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Model for Meeting Safely at the Orange County Convention Center: The Central Florida International Auto Show


Successfully hosting more than fifty events since March, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) has demonstrated a model that makes it is possible for live events and conventions to continue Meeting Safely in Orlando.

With December signaling its busiest season since the onset of the pandemic, the Center led the way for its industry and community, safely hosting three major events, including the first nationwide auto show in months – the Central Florida International Auto Show (CFIAS).

Safely Hosting the First Nationwide Auto Show in Months

Returning to The Center of Hospitality for more than 35 years, the renowned CFIAS attracts thousands of local automotive enthusiasts to the Convention Center District on an annual basis.

With a reputation for success, this year’s event sought to create an experience similar to previous years, factoring in essential elements that led to the show’s success. The top priority was prioritizing the health and safety of attendees, exhibitors, employees and the surrounding community.

Revised Check-In Experience

Organizers restructured the typical check-in experience to focus on reducing in-person contact, maintaining transparent communications and conducting essential health screening.

Placing an emphasis on limiting attendee touchpoints, planners incentivized advance ticket sales with discounts. Organizers also factored precautions for those purchasing at the event, including distanced lines and plexi-glass barriers to protect both attendees and employees.

At the point of entry, all attendees were required to complete a health declaration form, inquiring on health-status, detailing extensive safety measures in place, and requesting consent for adherence to the Center’s mask mandate.

Prior to entering the show floor, attendees queued in a physically distanced manner before passing through a mass infrared temperature scanner, designed to monitor and flag any attendees with a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, per Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Utilizing best practices from recent OCCC events, such as the Together Again Expo, planners designated an isolation room to help attendees cool down before revisiting the health screening. If attendees persisted to exhibit a higher than normal temperature following the isolation period, show policy involved asking the respective attendee to vacate the premises.

Steering a Safe and Responsible Event Experience

Through the decades, CFIAS has gained widespread appeal throughout the region for its interactivity in allowing attendees to look, feel and experience the vehicles on display. Committed to maintaining these core elements, planners strategized on how to maintain the essence of the event in a safe, responsible and enjoyable way.

Following a deliberate safety plan, show organizers reconfigured the event’s traditional footprint at the OCCC, to incorporate wider aisles – stretching to 20-foot, in comparison to 10-foot in previous years – allowing for physically distanced booths and attendees, and to establish a crowd-management flow, remapping the attendee journey via a designated one-way entrance and exit.

Committed to safe meeting practices, the event utilized dedicated “COVID-19 ambassadors” responsible for walking the perimeter of the show floor to remind attendees of event policies, including maintaining a physical distance from other groups, adhering to the Center’s mask policy, and encouraging attendees to wash and sanitize hands regularly.

Offering test drives and sensorial elements – including touching and experiencing the vehicles on display – planners amped up cleaning schedules, to include robust sanitation of all vehicles after test drives, and frequent disinfection of all vehicles on the show floor via electrostatic sprayers.


Driving the Local Economy Forward

As an important economic engine for the Central Florida region, events at the OCCC – such as CFIAS – fuel the local economy, driving Convention Center District businesses, commerce and employment forward.

Collaborating with Career Source of Central Florida, CFIAS provided more than 100 positions for local residents recently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to serve the show in a range of different capacities from temperature checking, to exhibitor sign-in, and COVID-19 ambassadors.

Additionally, spanning more than 400,000 square-feet, hundreds of local general service contractors and OCCC employees directly supported the event’s show floor logistics, from event operations, rigging, environment services and cleaning.


Learn More

Learn more about Meeting Safely at the OCCC by visiting, or engaging with #MeetingSafely on social media.

If you are interested in hosting your next event at The Center of Hospitality, please submit a Request for Proposal (RFP), or get in touch with our expert sales team by emailing





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