Homepage

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact
Feb 28, 2024
For years, the business events industry has been calling on policymakers to take action against the scammers who prey on our industry.  On Feb. 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) answered those calls with its new Government and Business Impersonation Rule, which will target scammers who impersonate businesses and government entities.  The FTC takes action This new rule directly targets the hotel reservation scams and attendee list sale scams that have targeted conference and trade show exhibitors and attendees for ages.  How? The Government and Business Impersonation Rule will allow the FTC to file federal court cases aimed at forcing scammers to return the money they made from business impersonation scams. This includes seeking direct monetary relief from scammers that: Fraudulently use business logos when communicating with consumers Spoof business emails and web addresses, including using lookalike email addresses or websites that rely on misspellings of a company’s name Falsely imply business affiliation by using terms that are known to be affiliated with a business  While these illegal tactics are familiar to every business event exhibitor and attendee, the threat has grown in recent months thanks to the rise of ChatGPT-written emails and AI-generated deepfake audio and video.  “Emerging technology – including AI-generated deepfakes – threatens to turbocharge this scourge, and the FTC is committed to using all of its tools to detect, deter and halt impersonation fraud,” the agency said in a statement.  What happens next? The new FTC rule will become effective 30 days from the date it is published in the Federal Register, which will happen soon. Then event organizers and exhibitors will be able to report impersonation fraud cases to the FTC, and the agency will be able to investigate and bring cases against scammers. What remains to be seen is how vigorously the FTC will pursue such cases.  “For far too long, scammers have preyed on our industry,” said Vinnie Polito, CEO of the Society of Independent Show Organizers. “Now that the FTC has stronger tools to go after those who target our industry, we strongly encourage the agency to do just that.”  Advocacy in action The new Government and Business Impersonation Rule comes on the heels of a years-long, whole-of-industry advocacy push.  ECA, its alliance partners, and many business events industry leaders — including the Consumer Technology Association, the American Society of Association Executives and IAEE’s Major American Trade Show Organizers group — have long been advocating for the FTC to take action. For ECA, this included submitting two comment letters to the FTC, testifying at an FTC hearing, supporting a coalition effort that led to a letter signed by 235 organizations and highlighting the issue during our 2023 Legislative Action Day, which generated additional Congressional support.  Since the rule’s passage, support from association executives and leading show organizers like the National Association of Home Builders has been positive. Looking ahead, ECA will actively monitor implementation of the new rule and look for opportunities to strengthen it in ways that further protect our industry and its stakeholders. Be sure to join us for the 2024 Legislative Action Day on May 30. Register here.   Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on LinkedIn!