Economic Impact of the Heart of I-Drive
As North America’s premier location for safe in-person events, tradeshows and conventions, the OCCC has successfully welcomed more than 250 conventions, trade shows, meetings, consumer and sporting events since July 2020. While convention centers and facilities were just beginning to return to business, the OCCC has been doing Business Better Than Usual, through their expert knowledge of hosting safe events. This is a new era for tradeshows and conventions and the OCCC continues to lead the way.
In recent years, the Center has provided approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually, and averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. The Center’s recovery efforts have enabled residents to stay employed and have helped the OCCC solidify future bookings that further create economic opportunities from visitors, attendees and exhibitors who support local businesses.
Every dollar a convention attendee or exhibitor spends during their visit, creates and supports jobs in the local community, puts funds for vital services in government coffers, and puts money in the hands of tens of thousands of citizens. According to a study by PFM Group Consulting, the average attendee at the OCCC has a $2,229 impact on the local community – that number is how overall economic impact is estimated from events using the OCCC’s rentable 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space.
The 7 million square feet figure, used by some media outlets, paints an inaccurate picture. It creates the impression that the OCCC is 7 million square feet of useable space, when in reality much of it is OCCC space that cannot rented - unusable spaces like back of house areas, kitchens, walkways, lobbies, hallways, parking, landscaped areas, etc.
The overall goal of economic impact aligns with the mission of maintaining and growing jobs — convention industry jobs that range from event managers, riggers, audiovisual engineers, production assistants, stage managers, truck drivers, caterers, accountants, security workers, logistics managers, show designers, trade journalists, talent agents, insurers, musicians, social media managers, photographers, videographers, carpenters and other live event personnel and freelancers. Not to mention the many local retailers, mom and pop souvenir shops, restaurants, entertainment, theme parks and transportation options used by convention visitors during their visit on International Drive and across Orange County.
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