(Columbus, June 3, 2020) — Even during a pandemic with only a fraction of the typical Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) workforce present, associates gathered to observe the seventh annual Global Exhibitions Day today.
GCCC staff donned personal protective equipment (PPE) and posed for a lighthearted photo and invited others to share social posts about their favorite GCCC exhibitions or what they enjoy most about the exhibitions industry.
This special day of observance was established to recognize and promote an industry producing thousands of exhibitions annually throughout the United States. Established in 2011, Exhibitions Mean Business was created to unify and give a collective voice to the exhibitions and events industry and increase advocacy for face-to-face meetings to help increase business growth and economic development.
This year, Exhibitions Day has become a virtual day of action with 1,600 industry peers becoming involved with advocacy and learning to better work with federal elected officials to show that exhibitions mean business. Typically, a delegation of about 100 industry colleagues travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators and policy influencers, share success stories, generate awareness, and build relationships in support of the exhibitions industry.
In 2019, $101 billion was contributed by business-to-business (B2B) events to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the value of the goods and services produced in the United States and whose growth rate is the most popular indicator of the nation’s overall economic health. This involved more than 461 million net square feet of exhibition space, 2,000 business-to-consumer (B2C) events, 1.6 million exhibiting companies, 9,400 annual B2B events and 81.3 million attendees for B2B and B2C events annually in the United States.
In Ohio, there were 95 B2B events attracting 1.3 million attendees in 2019.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely altered our event calendar this year,” said Greater Columbus Convention Center General Manager John R. Page. “In a traditional year, the GCCC hosts hundreds of events generating a significant economic impact. One in 12 jobs locally is connected to the hospitality community.”