(Columbus, February 7, 2017)  — Music education professionals teaching kindergartners to college students will gather for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) 2018 Professional Development Conference from February 8-10 at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC), Hyatt Regency Columbus and Hilton Columbus Downtown.

“We’re very excited to be here in Columbus.  It is our most popular city for this event for being able to access the city from all points throughout the state,” said Mark Hensler, director of professional development for OMEA. “We’ll have such a mix of educator attendees, student performers and the parents coming to hear them.”

More than 3,000 music educators are registered for the conference, plus accompanying students and parents attending the performance sessions, resulting in this OMEA event being one of the largest state conferences in the country.

Highlights of the conference include the Music Support Group Mini-Conference and band performances, including All-State Concerts. The exhibit hall, including vendors ranging from equipment providers to Funky Winkerbean comic strip creator and illustrator Tom Batiuk, will be open:

  • Thursday, February 8 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, February 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 10 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“This music education conference rotates between Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. We are always pleased to welcome the attendees back to their centrally located conference home at the GCCC as these educators share their love of music by teaching students throughout various stages of their academic careers,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page.

“My parents are both former OMEA members, so this event is near and dear to my heart,” added GCCC Senior Event Manager Mark Jeckavitch, who is working closely with OMEA in executing the conference’s details.

OMEA is affiliated with the National Association for Music Education.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center is located in downtown Columbus and owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and managed by SMG. The $140 million expansion and renovation of the facility was completed in July 2017 and resulted in the 1.8 million-square-foot facility encompassing 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit hall space, 75 meeting rooms, 114,000 square feet of total ballroom space among three ballrooms, the first indoor hydroponic Smartfarm within a convention center and the largest contemporary collection of central Ohio art.

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.

Visit www.columbusconventions.com and www.smgworld.com for more information.



  • The GCCC venue itself is a cashless facility. This includes all GCCC operated concessions and all in-lane GCCC parking transactions. However, within the GCCC, there are individual contracted vendors and outlets who, at their discretion, may accept cash.