Columbus Tourism & Conventions / Experience Columbus - News & Updates
August 24, 2012 1:34 pm at 1:34 pm #404739
Columbus—it was fine
Posted on August 23, 2012
by Melissa Dilley
It’s probably fair to say that many of Columbus’s “tourists” come around this week each year. Ohio State students getting help on moving day no doubt look forward to showing off the Shoe, the Thurmanator burger made famous on Man vs. Food, shops in the Short North or, better yet, the shopaholic’s dream that is Easton. Those who work at Experience Columbus dream of the day when our fair city becomes a travel agent’s darling, but in the meantime, they’ll take what they can get.
READ MORE: http://www.theotherpaper.com/news/article_b68662f6-ed66-11e1-8eb5-0019bb2963f4.htmlAugust 24, 2012 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #404740
Columbus—it was fine
Posted on August 23, 2012
Excitement to bewilderment might describe my feelings when I found out the destination was Columbus, Ohio. In my former career as a national accounts manager, I had visited just about every city in America, including Dayton, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Columbus was never on my radar, but that has changed.
When I visit a city, I look for two things right way. Food and architecture. I first ventured into Goodale Park in Victorian Village, near our hotel and was captivated by unusual period architecture with tile roofs. This house had a matching carriage house and a lot of history in a neighborhood that has enjoyed a comeback. My eye traveled from Spanish tile roof tops to handsomely laid historic brick. I quickly noticed a sophisticated sense of aesthetics and style in what I had wrongly considered a middle American city with a lack of personality.
By the time my trip was finished, I dubbed Columbus as the darling of the Midwest.August 24, 2012 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #404741
Why You Should Eat, Drink, and Get Merry in Columbus, Ohio
by angela on August 23, 2012
Are you like I was, wondering why you should eat, drink and get merry in Columbus, Ohio?
Excitement to bewilderment might describe my feelings when I found out the destination was Columbus, Ohio. In my former career as a national accounts manager, I had visited just about every city in America, including Dayton, Cincinnati and Cleveland. Columbus was never on my radar, but that has changed.August 28, 2012 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #404742
Experience Columbus CEO stepping down
Business First by Brian R. Ball, Staff reporter
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Columbus Business First has learned Paul Astleford plans to step down as CEO of Experience Columbus in December.
READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/08/experience-columbus-ceo-stepping-down.htmlAugust 29, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am #404743
Paul Astleford to Retire as CEO of Experience Columbus
Published on August 28, 2012 8:30 pm
Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Experience Columbus announced his retirement earlier today, which will take effect on December 31, 2012. Astleford has served as the leader of the Columbus convention and visitors bureau for the past 13 years.
READ MORE: https://www.columbusunderground.com/paul-astleford-to-retire-as-ceo-of-experience-columbusSeptember 5, 2012 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #404744
Experience Columbus Launches First of its Kind Experience-Dedicated Destination Program
COLUMBUS, OH (August 31, 2012) – Experience Columbus has embarked on a new venture to improve the visitor experience in Greater Columbus. Partnering with The Experience Institute, Columbus will become one of five beta cities to participate in the Institute’s newly developed Experience-Dedicated Destination program.
The Experience-Dedicated Destination program is designed to improve the visitor experience in an effort to make the destination more appealing to potential and existing visitors. Destinations enrolled in the program are making commitments toward:
1. Agreeing it’s everyone’s job to shape the destination “product” and overall visitor satisfaction
when compared to other destinations
2. Fostering a destination-wide culture of quality service and a welcoming citizenry
3. Supporting a destination-wide plan/system/process that fuels visitation, ongoing visitor data, brand/marketing intelligence, enhanced spending and repeat visits
The program takes a two-pronged approach to improving the visitor experience in Greater Columbus:
1. Visitor Care Teams, led by top-level leaders in their respective industry sectors including:
· Local Government/Civic Organizations
These teams will identify and address issues on a strategic level that impact a visitor’s experience on a strategic level. The Visitor Care Teams also encourage local government and industry partners to adopt a similar destination strategy in branding the local experience.
2. The Certified Tourism Ambassador™ nationally recognized certification program works directly with front-line staff to improve their visitor interaction skills, their “product” knowledge of the city and region, and their knowledge of the branding of the Columbus region. It also aligns community stakeholders around working together to enhance the visitor experience.
To ensure the success of the Experience-Dedicated Destination program, Experience Columbus has hired Robbie Banks to serve as Senior Visitor Experience Manager, a new position created to oversee both the Experience-Dedicated Destination and Certified Tourism Ambassador™ programs.
Banks, who assumes her role on September 4, comes to Experience Columbus from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce where she served as the Manager, Young Professionals since 2007. Prior to that Banks worked for the City of Columbus as an executive assistant to the Director of Technology/Chief Information Officer and before that as an assistant to Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s Office.
“We are very excited to have Robbie come on board and take over this newly created position at such a pivotal time for our organization and community,” said Kari Kauffman, Director of Tourism for Experience Columbus. “Robbie brings a proven ability to build relationships and manage civic programs. Both skill sets will serve us well as we look to certify a large number of tourism ambassadors in advance of the upcoming NHL All-Star Weekend and President’s Cup in 2013.”
As the Senior Visitor Experience Manager, Banks will manage the roll-out and continuing operation of the Experience-Dedicated Destination program. Her duties will include:
• Implementing and marketing the Certified Tourism Ambassador™ program to certify a high-volume of front-line staff within the community.
• Building and maintaining relationships within each sector through contacts with industry partners and local government.
• Coordinating the implementation of suggestions made by the Visitor Care Team and industry sectors and audit the success of actions taken.
• Promoting and implementing aggregate data collection necessary to measure the success of Columbus as an Experience-Dedicated Destination and identifying areas in need of improvement in the visitor experience.December 8, 2012 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #404745
Paul Astleford Discusses Hotels, Conventions and the Columbus Brand
Published on December 7, 2012 4:00 pm
Back in August, Paul Astleford announced that he would be retiring from his post as President and CEO of Experience Columbus, our city’s convention and visitor’s bureau. After thirteen years at the helm of the organization, Astleford has seen a lot of change in the culture of Columbus and how perceptions of Columbus have changed both internally and externally.
We sat down yesterday with Astleford to discuss some of those changes as well as what the future holds for the ongoing expansion of the Columbus Convention Center facilities and the growth of Columbus as a whole.
READ MORE: https://www.columbusunderground.com/paul-astleford-discusses-the-future-of-hotels-conventions-and-the-columbus-brandJanuary 15, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am #404746
Brian Ross next in line as Experience Columbus CEO
Jan 14, 2013, 11:16am EST
Brian R. Ball
The vice president of sales at Experience Columbus has been tapped to take the helm of the regional promoter of tourism and conventions this week, succeeding former CEO Paul Astleford.
READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2013/01/14/brian-ross-next-in-line-as-experience.htmlFebruary 4, 2013 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #404747
Jeni’s ice cream, Middle West liquor, Rockmill beer getting New York showcase
Feb 4, 2013, 12:19pm EST
Staff reporter-Business First
Twenty food writers are getting together for dinner in New York City Monday night, but the table talk will be all about Columbus. Experience Columbus is pitching the virtues of Central Ohio’s food scene to the exclusive group, who otherwise might not think of Columbus as a destination, with the help of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Middle West Spirits LLC and Rockmill Brewery.
READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2013/02/jenis-ice-cream-middle-west-liquor.htmlMarch 8, 2013 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #404748
Experience Columbus sets lofty goals for increased funding
Mar 5, 2013, 2:53pm EST
Staff reporter-Business First
Experience Columbus will have a lot more cash to spend over the next two years as the result of changes to the hotel bed tax approved by Columbus City Council on Monday night.
READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2013/03/05/experience-columbus-sets-lofty-goals.htmlMay 30, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #404749
Columbus to Host Girl Scouts of the USA Convention in 2017
COLUMBUS, OH (May 30, 2013) – The National Board of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) in May announced that they have selected Columbus, Ohio to host their 2017 National Council Session/54th Convention. The event, which will take place October 12-15, 2017, will convene at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, with attendees expected to patronize several downtown hotels, generating 10,000 room nights and more than $14 million in visitor spending.
2017 will mark the first time the group will convene its triennial National Council Session in Columbus. “Girl Scouts of the USA is thrilled to bring our 2017 convention to Columbus,” said Anna Maria Chávez, National CEO of GSUSA. “Columbus is a recognized ‘city on the move,’ a place where our Movement is growing strong, and helping to develop the female leaders our world so desperately needs. Situated in the very heartland of our nation, Columbus is fast becoming one of America’s most innovative and vibrant cities; a place that is emblematic of the rich cultural diversity and unique energy that is driving our Movement into our second century.”
The convention is expected to attract between 8,000-10,000 attendees comprising leaders representing the 112 Girl Scout councils located throughout the country, the organization’s National Board of Directors, and volunteers.
“We are proud to have been chosen by Girl Scouts of the USA to host their 2017 convention. Their rich heritage and legacy impacting the lives of youth is to be admired,” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “We look forward to showing off downtown and the rest of our city to all the attendees in 2017.”May 30, 2013 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #404750
New CEO Brian Ross Talks about the Future of Experience Columbus
Published on May 17, 2013 5:20 pm
There’s a new face at the helm of Experience Columbus, but it’s also a familiar face. Brian Ross was promoted to the position of President and CEO from within the organization back in January, and has spent the past four months getting acclimated to the job and to the community.
We had a chance to catch up recently with Brian to find out his thoughts on the future of the tourism industry of Columbus, how many more hotel rooms we need to build, and how the connectivity of neighborhoods plays an important role in all of it.
Read on for our full interview: https://www.columbusunderground.com/new-experience-columbus-ceo-brian-ross-sees-much-potential-for-the-growth-of-columbus-tourismJune 14, 2013 3:31 am at 3:31 am #404751
Experience Columbus Expands D.C. Sales Team
COLUMBUS, OH (June 13, 2013) – Experience Columbus is pleased to announce that Artrice Smith has been named Director of Regional Sales for the Washington D.C. bureau, where she will oversee outreach to national associations in the nation’s capital and outlying area. A second regional sales director will be added to the office later this year.
The office expansion comes as a result of Experience Columbus’ planned growth presence in the D.C. market and the need for a stronger local presence. With the highest concentration of association headquarters in the country, the D.C. office will cultivate new relationships with the local business community to sell Columbus as a convention and meeting destination to associations.
“D.C is an extremely important market for us. Since opening our office in 2009, we’ve seen great success in positioning Columbus top of mind with meeting planners serving the national association market,” said Joe Bocherer, Experience Columbus vice president of sales. “With the recent expansion of our convention package, now is the right time to grow our presence in the D.C. market. We look forward to leveraging Atrice’s experience in the industry to bolster Columbus’ reputation as a meeting destination of choice.”
Smith comes to Experience Columbus with more than five years of hospitality and tourism experience, most recently serving as sales manager for the Hamilton Crowne Plaza. Previously, she worked as a sales manager in the Washington, D.C. offices of San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.November 6, 2013 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #404752
Columbus Becomes Fastest Destination in America to Certify 1,000 Tourism Ambassadors
COLUMBUS, OH (Nov. 6, 2013) – Since officially launching the Greater Columbus Tourism Ambassador Program in January 2013, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission have successfully trained and certified more than 1,000 Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) in only 11 months, making Columbus the fastest destination out of 18 nationwide to reach the milestone.
In a surprise reception held at Experience Columbus’ offices on Nov. 6, 2013, Greater Columbus Arts Council President and CEO Tom Katzenmeyer was recognized as the 1,000 CTA. Tom successfully completed his certification in a class offered on October 29 becoming the 1,000th resident to earn the certification since January.
“This is an excellent program for the City of Columbus,” said Katzenmeyer.”The training was fun, informative and engaging. Our entire staff participated and we all came away knowing our city much better. We’re grateful to Experience Columbus for their exceptional efforts to make tourists and residents alike feel welcomed.”
The Certified Tourism Ambassador™ (CTA) Program is a national certification and a respected professional achievement. The program is aimed at empowering and equipping locals to be ambassadors for the Columbus experience visitors receive. Through the program, frontline employees, ambassadors and volunteers can improve their knowledge of the region, craft answers to frequently asked visitor questions, interact with peers, share best practices and develop a better understanding of their role in increasing tourism.
“Many cities only give ‘lip service’ to the visitor experience, while Greater Columbus ‘lives it,” said Mickey Schaefer, CEO/Founder of The Experience Institute and President, Tourism Ambassador Institute, the developer of the CTA Program. “Through Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s leadership with the CTA program, you’ve definitely raised the bar for other CTA Cities to follow.”
“The Greater Columbus Tourism Ambassador Program engages our entire community and fosters a culture of quality service and welcoming citizenry,” said Robbie Banks, CTA, Senior Visitor Experience Manager for Experience Columbus. “Along with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, we are proud to offer the program as a point of differentiation for Columbus in the national spotlight as a meeting, convention and leisure destination.”April 23, 2014 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #1010349
International Library Association Selects Columbus for 2016 Convention
COLUMBUS, OH (April 23, 2014) – The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has notified Columbus that it has been selected as the site for its 2016 World Library and Information Congress.
The international flagship professional and trade event for the library and information services sector will be held Aug. 11-18, 2016 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. More than 4,000 attendees from 120 countries are expected to fill more than 11,000 hotel room nights and generate an estimated $11 million in economic impact.
Headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.
“This huge win for Columbus is the result of a community-wide collaboration.” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “This clearly illustrates the importance of our Make It Columbus initiative, through which local companies and organizations work with us to bring meetings and conventions to Columbus.
“Columbus Metropolitan Library is thrilled that IFLA has chosen Columbus to be the site of its 2016 IFLA World Congress,” said Patrick Losinski, chief executive officer of Columbus Metropolitan Library. “It gives our region great pride to have colleagues from around the globe come to our city and visit our award-winning libraries.”
“We are delighted to host IFLA in 2016. Columbus, in particular, is a diverse, innovative and progressive library environment that we want to share with librarians from inside and outside the United States” said Carol Pitts Diedrichs, vice provost and director of university libraries at The Ohio State University.
“Being based in the Columbus Metro Area, we are delighted that IFLA has selected Columbus to host the 2016 World Library and Information Congress,” said Skip Prichard, OCLC president and CEO. “OCLC and IFLA have a long history of collaboration and partnership in support of innovation in libraries and librarianship. We know that Columbus will offer an unforgettable experience.”
The local library community and Experience Columbus will be working with the U.S. National Organizing Committee to host the 2016 IFLA World Congress. The U.S. National Organizing Committee is made up of the American Library Association, the Medical Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and other U.S.-based library organizations.
The IFLA World Library and Information Congress is held annually in varying parts of the globe. The Congress will be held in Lyon, France in 2014 and in Cape Town, South Africa in 2015.
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