Turf and landscape managers from a variety of locations will convene for the 50th Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF) Conference and Show at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) from December 5-8.
“We’re really excited to be here for the show,” said OTF Director Brian Laurent. “Attendance is looking really good. We’re way ahead of where we were last year and our hotel pick up is the biggest in six years. We’re still one of the largest turfgrass events in the country.”
“This is our third year in collaboration with the OSU Green Industry Short Course,” said John Street, OTF director of education.
Programming begins Monday, December 5 with the OTF Annual Meeting & Founders Club Reception and continues Tuesday, December 6 with a silent auction and High School and College Turf Bowl competition. Beginning at 2 p.m., there will be the presentation of three awards, 12 scholarships and a keynote address by former National Football League running back Earnest Byner, a two-time Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl participant.
In the 1987 AFC Championship Game, Byner was involved in a fumble on the one-yard line, resulting in the Cleveland Browns not advancing to the Super Bowl. His keynote address will delve into that play and how team chemistry, community and attitude assisted him in becoming a better teacher and coach.
Wednesday, December 7 brings the annual meeting of the Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association as a highlight. On Thursday, December 8, activities include Morning with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Commercial Pesticide Applicator License testing.
The trade show will be open Tuesday, December 6 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 7.
“The OTF show attendance has increased significantly since 2013. We are excited to welcome this growing show to celebrate its golden anniversary with us and to share our elevated guest experience with OTF as we expand and renovate for the future,” said GCCC Assistant General Manager Sue Graves.
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.
Visit www.columbusconventions.com and www.smgworld.com for more information.