Columbia, South Carolina has propelled meetings and events to the forefront of its efforts to keep live events going while protecting the health of the city's guests. In addition to partnering with government, health and safety professionals, the Experience Columbia SC team is also at the ready to partner with meetings and event industry colleagues to produce safe and beneficial live, hybrid or all-virtual events. Take a visual tour of Columbia and hear industry professionals describe their dedication to delivering top-notch gatherings despite current challenges and read on for a snapshot of the exciting opportunities Columbia can offer event groups.
Southern Hospitality in the Great Outdoors
Columbia is primed for al fresco events and experiences that revive, inspire and exhilarate attendees. Citywide, many hotels are incorporating their pool and outdoor areas into creative event spaces, while restaurants are taking advantage of the mild South Carolina climate to serve up delicious cuisine on their spacious patios.
Top 10 Reasons Why Columbia is Your Top Meeting Destination
Planners should reference this Top 10 list for concise and convincing reasons on why to choose Columbia for your next important event. Hint: affordability, accessibility, hospitality partners, nightlife — the impressive list goes on and on. See for yourself here
For an even more natural experience, groups can get into the great outdoors within several national and state parks and forests that surround the city. Add an impressive team-building event to the agenda in Congaree National Park, a 26,000-acre national park; compete in fishing tournaments at the renowned 348-acre Dreher Island State Park; and hike or bike to the retreat center in Sesquicentennial State Park to share ideas in your temporary "corporate headquarters."
Groups visiting Columbia for business can enjoy some downtime with a never-ending roster of live music events, festivals and sporting events. Every season offers new opportunities to enjoy the latest happenings and discover a new favorite entertainer. Columbia is the heart of South Carolina, so it's no wonder groups often want to come back for more.
Indoor Meeting Facilities for Every Event
Columbia SC has perfected the practice of safe indoor meetings. Myriad facilities of all shapes and sizes await groups, including the city's anchor 142,500-square-foot Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Independent purpose-built event spaces, hotel meeting and ballrooms and unique venues also populate the city's event scene. Experience Columbia SC's facility search can help planners explore their event space selections.
The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center is a modern, architecturally significant complex that is situated in the middle of an exciting urban scene yet still only minutes away from a major airport and interstates. The center is an impressive meeting/exhibit facility that boasts a 16,704-square-foot ballroom, 15,145 square feet of meeting space and a 23,700-square-foot exhibit hall. The convention center has played host to some of the hottest special events in the Southeast.
Of note to planners and attendees is the attention paid to health safety protocols at the convention center (hear the details in the video above). Specific details on CDC regulations being implemented regionwide are listed on the Experience Columbia SC website.
Accommodations at Your Fingertips
Being the perfect host comes easy to Columbia's hospitality industry, so in addition to servicing group needs to the highest standard, the region's hotels are working hard to ensure guests stay healthy with up-to-date safety guidelines.
Columbia offers nearly 12,000 hotel rooms throughout the region, 2,000 of which are located within one mile of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. From stylish bed and breakfast inns to full-service hotels, groups will rest easy—and comfortably—during their stay. Planners can select accommodations with brand-name appeal or partner with independent properties by exploring Experience Columbia SC's hotel listings guide to find the ideal lodging for specific spacing and budget needs and the online reservation system to start a booking.
Citywide Activities & Dining
Arts & culture. Sporting events. Shopping. Spa treatments. Outdoor recreation. It's easy to include a variety of activities within an event agenda, especially among the city's plentiful family-friendly attractions such as Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture children's museum and the Historic Columbia properties. Enjoy a citywide virtual tour to start plotting your visit.
To fuel attendees partaking in these activities, Columbia's diverse dining scene ranges from casual Southern comfort food and breweries to multicultural cuisine and gourmet dining. Know that at every establishment, it's service with a gracious southern smile.
To entertain attendees after dark, Columbia offers a wide variety of entertainment options, including a thriving live music scene. Concerts, comedy clubs, game halls, outdoor movies and more allow for post-meeting stress relief and fun networking opportunities.
Your Partner in Planning
Experience Columbia SC is ready to host a variety of events ranging from corporate gatherings and incentive experiences to sporting events and family reunions. Set your sights on real meetings and experiences again, and as well as the possibilities that await you when you plan a meeting in the capital city.
Learn how Experience Columbia SC can partner with planning events, and access the Columbia SC Meeting Planner Guide for extensive destination details.