There are few events that come with more pomp and circumstance or more tradition than a military ball. So, when the Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Jackson asked the CMCC to host the local Fort Jackson celebration for the US Army's birthday, we were thrilled.
Five years later, we're still hosting and helping to plan their annual event that brings in 700 - 800 attendees—not to mention several smaller military events throughout the year.
A Space for Everything
When you're hosting such a large event, you typically need a few distinct spaces throughout the evening, and the Army was no exception.
A place for a reception
Before dinner, there's typically a reception at an Army ball, which includes a receiving line.
The Army needed a space that would allow the General, other VIPs, and their families to line up and shake hands with each of the soldiers and their dates as they walked through. By setting up the reception in the Exhibit Hall's pre-function space, this allowed for a nice flow into the Carolina Room for the receiving line.
A large event space
The Army also needed a space to accommodate 800 of its guests for a sit-down dinner—complete with mingling and after-dinner dancing.
Our 23,700 square foot Exhibit Hall was the perfect venue. The hall had enough space to accommodate several speakers, as well as a visual display that shared the history of the US Army—covering every single war all the way back to the start of the American Revolution.
A/V equipped areas
We were also able to provide A/V to support the formal toasts, the 282nd Army Rock Band, and the DJ who all spoke or performed in the main event space throughout the night.
When a civilian organization hosts an annual event, there's typically a point person who works on the event year after year. But in the military, the person who was in charge of the event last year might be deployed or stationed elsewhere this year.
In our first year working on the Ball, our point of contact hadn't planned an event of this scale before, so our event planners were able to walk them through the process of choosing the right rooms and developing a custom menu to execute an event that everyone enjoyed.
Today, our event planners are able to offer their extensive experience working with the Army to any military group wishing to host their event at the Convention Center.
Keeping with the patriotic theme, our staff was able to pull the red, white, and blue colors through in the table settings, light displays, and other decorations.
The Convention Center offers the Army the best of both worlds—a formal reception with all the respect for tradition and beautiful decor you would expect from a military ball, right next to one of Columbia's most popular entertainment districts.
After the event, it's just a short walk down to the bars and restaurants for some after-hours frivolity. If any of the guests choose to spend the night in the city, they have plenty of hotel options ranging from small boutique hotels to national brands. And in the morning, they can explore some more of Columbia's entertainment districts for breakfast and shopping before they head home.
Are you looking for flexible spaces to host a large, formal event? We're happy to help!