June 20-23

(Columbus, June 19, 2019) — The National PTA 2019 Convention & Expo is bringing child advocates together at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) for learning opportunities, elections and PTA Palooza.

“We have a large agenda and anticipate at least 1,100-plus people will be attending. Most are leaders from all over the country,” said Donna Taylor, director of meetings and events for the National PTA. “The Palooza in the expo hall is for families, with fun activities, and is one of our highlights.”

This year’s event includes more than 45 workshops in general, Local PTA Boot Camps and State PTA Leadership Institute categories as well as meet-up opportunities in Exhibit Hall B and a first-timers’ orientation.

PTA members, education professionals, community leaders and other parties interested in the well-being of children will be attending.

PTA Palooza is a free event for community families to explore family friendly offerings from more than 100 exhibitors along with live music, giveaways, games, face-painting, student performances and activities from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, with registration available at

The official convention begins June 20 with the general meeting. Additional events include exhibitions, a diversity & inclusion luncheon, National PTA Awards & Reflections 50th Celebration and luncheon to benefit the organization’s endowment fund.

Elections include two Ohioans on the ballot as 2019 board member candidates for the 2019-2021 term.

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has been in existence for more than 120 years as an advocate for every child’s education, health and safety. The Ohio chapter was chartered in 1901.

“We are honored to host the 2019 National PTA Conference & Expo and look forward to seeing local families explore the Palooza on Saturday,” said Greater Columbus Convention Center General Manager John R. Page. “PTA representatives were the first to go on a hard-hat tour of our $140 million expansion and renovation that was completed in 2017.”

Mar 14, 2019

Basketball Returns To Battelle With Rave Reviews As Ohsaa Central District Basketball Tournament District I & Iii Finals Dedicate New Court

(Columbus, March 14, 2019) – Basketball returned to Battelle this past weekend as the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Central District Basketball Tournament Division I and Division III Finals were held for the first time at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center in Battelle Grand (GCCC) on March 8-9.

Six tournament games were played in 74,000-square-foot Battelle Grand — the largest multipurpose ballroom in the state of Ohio — on the same basketball court utilized in the 2018 Women’s Final Four basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena last year. The GCCC now owns the court, which heightens the ability to host and produce future basketball tournaments within the facility.

“Our facility has a rich history of hosting high school, intercollegiate and professional basketball events, including the Mid-American Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, Columbus Quest championship team of the American Basketball League, Harlem Globetrotters, Columbus Horizon, Wendy’s Classic and more in the former Battelle Hall, which underwent a $40 million transformation in 2010 to become Battelle Grand,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “We look forward to hosting future OHSAA and similar basketball tournaments in Battelle Grand and are thrilled with the positive feedback we received from the basketball community about our new court and our facility.”

Mar 13, 2019

Five Ride & Drive Events, New Cars From Subcompacts To Luxury Lane To Be Featured At 2019 Columbus International Auto Show March 14-17

(Columbus, March 13, 2019) – The entire family will be able to explore the newest vehicles from dozens of manufacturers during the 2019 Columbus International Auto Show from March 14-17 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“We’re going to bring back the Kids Pitstop and Luxury Lane, adding a Dreamers Alley,” said Kelly Danison, show manager. “We’ll also have five ride and drive events with RAM, Honda, Chevy, Toyota and Subaru. Mott’s Military Museum is bringing a weapons carrier. There will be a brand-new fire truck to see and someone will win a two-year lease on a Chevy Equinox.”

Produced by the Columbus Automobile Dealers Association, the event will feature 36 makes of vehicles and the following activities:

• Vehicles from Mott’s Military Museum utilized in military combat situations in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm

• Balloon animal and face-painting artists

• Live animal ambassadors from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

• Dreamers Alley in Luxury Lane featuring exotic cars from Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and others

• Kids Pitstop with a playground, trampoline, basketball court and race track

• By identifying the correct makes and models of the vehicles appearing in the photo scavenger hunt, attendees will be entered with a chance to win a new television

• Creative Mobile Interiors will be displaying a 1972 Chevy C30 Customer Camper rebuilt with a custom appearance

• Classic cars will be on display to portray the evolution of the automobile over the years

Show hours will be:

• Thursday, March 14 – noon to 9 p.m.

• Friday, March 15 – noon to 9 p.m.

• Saturday, March 16 – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Sunday, March 17 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is $12 at the box office and $10 online for attendees age 10 and older. Students with appropriate identification will pay $6 at the box office. Seniors age 65 and older will pay $8. Children age 9 and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

The Columbus International Auto Show Charity Gala on Friday, March 15 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. will benefit local organizations. This year’s beneficiaries are Dreams on Horseback, Pink Ribbon Girls and the Second & Seven Foundation.

“The Columbus Automobile Dealers Association members are always generous in devoting gala proceeds to local organizations to make a significant, positive difference in the community,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “They raised more than $189,000 in 2018 alone.” 

Mar 7, 2019

Teams Qualify For Ohsaa Central District Basketball Tournament District I & Iii Finals March 8-9

(Columbus, March 7, 2019) – Teams have been announced for the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Central District Basketball Tournament Division I and Division III Finals to be held for the first time at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) on March 8-9.

Division III: Friday, March 8:

• 6 p.m. – Grandview Heights (18-6) vs. Johnstown-Monroe (19-4)

• 8:30 p.m. – Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (23-2) vs. Gahanna Columbus Academy (20-4)

Division I: Saturday, March 9:

• 11 a.m. – Thomas Worthington (17-7) vs. Pickerington North (21-4)

• 1:30 p.m. – Pickerington Central (24-1) vs. Reynoldsburg (20-5)

• 5 p.m. – Olentangy Orange (17-7) vs. Newark (19-6)

• 7:30 p.m. – Olentangy Liberty (21-4) vs. Hilliard Davidson (20-5)

The GCCC’s new basketball floor will make its public debut during the tournament.

Admission is $7 per session for all fans.

Parking at the GCCC’s South Garage, Vine Street Garage, Goodale Garage, East Lot and North Lot will be $5 per vehicle. Real-time parking availability is accessible at

Feb 26, 2019

World’s Largest Multi-Sport Festival Returns February 28 Through March 3

(Columbus, February 26, 2019) – The world’s largest multi-sport festival – the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival – returns to the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) and additional local venues from February 28 through March 3 with the biggest festival yet.

Featuring more than 200,000 attendees, plus 22,000 athletes from 80 nations around the world competing in 80 events and 17 Olympic sports, the Arnold Sports Festival showcases more athletes than the summer and winter Olympics combined. It has also expanded to include additional festivals in Australia, Europe, South America and South Africa.

“There is nothing that matches what we do in Columbus in terms of scope. Our advance sales are greater than ever before and we’re offering new events. By far, this is the biggest event we’ve ever had,” said Jim Lorimer, festival co-founder. “Arnold and I believe the greatest benefit of this event is the amount of lives we can affect in the community.”

“There’s a lot of work that goes into this event every year. We always overdeliver,” said event namesake and co-founder Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’m looking forward to coming to Columbus and being part of the experience.”

New events include armlifting, Arnold Education, foosball, futsal, high school weightlifting, Ninja Warrior, speed cubing and the Viking Dash Trail Runs.

A highlight of the festival is the 1,000-booth Arnold Fitness EXPO held in four contiguous exhibit halls comprising 373,000 square feet. The EXPO features live entertainment on multiple stages and hundreds of vendors offering products ranging from nutritional supplements to business services appealing to fitness enthusiasts.

Hours for the Arnold Fitness EXPO will be:

• Friday, March 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Saturday, March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

VIP and Fast Pass Entry will be open one hour earlier each day for an additional charge.

There will be entertainment on the EXPO, Rogue Strength, Concourse and Midway Labs USA Stages.

There are additional venues hosting festival events, including the Ohio Expo Center, home of the popular Arnold Sportsworld Kids and Teens EXPO March 2-3.

Tickets for admission to the Arnold Fitness EXPO are $25. Kids age 14 and under are admitted free with an adult paying admission. Some events have an additional charge.

Tickets can be purchased at the venue and in advance at

“We’re excited to welcome back our marquee event and our partners in the Lorimer Family,” said GCCC General Manager John Page. “The festival fills our expanded convention center, with even more venues hosting activity as additional athletic events are added to the mix each year.”

Feb 8, 2019

9th Annual Columbus Winter Beerfest To Welcome Public To Gcccc This Weekend

(Columbus, February 8, 2019) – Got beer? The 9th Annual Columbus Winter Beerfest at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center will celebrate great craft beer from as close as the brewpub across the street and from around the country on February 8 and 9.

“We moved the event from January to February and we’re up in sales because of it,” explained Craig Johnson of event producer Festivals Unlimited. “We’ve been offering a free pretzel necklace-making station, too. Proceeds from the event will benefit I Have A Dream (IHADRO).”

IHADRO is a local, all-volunteer, non-profit organization of pit bill owners and advocates dedicated to responsible ownership of bully breeds and educating the public about the benefits of caring for these breeds and their ability to be loyal family pets.

Thousands of craft beer fans, hundreds of craft beer options, two evenings and one venue will combine to host the event, which offers day-of-event admission of $55 for regular admission at 8 p.m., $65 for early admission and $90 for connoisseur admission at 7 p.m. both nights.

The event continues to 11:30 p.m. each evening and includes 25 sample tickets and a souvenir acrylic mug. There are eight-ounce samples for early admission and five-ounce samples for regular admission. Designated driver tickets are $20 online/advance only and include $5 vouchers for food at any booth within the event, water and soft drinks. Connoisseur designated driver tickets are $35. Gluten-free selections will also be available.

Tickets are available at

“Attending the Columbus Winter Beerfest at the GCCC has become quite a tradition for craft-beer enthusiasts and is a great way to sample new selections from among more than 100 participating breweries,” said GCCC General Manager John Page.

Jan 18, 2019

Nation’s Largest Served Breakfast Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. To Be Held Monday At Greater Columbus Convention Center

(Columbus, January 18, 2019) – The 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast will be held Monday, January 21 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center with Dr. John B. King. Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Education, delivering the keynote address.

“Our theme this year is ‘The Purpose of Education – intelligence plus character,’ which refers to a theme Martin Luther King Jr. wrote while at Morehouse College,” Bert Castle of the Martin Luther King Breakfast Committee, Inc. said. “We hear a lot about the education gap these days and it will be great to hear John King’s perspective from his role in President Obama’s administration.”

Doors open at 7 Exhibit Hall C with the program beginning at 7:30 a.m. and adjourning at 10. A children’s choir will provide musical entertainment and oratorical contest winners will present their own thought-provoking messages.

No tickets will be sold at the door.

“We are honored that guests ranging from elected officials to young school children are beginning their holiday by gathering together here to celebrate during the nation’s largest event of its type honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” GCCC General Manager John R. Page.

The award-winning 1.8-million-square-foot Greater Columbus Convention Center is owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG. The GCCC offers 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space, three ballrooms with a total of 114,00 square feet and 75 meeting rooms. The facility is the home of the first indoor, vertical, LED-illuminated hydroponic Smartfarm within a convention center and the largest contemporary collection of central Ohio art, including the popular As We Are interactive sculpture.

Aug 21, 2015

Record Attendance Expected For Americans For Prosperity Defending The American Dream Summit

Columbus, OH (August 19, 2015) The Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Defending the American Dream Summit is expected to attract a record crowd of more than 3,500 to the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center on August 21-22.

“This will be the biggest summit in the company’s history. It’s a testament to who we are as a non-partisan political activist group. We have a lot of candidates who are running for president who will be on our main stage,” said Nicole Sutter, director of events for AFP. “We’re thrilled to be in Columbus.”

Regular registration opens Friday morning with the first general session opening at 1:45 p.m. with speakers Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Bobby Jindal, Representative Jim Jordan, Florida State Representative Jose Oliva, Senator David Perdue and Spike TV’s Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue attending. The final general session, to be held Saturday at 2 p.m., will feature Senator Ted Cruz, Predator Warpaint CEO and Founder Nick Norris, Governor Rick Perry, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Brad Wenstrup appearing.

Educational sessions, vendor exhibits and a Buckeye Bash complete the programming. 

The summit is billed as an event “where free-market champions from across the nation come together for an unforgettable weekend with a shared desire to advance spreading opportunity and economic freedom.” AFP specifically supports cutting taxes and government spending, advocating for choice in healthcare and the repeal of ObamaCare, and removing barriers to entrepreneurship and opportunity. There are 35 state chapters.

The group’s “Reform America 2015” legislative agenda is available at

“Ohio is historically known for being an influential state in election outcomes, and we welcome the opportunity to host events providing exposure of some potential presidential nominees to the voting populace,” said Greater Columbus Convention Center General Manager John R. Page. 

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2014. 

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 240 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.

Visit and for more information.
Jennifer B. Davis
Marketing & Communications Manager
Greater Columbus Convention Center
(614) 827-2538

Jul 21, 2014

14,000 Thirty-one Gifts Direct Sales Consultants to Convene July 22-25

Columbus (July 21, 2014)  More than 14,000 Thirty-One Gifts direct sales consultants wearing pink will convene for the “Dream It. Be It!” 2014 conference from July 22-25 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena.

“There are 14,000 women and a handful of men who are very excited to come to this conference,” said Michelle Harris, director of events for Thirty-One Gifts. “We’re in the relationship business and our company is based on 12 core values that we live and believe in. We’ll be all over the city. We’re really excited to be coming to Columbus.”

The event will begin with registration the afternoon of Tuesday, July 22 and conclude with awards dinners on Friday, July 25. Combined with a preceding U.S. assembly in Denver and a Canadian event, this is the largest conference in the company’s history with more than 20,000 total attendees.

Events including Directors’ Day, the conference store, awards dinners and learning sessions will be held at the convention center, with general sessions for the entire assembly being conducted at Nationwide Arena. 

As part of the national sales conference and the company’s commitment to giving back to the community and paying it forward, Thirty-One Gifts is promoting its #Share31 movement, encouraging people to perform random acts of kindness in Columbus and then post them on social media using #Share31. For every related posting shared on social media, Thirty-One Gifts will make a donation to the local Ronald McDonald House, up to $10,000.

Thirty-One Gifts is an international direct sales company offering exclusive, stylish and functional totes, purses, fashion accessories and home organizing products and is based in Columbus. 

The company was founded in 2003 by Cindy Monroe in Chattanooga in the basement of her home with a goal of celebrating, encouraging and rewarding women by helping them discover financial freedom through owning their own business. Monroe created the company based on the principles of the Bible’s Proverbs 31, a tribute to the strengths of women who are hard-working, compassionate, gracious and inspiring to their families and others surrounding them.

Today, Thirty-One Gifts employs more than 1,400 people at its offices and warehouses and includes more than 118,000 independent sales consultants in the United States and Canada. 

“Thirty-One Gifts is the world’s fastest-growing company owned by a woman and 17th largest direct-selling company,” said Greater Columbus Convention Center General Manager John R. Page. “Thirty-One Gifts is based in Columbus, so we are especially proud to be the hometown host of another sales conference for this international company.”

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors and 336 events in 2013. 

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information, visit

Visit and for more information.
Jennifer B. Davis
Marketing & Communications Manager
Greater Columbus Convention Center
(614) 827-2538


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AV System


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