SAG prepared feasibility study for a convention center to be located in Columbia, SC. The study included analyzing the local, state and regional markets, evaluating industry trends, completing target market meeting planner surveys, estimating potential demand and utilization, and estimated the potential economic impact of the facility. Interviews with meeting planners indicated interest for a center in Columbia and that a convention hotel would an important success factor. A site had been previously selected that represented a redevelopment opportunity in downtown, but was distant from existing downtown full-service hotels. The study recommended the two-phased development of a convention center and attached headquarter hotel. The phase one recommendation was for a convention center with 74,000 square feet of function space and a new 200 to 300-room convention hotel. Phase two envisioned planning for an exhibit hall expansion up to 80,000 square feet should conditions warrant in the future. The convention center opened in 2005 and the Hilton Columbia opened in 2007.
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Governance and Management Structure
SAG helped the City of Columbia create the governance and management structure for the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. From a governance perspective, the analysis addressed the relationship with other organizations (convention bureau, arena, performing arts center, etc.), governmental oversight structure (city, county, authority, etc.), board powers, and linkages with private stakeholders and funding. Management issues addressed included public versus private management, operating policies and procedures. The analysis also addressed the potential for sharing resources such as physical infrastructure, staff, marketing and other resources with other organizations such as the convention bureau.