ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando, continually ranked as the top meetings destination by Cvent, has joined destinations, communities, and industry organizations around the world to commemorate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on March 30, 2023.
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.
This year’s GMID theme, Meetings Matter, spotlights the economic and societal importance of face-to-face meetings, a message that underscores the many benefits that come from professional in-person gatherings.
As the top ranked meetings and conventions destination according to CVENT, visitor spending from Orlando’s meeting industry, which includes city-wide and in-house events can contribute approximately $4 billion to the destination. In Orlando, the meeting and convention market is off to a strong start as group segment hotel bookings for the first quarter of 2023 are 41% ahead of the first quarter of 2022 and major shows have taken place at the Orange County Convention Center, including PGA’s Merchandise Show 2023, The NAFEM Show 2023, Sunshine Classic 2023 and MegaCon 2023.
On March 30, the Orlando community, joined by Visit Orlando, Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), and destination partners celebrated the indelible impact of meetings and events on the local economy with the following activities:
- Orlando destination partners participated in a new #OrlandoIsMeeting social media campaign to celebrate the importance of meetings and events to Orlando, featuring messages from Visit Orlando President & CEO Casandra Matej, and OCCC Director Mark Tester.
- Visit Orlando president and CEO Casandra Matej joined Amanda Armstrong, senior vice president Encore, for a GMID panel discussion during Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI’s) 12-hour virtual broadcast.
- Visit Orlando’s Chief Sales Officer Mike Waterman participated in a pre-event webinar participants shared their efforts to amplify the value of this crucial industry segment.
“As a top meetings destination in the country, our community benefits tremendously from the events held within our destination as they help drive our local economy and support the thousands of jobs in the hospitality sector,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO, Visit Orlando. “Global Meetings Industry Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate this vital part of our business and show meetings truly matter.”
The destination continues to expand and evolve to offer new options for groups to consider for their next event. In 2023, Orlando will welcome several brand-new hotels, including the Conrad Orlando, which is part of the expansive Evermore Orlando Resort, and increased accessibility for business travelers with the addition of high-speed Brightline rail connecting Miami to Orlando.
This year, the Orange County Convention Center will celebrate 40 years of leadership in the meetings business. Overall, this fiscal year, from October 2022 to September 2023, the Center is projected to welcome 159 events, with more than 1.5 million attendees and a total economic impact of $2.8 billion to the region.
“The Orange County Convention Center is excited to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day, as this is a valuable opportunity to showcase the impact that face-to-face conventions, trade shows and meetings have on our economy,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “GMID brings our stakeholders, industry partners and advocates together to reconnect and exchange best practices.”
For more information on meetings and events in Orlando, go to OrlandoMeeting.com and Orange County Convention Center’s official website.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World® and No. 1 meeting destination in the country. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, we represent more than 1,300 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.
Visit Orlando connects consumers and business groups with all facets of Orlando’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, activities to connect with nature, vibrant neighborhoods, a dynamic dining scene with Michelin recognized restaurants, and a robust calendar of entertainment and sports events — Orlando is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community for all travelers. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com or OrlandoMeeting.com.
About the Orange County Convention Center
The award-winning Orange County Convention Center provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the Convention Center has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and trade shows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. For more information about the Orange County Convention Center, visit www.occc.net.