Convention Center News and Views
February 2021

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) continues to be a driving force in Central Florida’s economy. Fostering job growth, creating diverse employment opportunities and employing hundreds of local residents, the OCCC is truly the Heart of International Drive. In recent years, the Center has provided approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Orange County annually – while hosting an average of 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year.

Over the past year, it has become evident that our Convention Center is an essential part of this community. From serving as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site and being a public safety hub during times of crisis, to providing a clean environment for live events to resume safely as we lead I-Drive’s economic recovery, the OCCC has continuously delivered on its promise of excellence and hospitality to clients, employees, visitors and residents.

We have shown the industry and our community that the OCCC can be flexible, adaptable and innovative in the face of adversity. Together, with the support of our leadership of Mayor Jerry L. Demings and Orange County Government, our countless hospitality and tourism partners, the Center has continued to serve its mission of economic development, while maintaining and growing a wide spectrum of jobs for the region.

Furthermore, the Center was able to move swiftly to mitigate impacts of the pandemic to our own workforce by reassigning OCCC employees to other Orange County departments, in need of additional staff necessary to implement new programs and initiatives – such as the COVID-19 Eviction Diversion program, essential personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution to small business, COVID-19 testing and more. I am proud of our employees’ immense flexibility and adaptability as they use their skillsets to give back to the organization and our community in new innovative ways. I invite you to watch this video to learn more about how the team continues to pivot and support the community through its recovery.

Many local retailers, such as mom and pop shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, theme parks and transportation companies used by convention visitors during their time on International Drive and across Orange County have also made an effort to stay open as a result of the activity and impact the Center continues to generate during this time. These efforts are an integral part of the Center’s story of economic development, resiliency and commitment to corporate social responsibility.

We look forward to the rest of 2021 with great optimism and confidence in knowing that we can count on the ongoing support and collaboration of our stakeholders, partners and customers.
Mark Tester
Executive Director
Orange County Convention Center
Meeting Safely | Recent OCCC Activity
In Feb. 2021, the OCCC welcomed the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) for its annual Everything Under the Sun Expo.
Everything Under the Sun Expo Brings the Heat to the OCCC
The Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) safely welcomed thousands of association members to its annual Everything Under the Sun Expo, hosted at the OCCC from Feb. 19-20, 2021.

In Feb. 2021, the OCCC welcomed MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, OFFPRICE Orlando Market and WWIN Orlando Showcase.
Stronger Together: Informa Markets, Clarion Events and Tarsus Group Bring a Little Magic to Orlando
Continuing to sustain new business and economic growth for the Central Florida region, the OCCC recently welcomed MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, OFFPRICE Orlando Market, and WWIN Orlando Showcase for three-days of face-to-face fashion buying and selling.

The OCCC continues to support Orange County residents during their time of need.
The Life Saving Convention Center: Serving Essential Public Safety Roles during Local Emergencies
The OCCC is ground zero in Orange County’s public safety response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Six days a week, thousands of residents are being vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Convention Center site.

As the Heart of International Drive, the OCCC continues to deliver substantial economic and community value to the Convention Center District.
The Heart of International Drive
The OCCC remains steadfast in its mission of economic development. The vison is for Orange County to have the healthiest and most robust economy in the nation. By hosting regional, national and international conventions, meetings and trade shows, the Center stimulates and infuses the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.

Delivering substantial economic and community value through the years, the OCCC is committed to achieving this mission. Learn more at
CRA funding continues to play an important role in I-Drive's 2040 Strategic Vision.
Community Redevelopment Areas in Orange County
As one of 15 Community Redevelopment Area’s (CRA) across Orange County, the International Drive District receives support to extend its infrastructure to support commerce, tourism and residents alike.

First established in 1998, CRA funding continues to play a role in the District’s 2040 Strategic Vision, assisting in the development of infrastructure to minimize congestion, solve transportation deficiencies, and improve pedestrian safety. 

In Feb. 2021, the COVID-19 vaccination site at the OCCC administered the vaccine to a 101-year-old Orange County resident.
101-year-old Resident Receives Vaccine
On Feb. 20, the OCCC welcomed longtime Orange County resident 101-year-old Jose Ros to receive his COVID-19 vaccine at the Center's vaccination site.

Recent Media Attention
The OCCC continues to forge strong relationships with local and trade media partners, to further instill community and client confidence in Meeting Safely at the OCCC, with the ultimate goal of driving economic growth throughout the region. 
Media Gallery Clips
OCCC | January 2021 Events
WKMG | Convention Impact
News 13 | OCCC Public Safety
News 6 | Jurassic Quest
Fox 35 | Employee Transfers
WFTV | Staff Reassignments
CNTV | Surf Expo
PCMA | Convening Leaders
In the News Notable Mentions
SISO/UFI Case Study
The Meetings Magazines
Trade Show Executive
Exhibit City News
Ali Group
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With three amazing theme parks and the Universal CityWalk™ dining and entertainment complex, Universal Orlando Resort has everything you need to set the stage for an incredible event.

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