Event Marketing Strategies Moves to Brewery District

Jeff Milgrom and Drew McCartt of EMS next to the 1,800 pound mill stone

With the opening of Shadowbox Live, World of Beer, and a few new restaurants, the Brewery District is coming back to life. Event Marketing Strategies celebrated 30 years of business this year, and with that milestone, they were looking for a creative new office space.

The company was growing out of its conservative, boxy space in Dublin where it had been for 17 years, and wanted a location that was close to downtown Columbus and was in a creative area experiencing a rebirth.

Jeff Milgrom, president and CEO, and Drew McCartt, senior vice president, looked at about six or seven locations in the Short North, Grandview and the Brewery District. Once they saw the empty, raw space in the historic building on Ludlow Street that once housed the L. Hoster Brewing Company, they knew it was the space for them.

The “Ice House” is a development owned by Arshot Investment Corp. They have been working to make the building a creative suite of businesses. It also houses landscape design firm MSI | KKG and brand and design firm Chute Gerdeman. The EMS team worked with architect David Rectenwald and interior designer Betsy Stewart to bring their vision for the space to life.

“We wanted a minimal impact on the building,” says McCartt. “We liked the creativity of the building.”

They worked to renovate the 3,500-square-foot space with a green makeover in mind. EMS does quite a bit of work in the energy and green industries, and wanted to bring some of that into its new space. The concrete floors were stained and sealed with a water-based product with zero VOCs.

At first they were not sure they liked the muddled effect of the stain, but it has grown on everyone. The rich variants of the floor give the space a warm feel.

The space was previously used as a storage facility
A view of the concrete floors and sideshow carnival art, Rubber Girl
An old photo showing the original height of The Stak

The walls were sandblasted. The lighting that was installed is either LED or CFL and most of it is on motion detectors. A 1,800 pound mill stone was left behind. The stone was originally used to grind grains to make beer. EMS wanted to incorporate the mill stone into its decor.

“We thought about making it a table,” McCartt says.

In the end, they decided it would be best repurposed as a wall, sectioning off the receptionist’s space. One of the favorite items in the office is a canvas sideshow banner of Rubber Girl by J. Sigler. The painting was spotted in Wasserstrom’s National Office Warehouse.

It’s a fitting piece of art for EMS, considering the Ohio State Fair was one of its earliest clients. EMS pioneered corporate sponsorships in the fair and festival industries. Both Milgrom and McCartt have been involved with the Ohio State Fair. Milgrom introduced the first recognizable corporate sponsorship in the country at the Ohio State Fair in 1985. He’s also been a big supporter of fundraisers benefiting 4H programs.

An industrial-looking ear of corn sculpture

McCartt grew up being involved with 4H programs. The company usually purchases the “Pen of 3 Chickens” from the Junior Livestock Auction’s Sale of Champions, with part of the proceeds funding the 4H scholarship program.

Milgrom’s work with the Ohio State Fair earned him a spot in its 2010 Hall of Fame. Some of the other art in the space has been bought at charity auctions. Three sculptures are ears of corn that were commissioned to celebrate Ohio’s Bicentennial in 2003. One has found a place in the office’s foyer, one became a part of Milgrom’s backyard, and one was donated back to the 4H program.

EMS pays homage to the history of the Ice House by incorporating glass blocks in its work/chill area. The white subway tiles and glass block window create the feeling of an ice storage area and the space is aptly named The Igloo.

At its start in 1836, The L. Hoster Brewing Co. produced about 100 barrels of its German style lagers each year. By 1901, it was producing nearly 300,000 barrels of beer. Transporting and storing all that beer required ice. At its peak, the Ice House produced nearly 200,000 pounds of ice used for cooling and transporting. The Igloo is a fun reference to that history.

Foyer leading to The Igloo
The glass block window in The Igloo
Accent chairs were found at Flower Child in The Short North
The conference room showcases a collection of black and white historical photographs of Columbus
McCartt's office is outfitted with chairs from a hair salon and a 1948 Hollywood Industries home hair dryer that he turned into a lamp

The team at EMS is excited to be located in the Brewery District. It recently celebrated its 30 year milestone with a party at the new space and showcased the signature dishes from nearby businesses: food from Shadowbox Live’s Backstage Bistro, Zydeco on High, Claddagh Irish Pub, Katzinger’s Delicatessen and drinks from Via Vechhia and Columbus Brewing Company.

The vestibule was added to the building to protect from incoming winds
Although still impressive, The Stak is only about a third of its original height

To learn more about Event Marketing Strategies, visit EventMarketingStrategies.com.

Do you know of, have, or work in a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, contact Anne Evans.