FEB 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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Page 21 of 59

By Adrianne Bowen ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 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 22 CONVENTION CENTERS Intermingling art, technology and eco-friendly features, the Columbia Metropolitan Conven- tion Center (CMCC), South Carolina's only downtown convention center, leads the way in embracing local culture and Southern hospital- ity, along with the latest advances in meetings space. "First and foremost, the team at CMCC embodies the gracious charm and hospitality the South is known for," said Sarah Britt, director of sales for the center. "Our focus is building relationships with our clients and truly under- standing how we can give you the very best ex- perience for your event. Our facility is home to a number of local artists' works and the public is welcome to come do a self-guided art tour at any time." With a focus on tempting the taste buds, Britt said, the center is "definitely fit for foodies. We customize over 85 percent of our menus to meet your taste and budget, as well as focus on fresh, regionally sourced products. Spectra, our in-house catering service, also has a partnership with local restaurant Blue Mar- lin" to offer a taste of the local cuisine. Emphasizing the importance of incorpo- rating the latest technology, "with newly increased fiber and access points, we're proud to offer fast, free basic Wi-Fi to all attendees, and tech-heavy groups will be happy to know we have all the capability to provide Internet speeds up to one gigabit per second," she said. Beyond the latest tech features, the center is dedicated to being a leader in convention center green solutions. "At CMCC, we strive to provide an experience of luxury for our clients in a way that reduces waste and limits energy consumption," Britt said. "We implement sustainable initiatives through a Sustainability Committee to help guide the center's green ef- forts from all sides, as well as help our clients organize more eco-friendly events and meet- ings. We integrate sustainability into our core business practices by way of energy efficiency, waste management, recycling, purchasing, food preparation and individual behaviors." Continuing its enhancements, "upgrades to CMCC currently in progress include an upgraded executive boardroom and additional conference space with state-of-the-art tech- nology. To be completed by April 2018, these upgrades will bring the total number of avail- able breakout rooms up to 18," she said, adding that attendees will love being close to all of the city's attractions. "The convention center spans 142,500 square feet of space in the middle of an exciting urban scene that includes open-air cafes, deluxe accommodations, live music and action-packed sports venues." Conferences never before held in Columbia are flocking to the destination and the center's appeal is a major factor, according to Britt. The 2018 Fire Rescue Conference will be held in Columbia this year. "This is our first time hosting this conference in Columbia. They relocated it from Myrtle Beach because of Co- lumbia's central location in the state, as well as the convention center's location downtown. This provides attendees the opportunity to have everything within walking distance. They will be using our building as well as the parking lot, nearby Colonial Life Arena, surrounding streets and offsite locations for exhibits, trainings, sessions, competitions, and displays. The event is expected to have about 3,000 attendees using 1,000 hotel room nights." n Blending Art, Technology & Ecology Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, South Carolina

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