Greater Columbus Convention Center

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Columbus Convention Logo.JPG
Front entrance to the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is a convention center located in downtown Columbus, Ohio, United States, along the east side of North High Street.

The convention center was designed by Peter Eisenman, constructed in 1993, and expanded in 1999. Property management company SMG oversees day-to-day operations of the 1,700,000-square-foot (160,000 m2) facility, including 410,000 square feet (38,000 m2) of exhibit space, three ballrooms, and 65 meeting rooms.[1]


The facade facing High Street
  • February 1978 - Ohio Center groundbreaking
  • September 10, 1980 - Ohio center Dedication
  • 1989 - Design Competition (won by Peter Eisenman)
  • June 28, 20109 - Greater Columbus Convention Center Groundbreaking
  • March 13, 1993 - Greater Columbus Convention Center Dedication
  • 1993 - Convention center opened to the public
  • 1999 - $81 million, 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) expansion begins
  • February 2, 2001 - Expansion celebration
  • August 7, 2010 - Battelle renovation begins
  • January 18, 2010 - Battelle Grand First Event
  • February 4, 2010 - Battelle Grand Gala
  • October 2012 - Vine Street Garage expansion opened
  • November 2013 - South Garage renovation opened
  • October 20, 2015 - Expansion & Renovation Wall Breaking Ceremony
  • October 27, 2015 - Goodale Garage Topping Out Ceremony

Major Events[edit]

  • On the morning of January 9, 2008 a major water main break was detected, possibly beneath the building. Officials from the Columbus Division of Fire were concerned that part of the building, including the main hall, might collapse due to structural failure. It was soon determined, however, that the building was not in any danger. The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center reopened for business as usual the morning after successfully restoring the north facility to regular conditions in the aftermath of a 16-inchwater-main rupture at Swan and High Streets on January 9, 2008. Water from the break traveled under the building and surfaced within the facility. Once structural engineers inspected the facility and deemed it structurally sound, water removeal and restoration efforts began, which involved 150 people, 600 carpet blowers and 75 water extractors. Damage within the facility was aesthetic in nature, requiring primarily the replacement of carpeting and drywall in some areas. The restoration company received a national award for the work performed, which included challenging indoor concrete pours a the site where crews needed to remove the concrete and dig underground to locate the actual point where the water line brooke.
  • EcoSummit: Held for the first time in the United States, the 4th International EcoSummit, with the theme of Ecological Sustainability: Restoring the Planet’s Ecosystem Services, attracted the world’s most prominent ecologists from 75 countries in 2012.
  • John Deere: Ag & Turf New Product Intro: Attracting four waves of 1,200 of company representatives each, participants watch 28 different company machines be driven across the stage. They then visit the exhibit hall floor to confer with subject matter experts before traveling to the Molly Caren Agriculture Center in nearby London to take Cropmaster and other specialty harvesting equipment for a test drive.
  • NHL All-Star Weekend: The National Hockey League’s 2015 Fan Fair was filled with team mascots, dozens of interactive activities, Stanley Cup photo opportunities and multiple player autograph sessions with NHL heroes. The Fantasy Draft highlighted the player selections for Team Foligno and Team Toews. Affiliated hospitality functions preceded the NHL Skills Competition and NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena—home of the Columbus Blue Jackets—across the street.
  • The 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church: Attracting 10,000 international attendees and featuring the election of the presiding bishop, the review of 250 resolutions by the House of Deputies and 200 bishops attending House of Bishops proceedings, this event occurs every three years.
  • World Summit on Trade Efficiency: The event, sponsored by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the City of Columbus and private-sector businesses, focused on the utilization of information technology to expand international trade.

Annual Expositions[edit]

Interior of the facility
  • Arnold Sports Festival: Founded by namesake Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer, the event held annually during the first weekend in March features more athletes than the Olympics, competitors representing more than 80 countries, the nation’s largest health & fitness expo with 900 booths and more than 200,000 attendees.
  • Columbus International Auto Show: Hundreds of vehicles from dozens of manufacturers fill four contiguous exhibit halls with cars ranging from Fords to Ferraris and the "Ugliest Car in Columbus" to the concept cars of tomorrow.
  • Cultivate – An American Hort Experience: Considered the largest horticulture show in North America, Cultivate offers more than 7 acres of trade show exhibits including technology and new products, services and plant varieties. Thousands of industry professionals from more than 20 countries attend this growing event that is moving up the ranks of the nation’s Top 200 trade shows.
  • Ohayocon: a three-day anime convention held during January/February in Columbus, Ohio at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and Columbus Convention Center. Ohayocon's name is from the similarity between "Ohio", the convention's location, and Ohayou (おはよう), which in the Japanese language means "Good morning".
  • Ohio Model United Nations
  • Ohio Star Ball: Growing from a one-day event to the largest professional/amateur ballroom dancing competition in the world, Ohio Star Ball's glitter and grace includes almost 13,000 entries and filming for America's Ballroom Challenge to be broadcast nationally.
  • Origins Game Fair: Produced by the Columbus-based Game Manufacturers Association, the premier trade association for the hobby games industry, Origins provides more than 11,000 attendees with the chance to learn about new releases from game creators and manufacturers and buy and play games, including live-auction role-playing games and popular collectible card games.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast Celebration: This annual gathering is the largest served breakfast in the nation honoring the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader.
  • Thirty-One Gifts 2014, 2015 Conference: Gathering consultants of the world’s fastest-growing company owned by a woman and the 17th largest direct-selling company, the conference unveiled the company’s new lines of exclusive, stylish and functional totes, purses, fashion accessories and home organizing products. The event has featured two buffet dinners, each accommodating 7,000 consultants at once.

Exhibition Halls[edit]

Dimensions & Specifications[edit]

Hall Name Dimension Area Sq. Ft. Ceiling Height Floor Load Theater Banquet Classroom 10x10 Booths
Battelle Grand 281x177 49,522 33' 150 psf/8,000 single vehicle 4434 2290 2469 219
Battelle Grand Mezzanine 22,550 22' 980 105
Battelle Grand North 160x177 27,922 33' 150 psf/8,000 single vehicle 2480 1440 1131 105
Battelle Grand North Mezzanine 22' 730 73
Batelle Grand South 124x177 21,600 33' 150 psf/8,000 single vehicle 1442 950 684 81
Battelle Grand South Mezzanine 22' 250 32
Battelle A 73'6x86 6,321 33' 150 psf/8,000 single vehicle 588 300 210 -
Battelle B 73'6x86 6,321 33' 150 psf/8,000 single vehicle 588 300 210 -
Batelle C 74x176.75" 15,200 33'
Exhibit Hall C 270x360 98,000 30' Unlimited 6,200 530
Exhibit Hall D 330x360 118,000 30' Unlimited 7,200 630
Exhibit Hall E 235x298 with corridor and 208x298 without corridor 72,000 with corridor and 62,000 without corridor 30' Unlimited 4140 360
Exhibit Hall E&F Combined 506x235 and Corridor to Hall 417x26 118,910 and Corridor to Hall 10,842 30 Unlimited 621
Exhibit Hall F 208x207 with corridor wall closed 50,400 without the corridor wall closed and 45,463 with the corridor wall closed 30' Unlimited 4,860 202


USGS satellite photo of the Greater Columbus Convention Center prior to the 1999-2001 expansion. The expansion occupies the parking lot seen just north of the original building.

The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is strategically located in the center of the country, Columbus, Ohio, a vibrant entertainment district and within a one-hour flight or a day’s drive of the majority of the nation’s population. The 1.7 million-square-foot facility is one of the busiest in North America, the proud recipient of multiple accolades, and has become the venue of choice for clients from across the street and around the world.

Owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, the GCCC embarked on a full-scale exterior and interior renovation in 2015 that will significantly enhance the guest experience upon completion in 2017. As part of the expansion nearly 37,000 square feet of exhibit space and 10,000 square feet of two-level meeting space will be added.

The venue currently offers 410,000 square feet of exhibit space, 65 meeting rooms and 114,000 square feet of ballroom space, including magnificent 74,000-square-foot Battelle Grand, known as the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio, which includes five different configurations, 24,000 square feet on the mezzanine, floor-to-ceiling windows and a signature LED-ceiling lighting system capable of projecting thousands of different color combinations to augment the event décor. The Grand Ballroom measures 25,000 square feet, while the Terrace Ballroom offers 15,000 square feet of space. The four contiguous exhibit halls encompass 336,000 square feet with dozens of loading docks and an exhibitor friendly environment augmenting the move-in experience. Centerplate is the exclusive caterer, with the popular Food Court & Shops being the home of quick-service food establishments, unique shops and exhibitor service providers.

The parking garages and surface lots now feature new ticketing systems to enable faster, smoother transactions, especially upon exiting. The GCCC offers 3,370 parking spaces. Construction of the eight-level Goodale Garage to replace a former 192-space surface lot will offer 800 spaces near the facility’s north entrance and bring onsite parking spaces to more than 4,000 in 2016. The venue is connected by enclosed walkway to the Hyatt Regency, Drury Inn, The Lofts, Crowne Plaza and Hilton hotels. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is just minutes from Port Columbus International Airport and nestled across from the Short North Arts District, home of the monthly Gallery Hop and annual HighBall. Just west of the facility is the Arena District, which includes Nationwide Arena—the host of a variety of internationally known performers and the Columbus Blue Jackets National Hockey League team—as well as an array of restaurants, live music venues and Huntington Park, where the Columbus Clippers Triple A baseball team plays.

The convention center offers free WiFi in meeting rooms and public spaces and a variety of amenities ranging from Scooterbug rentals to SegAway Tours of Columbus and the Columbus Welcome Center and mobile concierge stations staffed by friendly Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) within the building providing a wealth of information regarding the city’s history, attractions and amenities to share with our guests.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center welcomes 2.5 million guests throughout the year.

"Noting that the site of the convention center had formerly been occupied by a train station, Eisenman pointed out that Columbus, in the age of information, was very much on-line with fiber-optic cables, vast highways for flows of information. For Eisenman, the railroad tracks, highways and cables all converged as contemporary symbols to inspire a building composed of long fingers twisting their way back between the truck docks at the back of the site and the front doors along High Street. The rumor also circulated that the design’s inspiration came from a lunch with Philip Johnson, who – twirling a forkfull of linguini – challenged Eisenman to create a noodle building." (Architecture, May 1993)


  1. ^ "Greater Columbus Convention Center Profile". CitySearch. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′18″N 83°00′02″W / 39.97162°N 83.00054°W / 39.97162; -83.00054