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ICAST 2021 “Reels” In Business for the OCCC

Although the COVID-19 delta variant recently forced several scheduled events at The Orange County Convention Center to cancel or go virtual, the OCCC has hosted more than 100 face-to-face events since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through their Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines, their GBAC Star accreditation, and their detailed planning efforts with each event, the OCCC proved that events can be held safely in this new era of health and safety protocols.

The OCCC has 78 contracted events planned through December 31, 2021, which represents approximately 680,935 attendees and $1.2 billion in economic impact to the community. The OCCC will continue to work directly with each event to develop a customized health and safety plan based on their unique needs, along with CDC guidelines.

In July, the OCCC had another banner month, hosting 19 events with approximately 152,725 attendees and a collective economic impact of more than $234 million. The convention center welcomed back Coverings 2021 – the largest international ceramic tile and natural stone conference and showcase in North America. Managed by Taffy Event Strategies, Coverings 2021 featured the latest trends, innovations and products in the tile and stone industry and had nearly 10,000 registered attendees for this year’s event. Held from July 7-9, Coverings 2021 co-located with the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) 2021 Wood Flooring Expo, which also welcomed nearly 2,500 attendees to its expo.

Later in July, OhioBasketball.com took over the OCCC, with boys and girls teams converging from across the U.S. playing high-level basketball. The Center was transformed into the mecca of youth basketball with three events across 55 courts throughout the West Building from July 20-25. Orlando Splash welcomed 5,600 attendees and the National Championship hosted 11,000 attendees, creating a combined estimated economic impact of $21.3 million. The Grassroots Summer Championships hosted 6,000 attendees with an estimated $7.7 million in economic impact.

The OCCC also once again hosted ICAST 2021 – the world’s largest sport fishing trade show and premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel. This year’s show, held from July 21-23, welcomed more than 10,850 attendees with an estimated economic impact of $27.9 million. The convention center wrapped up July by welcoming for the first time the Mecum Collector Car Auction, a relocation from another destination.

The OCCC welcomed its largest event to date, the Amateur Athletic Union’s (AAU) 48th Annual Junior National Volleyball Championships, at the end of June. Featuring more than 135,000 attendees across 12 days of competition, with 3,445 registered teams and 171 courts across both the North-South and the West Buildings, this massive sporting event was the largest event nationally in the convention industry since the pandemic. From June 18-29, the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships created an estimated economic impact of $173.2 million for the region.

The OCCC is grateful for the ongoing support and flexibility of the clients, partners, guests and employees as the Center continues to do Business Better Than Usual.

The award-winning Orange County Convention Center provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the OCCC has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. For more info, visit www.occc.net.

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