Rev. Kevin D. Brooks, Agent of Record, Church of God International Offices, Cleveland, Tenn. The Church of God has held its General Assembly here in Orlando in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Q. What most impresses you about Orlando?
A. It's embarrassing how much I'm a fan of Orlando, but from the minute we land, it's universally a very positive city that has such a high standard of hospitality down to the smallest detail.
Q. Why did you choose Orlando in 2010...and then in 2012 and 2014?
A. We chose Orlando because of the new construction at the Hilton and its convenience to the north and south side of the OCCC (Orange County Convention Center). There is no question that the affordability, both in travel and accommodations plays a role. It's an easy place to get to and it's affordable. The reason we held the meeting in 2012 and 2014 is because we were able to achieve multiple, extended discounts with the convention center, Visit Orlando and the hotels if we held our General Assembly in Orlando for three years. We also entered into agreements (for tickets) with Universal, Disney and SeaWorld
Q. How many attendees do you bring in to the Assembly?
A. This is our global, international meeting. We have seven million members in 180 countries. We average about 10,000 at our Assembly. Thirteen thousand room nights in 18 hotels. The largest number comes from North America.
Q. Do attendees bring family members for pre- and post- tours?
A. A great majority come to Orlando before the meeting or stay a few days post meeting. We fully encourage the family. We have a children's church organized just for kids. Our history is that our General Assembly falls at the same time as the summer family trip so having it here in Orlando makes perfect sense. That's why Orlando is a very large draw. We probably won't have as many pre-and post at our next meeting venue. And I've already been asked, "When are we going back to Orlando?"
Q. What makes this an ideal destination for the Church of God General Assembly?
A. I think it's just an incredible, family friendly destination. It encourages families to attend and be a family while they are here in Orlando.