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main photo: Brad Feinknopf
Conventional Wisdom
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, OH, the Greater Columbus Convention Center sits atop the city's Union Station train depot. A dramatic two-story glass atrium marks the north and south entrances to the venue, which wrapped up a $140 million makeover in 2017 that added 47,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space. The GCCC now boasts a total of 1.8 million square feet, four exhibit halls with 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, three ballrooms, and 75 meeting rooms. With the vibrant Short North Arts District and Arena District just across the street, the convention center is a desirable destination for exhibitors and art aficionados alike.


WHERE TO SLEEP
With more than 2,200 hotel rooms connected or adjacent to the GCCC, there's no shortage of nearby pillows. Popular business-class accommodations include the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the LEED Gold-certified Hilton Columbus Downtown, both of which feature skyways leading to the convention center.

WHAT TO EAT
The GCCC's Discovery Cafe and South Cafe & Marketplace are good for quick meals and grab-and-go snacks. If you're looking to treat VIP clients to a memorable dinner, then check out the nearby Martini Modern Italian restaurant, which can accommodate groups of up to 60 in its elegantly appointed private dining room.

HOW TO GET THERE
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (www.cota.com) provides direct bus service every 30 minutes between the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and downtown hotels for only $2.75 each direction. A 15-minute taxi ride to downtown destinations will run about $25. Uber and Lyft rates begin at approximately $17 and $15, respectively.


The facility is the exclusive provider of telephone, internet, food and beverage, booth cleaning, electrical, plumbing, and rigging services.

All forklifts and other material-handling devices must be operated by a worker licensed by a program or agency approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

No cut trees or other similar decorations are allowed in displays. Live trees and bushes must be whole and adequately watered.

Free Wi-Fi suitable for checking email and browsing websites is available in public spaces and meeting rooms. Complimentary Wi-Fi is not available in the exhibit halls.

Five separate on-site parking areas contain more than 4,000 spaces. Another 650-space parking garage is under construction.

Moving freight through the facility's lobbies is limited to hand-carried items. Dollies, flatbeds, and mechanical movers are prohibited.

The venue is a right-to-work building. Exhibit staffers can load, unload, and/or assemble equipment and booth properties.

Use of water-based haze and fog machines must be approved by the event manager and is subject to fire department guidelines.

Offering tips, gratuities, and similar payments to venue staff and building partners is strictly prohibited.
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