Make It Columbus

Why are conventions, meetings and events important to the Columbus economy?

Columbus visitors spend $6.4 billion in the local economy, supporting an overall economic impact of $9.7 billion. The hospitality industry supports nearly 75,000 jobs in Franklin County. As seen in peer cities, when local businesses and organizations intentionally host meetings, events and training in their own backyard, the benefits are numerous:

Economic activity, jobs, new tax revenues, deeper community connections, and community pride

How can you help?

Think about your organization. Do you have regional or national meetings? A youth sporting event? Maybe corporate training? Do you belong to a professional association with meetings? There’s no reason any of these events can’t take place in Columbus. And plenty of reasons they can! Let us help you with our free services. We’ll do all of the heavy lifting.

How To Make It Columbus

All you need to do is provide information on a group that can consider coming to Columbus. Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission will do the heavy lifting. We'll conduct the necessary research to find out if Columbus can meet - and exceed - the group's needs. Many times, all we need from you is a letter or phone call expressing your support.

Once the group has selected Columbus, we'll ensure the event's success with a variety of free services for meetings and free services for sporting events.

*required field

Success Stories


Association of Zoos and Aquariums: 2020 Annual Conference
Tom Stalf, president and CEO, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

It’s an honor for the Columbus Zoo and the City of Columbus to be chosen to host this prestigious national conference for the third time. We look forward to showing our colleagues what’s new at the Zoo thanks to the generous support of our community.


2018 National Urban League Conference
Stephanie Hightower, president and chief executive officer, Columbus Urban League

We are honored to have been selected for the 2018 national conference. What we already know of Columbus, the nation will soon experience in the goodwill, good work of good hearts of our city. Alongside Nationwide, Experience Columbus and our Mayor, we put our best foot forward to showcase all the Columbus has to offer. Now, the preparation for 2018 as a community of corporations, businesses and partners in the mission of living empowered and a world class conference host begins.


Girl Scouts of the USA: 2017 National Council Session/54th Convention
Tammy Wharton, CEO, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council

We’re pleased to be the host of our 2017 convention. Columbus is a recognized ‘city on the move,’ a place where our Movement is growing strong and a city that is emblematic of the rich cultural diversity and unique energy that is driving Girl Scouts into our second century.


USA Track & Field’s 2017 & 2018 Annual Meeting
Stephanie Hightower, President, USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USA Track & Field holds a unique place in American culture: we stand as the premium brand in our category. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the World’s #1 Track & Field Team, the #1 high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

The Greater Columbus Sports Commission did a tremendous job with their bids in a very competitive process and USATF is excited to once again partner with them for another great set of events in Ohio’s capital city. With the 2016 and 2017 USA Half Marathon Championships and 2017 and 2018 Annual Meetings, we look forward to showcasing the best our sport has to offer in competition and through our world-class convention.


2017 USA Track & Field Half Marathon Championships
David Babner, Race Director of the Capital City Half Marathon and Founder of M3S Sports

The Capital City Half Marathon has become one of the Midwest’s largest half marathon’s with an estimated 14,000 runners and walkers. The awarding of the USA Half Marathon National Championships within Cap City in 2017 will continue to raise the profile of the race and allow us to continue to grow into a national event. The national championships will bring a higher prestige to Columbus and put the city on par with other top running destinations in the country. The 2017 USA Half Marathon Championships also will serve as the national qualifier for the IAAF Half Marathon World Championships. We look forward to welcoming the nation’s best distance runners to Columbus again in 2017 and staging the USA Half Marathon Championships within a half marathon. We thank the Greater Columbus Sports Commissions for their leading role in Columbus landing this prestigious event. Our bid would not have been successful without the Sports Commission’s expertise and guidance in building programs and delivering the message that these elite athletes will receive an unparalleled experience when competing in Columbus. We look forward to rolling out the red carpet to USA Track & Field athletes, coaches, officials, supporters and fans in 2017.


2017 Annual Conference of the National Association of Counties
Paula Brooks, Franklin County Board of Commissioners

We have a great story to tell here in Franklin County, and we can’t wait to showcase our region’s successful public-private partnerships, our job-creation investments, and our ever-improving quality of life to county leaders from across the nation and vendors from around the world.

Contact us

Angela Hammond, CTA | Director, Convention Sales | Experience Columbus

Jeremy Leifel, CTA | Senior Sales Manager | Greater Columbus Sports Commission

* Both fields required.