April 4: Evolving the Columbia SC Voice: Tourism Marketing and Branding for The Real Southern Hot Spot


These are modern times, y’all and Columbia SC is defining Southern for a new era. Find out how the Experience Columbia SC team tells the story of a vibrant city bursting with big ideas, forward thinkers and modern attitudes to drive a rapidly growing tourism industry in our region. Many don’t realize it, but tourism is a 1.9 billion dollar industry for the Columbia region. Our area hosted over 14 million out-of-area visitors last year, and those numbers are on the rise as we host more and more meetings, conventions, sporting events and leisure travelers. Explore how the Columbia SC brand has evolved over the years to reflect a growing Columbia SC.

Guest speaker: Kelly Barbrey, VP of Sales & Marketing for Experience Columbia, SC

Barbrey has worked for Experience Columbia SC (formerly the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism) for 13 years. Prior to her move to Columbia SC the Georgia native worked for the Athens GA Convention & Visitors Bureau for three years. Kelly holds a journalism degree from The University of Georgia and prior to her work in the destination marketing industry was associate editor for a business and lifestyle magazine in her hometown of Atlanta. Kelly and her husband Jonathan have two daughters, ages nine and six.

When: Tuesday, April 4, 2017, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Where: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201.  We will meet in the Carolina Room on the Lower level of the Convention Center.

Parking: Attendees may park in the Convention Center lot (between the Convention Center and Colonial Life Arena) free of charge. If that lot happens to be full, there is a paid parking garage (Park Street Garage) across the street from the Convention Center.

Registration deadline: Noon, Monday, April 3, 2017

Click here to register for this event.

For more information: Please contact IABC/SC VP of Professional Development and Programs – Ginny Jones, 803.217.9501

Upcoming Events:

IABC/SC Announces 2017 Board of Directors

IABC/SC is proud to announce the 2017 Board of Directors. The Board consists of both returning members and new members.

The following were elected:

  • President – Alison Shuman, corporate communications coordinator, Farm Bureau Insurance
  • President Elect – Cynthia South, president, South Company
  • Past-President – Kevin Floyd, director of marketing and communications, Murphy & Grantland, A.
  • Secretary – Bailey Crafton, graphic artist, Nelson Mullins
  • Vice President of Communications – Dickson Monk, executive director, Columbia World Affairs Council
  • Vice President of Finance – Patrick Cobb, director of communications, AARP
  • Vice President of Membership Development and Retention – Michael Ettlemyer, principal, MGE Communications
  • Vice Presidents of Professional Development and Programs – Ginny Jones, senior public affairs specialist, SCANA
  • Member-at-large – Kimberly South, communications specialist, Palmetto Health

The Board also consists of five directors who serve under a vice president. The director roles are designed to help surface potential officers, acquaint them with the inner workings of the chapter and be a senior advocate for the chapter.

The following members are serving as directors:

  • Social Media  Director  –  A.  Sully,  public  affairs  officer,  United  States  Army  Recruiting  Battalion Columbia
  • Lowcountry Outreach Director – Liz Guthridge, managing director, Connect Consulting Group
  • Upstate Outreach Director – Mike Deas, principal, DEAS Abound
  • Monthly Lunches Director – Todd Hudak, senior communications specialist, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

Special Events Director – Lauren Prettyman, media specialist, South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation