In honor of Global Meetings Industry Day 2024, Orlando debuted a new, original poem by Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome commemorating the positive impact of meetings and events in the destination, among other efforts.

Orlando understands the proven value that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions bring to businesses, workers and the economy.

“When groups meet in Orlando, they not only support our local businesses, vendors and hospitality workers, but they also make an indelible impact on our community through charitable donations and endeavors,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO, Visit Orlando.

Working with local talent to create a new poem about the power of meetings and participating in Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2024 are just a few ways Orlando recognizes the importance of meetings year round.

Orlando Celebrates Meetings

To commemorate what meetings business means to our destination, Visit Orlando commissioned Orlando Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome to compose a poem on the tremendous value and the positive impact meetings have on our community and economy.

Then, on April 11, 2024, Orlando joined destinations, communities and industry organizations around the world to commemorate Global Meetings Industry Day. Powered by the U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC), GMID showcases the proven value that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions bring to businesses and the economy.

To celebrate, Orlando destination partners participated in a #OrlandoMeeting social media campaign highlighting the importance of meetings and events. Visit Orlando Vice President of Sales and Services Stephanie Naegele offered Orlando’s meeting industry insight during a GMID speaking engagement with the Greater Orlando Chapter of Meeting Planners International.

“Celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day is a great opportunity to recognize these efforts and their positive effect on Orlando,” said Matej.

The Economic and Community Impact of Meetings

Downtown Orlando M&C Unbelievably Real UR campaign
Orange County Convention Center

Orlando meetings and conventions, which include city-wide and in-house events, were booked by the Visit Orlando convention sales team in 2023 and beyond, resulting in an approximately $4 billion impact on the local economy.

Also, this fiscal year, from October 2023 to September 2024, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) will welcome 1.7 million attendees across 184 events, generating $2.96 billion in economic impact.

“Events at the Orange County Convention Center provide substantial economic impact, while also allowing opportunities for social giving and charitable donations to those in need,” said Mark Tester, executive director, OCCC.

The OCCC has much to celebrate this year with the recent approval of Phase 5A of its expansion. The project consists of the Convention Way Grand Concourse, which will include an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space and an 80,000-square-foot ballroom, along with a new entry to the Center’s North-South Building along Convention Way.

Visit Orlando and OCCC joint volunteer opportunity at Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank

Beyond supporting local businesses and employing thousands, meetings bring considerable recognition and benefit to supporting the Orange County community.

  • $1 million in donated home improvement products.
  • 40,000 pounds of repurposed materials to build homes.
  • 32,000 pounds of food donated to those in need.
  • $114,000 in educational scholarships.
  • $60,000 in bicycle donations for foster kids.

Orlando thanks you for bringing your business to our destination and we’re eager to help make your organization’s next event a memorable one.

New Options to Ensure Future Meetings Matter

Lotus Boardroom at Conrad Orlando
Lotus Boardroom at Conrad Orlando

Year after year, Orlando embraces new and returning meeting, convention and incentive groups with new or expanded accommodations, venues and experiences. New luxury accommodations have opened, including Evermore Orlando Resort, a beach-like resort with an 8-acre crystal lagoon, and the Conrad Orlando, Orlando’s first Hilton luxury hotel, bringing the destination to nearly 500 hotel and resort options for meeting groups.

With new concepts from MICHELIN-recognized and Food Network and Top Chef celebrity chefs, alongside champagne bars, sober speakeasies, omakases and arcade bars, Orlando’s culinary and nightlife scene continues to grow to reflect the diversity of the destination with distinct new offerings. The destination is now home to 48 MICHELIN-recognized restaurants including four, starred establishments.

For venues that inspire, look no further than Orlando. Tucked inside downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is one of our newest, Judson’s Live, a new intimate, 150-seat, cabaret-style music space with unparalleled sound and a scratch-kitchen menu.

See what else is waiting for your group ahead of your next Orlando meeting or event.

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