Not only is Columbus well known as an open and smart city, it is also full of willing collaborators – the clients of the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC)!
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, a long-time client, had already reserved space in its traditional home, the Battelle Grand Ballroom, for its expo where 18,000 participants will pick up their race packets.
Recognizing the significance of the two events, representatives from the facility, Columbus Marathon and Greater Columbus Sports Commission met and created an alternate plan to effectively produce both the marathon expo and the political party proceedings.
“As a pillar of the Columbus community, we were proud to collaborate with the convention center so that our great city could maximize the opportunity to host multiple high-profile events at once,” said Darris Blackford, race director of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. “Our event creates more than $10 million in economic impact, and also being able to have the President of the United States visit Columbus in the same week is very significant for the city.”
The Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner was held last night. In addition to special guest President Barack Obama, featured speakers scheduled for the program were Congresswoman Mary Kaptur, Congressman Tim Ryan, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, candidate for U.S. Senate and former Governor Ted Strickland, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Taylor Schilling of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon Expo vendors moved in last Friday. The Expo was open in Exhibit Halls E/F from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
“We really appreciate the flexibility of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon in moving to alternate space within the facility to provide us with the opportunity to welcome Democratic leaders to this beautiful space for our annual event,” added Pepper.
“We are thrilled and gratified that our clients were so willing to work together for the benefit of the entire city,” said John R. Page, GCCC general manager. “Thanks to them, this week our facility is welcoming the leader of the free world and candidates running for office, as well as thousands of athletes preparing to run for the benefit of a nationally known children’s hospital. The Columbus Marathon has raised nearly $6 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in just five years.”
The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2015. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.
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.