See how Orlando celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day in 2021, including an official mayoral proclamation, a social media blitz, and key venues “turning blue” (Orange County Convention Center Executive Director Mark Tester, Visit Orlando President & CEO Casandra Matej, and Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings pictured).


Every April, Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) brings the meetings and conventions industry together to showcase the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and their communities. Given the fact that Orlando has been instrumental in the meeting industry’s successful recovery efforts — including safely hosting more than 60 in-person events since the start of the pandemic — our entire destination was proud to join the celebration.

“As an industry trailblazer, Orlando has led the way toward the recovery of meetings and conventions by safely and successfully resuming live events,” said Visit Orlando President & CEO Casandra Matej. “Orlando loves meetings, and our incredible destination partners are ready to welcome back groups and share in the celebration of Global Meetings Industry Day.”

Learn more: No. 1 Destination for Healthy Meetings

Here’s a look at how Orlando came together to salute GMID’s 2021 theme, “Meet Safe,” while showcasing the undeniable value of our industry, and how we’ll continue to lead the way in 2021 and beyond.

Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy business travel and safety information in Orlando, and check with your favorite businesses for their current status.

GMID 2021 in Orlando

Positioned as an international day of advocacy, Global Meetings Industry Day presents an opportunity for destinations to show their support for the vibrant — and important — meetings industry. Given the well-documented challenges presented by the pandemic era, Visit Orlando and our members felt it was more important than ever to support GMID in a big way.

Orange County Convention Center lit up in blue
Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (Pictured) Was One of Several Meetings-Related Buildings That “Went Blue” on April 8 for GMID 2021

To that end, local promotional endeavors included:

Mayoral Proclamation

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings unveiled an official proclamation declaring April 8 as Global Meetings Industry Day in Orlando, with Matej and OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester joining him for the widely publicized announcement.

In making his proclamation, Demings noted the meetings and conventions industry’s significant impact on Orange County’s economy, businesses and residents, bringing approximately $3 billion to the area annually while employing nearly 30,000 individuals and benefiting an estimated 1,200 local businesses.

Per Demings: “Our community has demonstrated the power of true collaboration between our local government and businesses. We are committed to the success of our meetings and conventions industry.”

“The Orange County Convention Center has welcomed back more than 60 in-person events since the pandemic began,” said Tester. “With the partnership of our community and the trust received by our clients, partners and employees, we are thrilled to serve as an example of how meetings and conventions can resume safely.”

Social Media Celebration

Throughout the day on April 8, Visit Orlando stayed active on LinkedIn and Twitter to promote GMID and the value of in-person events. Marked by #OrlandoLovesMeetings, our GMID social highlights included retweets from U.S. Travel, Meetings Mean Business and other key industry partners, as well as the launch of our #OrlandoLovesMeetings video, which accompanies this blog.

Businesses across the destination also joined the #OrlandoLovesMeetings social media push to show their appreciation for the meetings industry, including restaurants, hotels, and retail, dining & entertainment complexes.

Orlando Turns Blue

Numerous Orlando venues turned blue on April 8 in honor of GMID, starting with the Orange County Convention Center. Others included:

More GMID Promotion in Orlando

And Orlando still wasn’t done celebrating GMID! Other efforts included an International Drive (aka I-Drive) Chamber of Commerce luncheon, where Matej spoke to more than 100 chamber members in honor of GMID. Additionally, Matej was joined by Mike Waterman, Visit Orlando chief sales officer, at a Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Orlando chapter event for GMID at Ole Red at ICON Park, with Waterman giving a tourism and hospitality update and Matej participating in an executive panel.

Last but not least, Meetings Mean Business included Visit Orlando’s State of Recovery webinar on their Meet Safe platform.

The Best Is Yet to Come

Drone footage of Hyatt Regency Orlando with fireworks in the background
Hyatt Regency Orlando

Global Meetings Industry Day only covers a 24-hour period, but Orlando is working hard every day to be the country’s healthiest meeting destination. Not just for our benefit, but to prove to the world that healthy, successful, in-person events are just as viable as they are valuable.

Our commitment to safe meetings starts at the award-winning Orange County Convention Center, which was one of the first in the nation to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR accreditation — recognized as the gold standard for safe facilities. And it’s far from the only Orlando venue to earn that distinction, with Orlando International Airport (MCO), its onsite Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, downtown Orlando’s Amway Center, and all three of Rosen Hotels’ convention properties (Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Plaza and Rosen Centre) also receiving the honor.

What’s more, Orlando’s world-class meeting venues have joined forces with our transportation providers, restaurants, accommodations, theme parks, attractions and other businesses to prioritize visitor safety. These efforts include enhanced health measures such as face-mask and social-distancing policies, increased sanitization, reduced capacity, and other safeguards.

As a result, Orlando has been able to safely host more than 60 in-person events during the pandemic era, including standouts such as:

These shows represent just a fraction of the healthy, successful events that have taken place at the OCCC and our top meeting hotels since the start of the pandemic, and we firmly believe that the best is yet to come — not just for Orlando, but for the meetings industry at large.

There’s no doubt that Orlando loves meetings. We look forward to helping your organization return to in-person events soon!

Ready to learn more about hosting healthy meetings in Orlando? Submit your RFP, and subscribe to our newsletter for updates from Cvent’s No. 1 meeting destination in the country.

Cover Image: OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester, Visit Orlando President & CEO Casandra Matej, and Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings at the Official Proclamation Declaring April 8, 2021, as Global Meetings Industry Day in Orlando.