ConventionSouth

NOV 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 60 S O U T H C A R O L I N A • The McCelvey Center (York): historic 560- seat theater • The Palmetto Room at Historic Old Town (Rock Hill): can accommodate 300 seated, up to 450 theater-style Columbia South Carolina's capital city is conveniently located in the center of the state where the I-77, I-20 and I-26 intersect. Columbia Metropolitan Airport offers more than 35 non-stop flights to nine major airports. Major news for Columbia includes the com- pletion in May of the upgrades to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The center's floating glass conference room has nearly quadru- pled in size and can be divided into two spaces, while a second room has been added, resulting in up to four new small meeting rooms, all equipped with built-in A/V. Also, the Spires Board Room was remodeled and the technology upgraded. Two 80-inch flat screen monitors, a touchscreen smartboard, state-of-the art A/V conferencing capabilities and a custom-designed 20-seat con- ference table are now available. The impressive Hotel Trundle also opened spring of this year, Columbia's first downtown, all-local boutique hotel property. The upscale property has 41 rooms, all unique. The property is spread among three historic downtown buildings and much of its décor, furniture and food offer- ings are from local purveyors. Plans for Hotel Trundle call for a number of special experiential packages to be developed, offering cooking classes, a culinary tour, brewery tour, a Columbia Museum of Art outing and more. A new event venue is set to open January 2019. Central Energy will offer 6,200 square feet of event space, a kitchen, exclusive catering service and a state-of-the-art sound system. As for downtime and team-building opportu- nities, Columbia offers great outdoor recreation, including Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Congaree National Park, kayaking on the Congaree River and more. Another Columbia asset is the flagship campus of the University of South Carolina, which offers big-time college sports and additional meeting and event possibilities. USC offers many auditoriums on its campus, able to accom- modate from 75 to 400 people at a time; more than 200 classrooms usable as breakout spaces; a wide variety of conference and board rooms; luxury meeting rooms and rooftop reception areas at the Darla Moore School of Business and larger venues, as listed in the venues to follow. Columbia Venues • Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center: 142,500-square-foot facility; more than 56,000 square feet of meeting space; 16,700-square-foot ballroom; 19 meeting rooms • Columbia Marriott Hotel: 26,000 square feet of meeting space; 16 meeting rooms; 285 guest rooms • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center: 21,000 square feet of meeting space; 12 meeting rooms; largest ballroom in Co- lumbia; 150 guest rooms • University of South Carolina: Russell House Student Union, 600-seat ballroom; 300-seat ballroom; multiple meeting rooms; Carolina Coliseum, 30,000-square-foot-concourse; Colonial Life Arena, 17,000-square-foot floor space; Williams-Brice Stadium, 11,000-square-foot banquet space; Koger Center for the Arts, 2,254 seats; Drayton Hall Theatre, 404 seats; Longstreet Theatre, 312 seats • Inn at USC Wyndham Garden Columbia: 3,000 square feet of meeting space; 116 guest rooms • Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia Grey- stone: 15,000 square feet of meeting space; 16 meeting rooms; 218 guest suites; adjacent to Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Florence Florence is on a roll. The modestly-sized city in northeast South Carolina has a surprisingly large civic center, offering 75,000 square feet of variable meeting space that's fresh off a $16 million expansion and makeover and more than 300 hotel rooms scheduled to open before the end of the year. Additionally, Museum of the Moon, a remarkable work of art featuring a huge 23-foot diameter inflated and lit moon with detailed NASA imagery on its surface is coming to Florence from late April through early May 2019. Visit my-moon.org for more information. As for the civic center, newly branded as Florence Center, the expansion added 37,000 square feet of meeting/event and pre-function space, as well as a 5,000-square-foot state-of- the-art catering kitchen. The SMG-managed facility has a grand ballroom, junior ballroom, nine meeting rooms and a 10,000-seat arena, with more than 1,700 adjacent hotel rooms – all in Florence's hospitality district at the intersection of I-95 and I-20. Hotel rooms are coming along with the city's Villa Tronco Restaurant in Columbia

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