With approximately 60 total employees, each team member of Midlands Authority for Conventions Sports & Tourism and Experience Columbia SC has an integral part to play within their specific organization and department in driving economic…
Our marketing team manages and promotes the brand for each entity within our two sister organizations (Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau DBA Experience Columbia SC + the Midlands Authority for Conventions Sports & Tourism which includes Experience Columbia SC Sports and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center). While each entity shares one brand (referenced as the Experience Columbia SC brand), they each have their own logo, website, social media and key messages.
From the earned media, social media and websites to the advertising placements, promotional items and photo and video assets, our marketing team represents the brand that inspires travel to the Columbia region.
Brand Refresh History
In keeping with industry recommendations, coupled with tremendous growth and change to the Columbia region’s tourism offerings and overall vibe, our team engaged in a research and subsequent brand refresh initiative that rolled out in March of 2017. Keeping the best and most relevant components of the previous brand initiative, the brand was condensed to simply Columbia SC, with a tagline update to The Real Southern Hot Spot. The “real” emphasizes the authenticity and grit of the destination, providing layers and depth to the overall experience visitors will encounter.
Experience Columbia SC is the energetic and friendly guide to a region brimming with growth, creativity and the anticipation of what’s next. Our messaging reflects enthusiastic confidence in our position as the heart of SC - a manageable Southern city with a unique mix of traditional and new. Above all, Columbia SC brand messaging piques the interest of its audiences with language that reinforces the destination’s brand essence: Look forward to the unexpected, urban South.
To us, the more promotion of the Columbia region, the better. We've got the content, messaging and visual assets to help anyone be a champion for Columbia. In need of a short, inspiring description of the region for your website? A few sentences to entice a potential new business? Check out our regional talking points which includes an elevator pitch, longer descriptions and specific points that were created in partnership with the Midlands Business Leadership Group (MBLG). For all marketing toolkits, including our cooperative advertising program, co-branding guidelines and media library, click here.
These are modern times, y’all, and Columbia SC is redefining Southern for a new era. Proud home of the State House and USC, Columbia also plays host to the annual Indie Grits Festival and public art that transforms humdrum spaces into unexpected places. Come as you are, and discover all that makes it a real hot spot. We’ll be waiting with a glass of sweet tea, unless of course you’d prefer something barrel-aged or bacon-infused.
With several distinct shopping districts and a recently revitalized downtown, tons of new shops, restaurants and other thriving businesses mix in amidst old favorites like The Nickelodeon, Mast General Store and King’s Jewelers. The best part? Columbia SC grants you front row access to all of this with affordable prices, manageable traffic, lots of parking and walkable districts, too.
Creative, Unexpected Energy
From artists and musicians to web developers and tech luminaries, many who work in creative industries choose to call Columbia SC home. Their innovation and imaginative spirit weave a progressive strand through the region’s otherwise quaint, traditional culture. The Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina’s only non-profit art house cinema, is a treasured gem in the heart of the city that offers a mix of independent films, media education programs and curated series. More than 200 pieces of public art dapple the region bringing surprise and delight to all who discover them.
Hot Spot for All Ages
With a never-ending roster of live music events, festivals and sporting events (Go Gamecocks!), it’s hard to be bored in Columbia SC. You can discover something new for every day of the year with Soda City Market on Saturday mornings, First Thursdays on Main, Indie Grits in April, and the Gervais Street Bridge Dinner in October. Or explore the capital city bite by bite with Columbia Food Tours. In Columbia SC, there are more things to do than there are hours to do them.
Fresh Perspectives, Intellectual Diversity
What do you get when you douse a thriving metropolis with an annual influx of college students and legislators? A vibrant city that’s bursting with big ideas, forward thinkers and modern attitudes. Columbia SC is home to a host of initiatives committed to fostering future-forward economic development and entrepreneurship.
City Meets Nature
Columbia SC lies at the confluence of the Saluda and Broad Rivers which merge right in town to form the Congaree. The region is flush with regional parks and opportunities for outdoor adventures. And with so many trails, gardens and Lake Murray nearby, it doesn’t take long to get from the middle of town to what seems like the middle of nowhere. Escape the bustling city and get lost in your thoughts amidst fresh air, cool waters and old growth hardwood forest in next to no time flat.
Digital Advertising Success
In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, Experience Columbia SC advertising received 20,219,808 impressions leading to 66,729 hotel searches and 9,275 flight searches with an average length of stay of 5.3 nights. The numbers below indicate results from a user seeing an Experience Columbia SC digital ad, and then taking an action like searching for a hotel or flight to the region. This does not capture all hotel and flight searches to the region.
Impactful Advertising Campaigns
Digital Advertising Impressions
Web Visitors Generated from Advertising
Flight Searches Generated from Advertising
Hotel Searches Generated from Advertising
While you can catch Columbia in various publications from earned media (thanks to our media team), we also pay for native content in our advertising campaigns in publications like Garden & Gun, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Local Palate, Southern Living, and several meeting industry publications.