Orlando Florida a fun place for Conventions and meetings!

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Orlando Florida is a great place for Conventions and Meetings.

Meetings and Conventions in Orlando, Florida have a huge impact on the economy and it’s not just Mickey Mouse that gets all that revenue. The main place for conventions is the Orange County Convention Center and here is what I found on their site to share with you. I love being a Convention Photographer and providing Tradeshow photography to meetings nationwide so my passion is this industry. When I talk to meetings planners and the sunshine state pops up I say that Orlando Florida a place for Conventions and Meetings is a good starting point to look for your groups needs.

I have written other blogs regarding this industry and you can go here to see one of them about when will meetings will be back.

Orange County Convention Center Annual Report form 2018-2019 for Conventions and Meetings

Convention Photography of Orange County Convention Center showing Convention Attendees

Orange County Convention Center
©Joseph Rodriguez proimagepshoto.com

I have put what I feel is more in line with this industry so I won’t bore you with too many details. If you want to learn more please go the OCCC website.

  • $3 billion estimated economic impact (fiscal year 2018-2019)
  • $2229 is the average economic impact per delegate (attendee)
  • 1200 businesses impacted by the OCCC Activity
  • 2.2 nights average length of stay per meeting attendee.
  • 36% arrive by air.
  • 62% arrive by auto.
  • 8% of the meeting attendee head to the beach!
  • 10% nightlife
  • 23% dining. So many places to go.
  • 18% Theme parks
  • 17% shopping

Some of Orlando’s largest conventions and the economic impact in dollars below.

Please note, this just for the OCCC and not the other hotels that host their own conventions and meetings.

  • AAU Volleyball Nationals has 110,000 attendees and $141.2 million.
  • Premiere Orlando 2019 had 57,000 in attendance and 146.3 million.
  • HIMSS had 46,480 and $119.3 million.
  • PGA Merchandise Show 2019 had 43,000 and $110.4 million.
  • MegaCon Orlando had 68,000 and $87.3 million

When I cover a meeting, it has been at the OCCC but also many of the hotels and resorts. I just have a great time, every time. The locations are always beautiful and the experience that I hope anyone that goes to conventions and conferences will as well.

So, let’s start with the hotel that I go to a lot over the years. So many groups but I will just share my thoughts on the hotels listed here. I will keep it to 3 so as not to lose your interest but future posts will talk about the other properties, I have work and stayed with groups.

Here we go,

JW MARRIOTT ORLANDO, GRANDE LAKES a place for Conventions and Meetings

As with other locations across the country I have stayed here many times. I could probably walk blindfolded around the lobby and know how to get to the pool. Seriously this is a very elegant hotel with enough rooms for any meeting. 1582 Rooms is a lot and more than enough for the majority of conventions that I have been hired to do.

Plenty of meeting space at 144,785 sq ft, for general sessions, breakouts and events. The meetings I covered here over the years have been incredible. Events inside or outside are always unique and the local DMC’s know how to throw a party. Golf is also a favorite of mine and if you love the links you will like this course. Also, the waterpark is a favorite for families and attendees. Location is a bit off the beaten path but there’s a reason in my opinion. Groups that have hired me have told me they want to keep the attendees a distance from the parks to keep them focused on the meeting. There is nothing that you will not like about the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.

Convention and Meeting Photography of meeting attendees on bikes in front of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes

Convention Attendees biking for a morning event at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. ©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

Orlando can get pretty humid at times and with the meeting space this size, the air is always at a perfect temperature. The exterior of the convention site faces the championship golf course and offers great views between sessions if you want to go outside and make that call or just take in the fresh air.

HILTON ORLANDO BONNET CREEK

Right in the middle of the Disney Theme parks. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a great place for meetings and conventions but also for families that want to be near the parks.

  • 1,001 guest rooms and suites
  • World-class dining: Harvest Bistro, *Bull & Bear, La Luce, *Oscar’s and Peacock Alley, plus in-room dining.
  • Lazy river with resort style pool and water slide on over 3 acres.
  • A great golf course. Rees Jones-designed championship golf course
  • Complimentary transportation to and from all the Disney parks and Downtown Disney
  • Fitness Center

The size of the convention place is something to consider for your larger groups. 122,000 sq ft of total meeting and events space. The main ballroom is 35,925 sq ft and can be divided into 12 sections. Also, there is 44 breakout rooms. So, your meeting will be successful.

Orlando Convention and Meeting Photography of the foyer of meeting space for Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek meeting space foyer. ©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

WALDORF ASTORIA ORLANDO

This beautiful breath-taking resort is on the other side of the meetings space of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and has 30,000 sq ft of meeting space as well. The largest ballroom is under 8000 sq ft and have a pre function space of under 5000 sq ft.

Orlando Convention Photography of Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, FL

Rear view Waldorf Astoria from Championship Golf Course. ©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

As an Orlando Convention Photographer, I have covered meetings that took both meeting areas and resorts. Walking to and from the Hilton and Waldorf from 6 am to 11 pm for 4 sometimes 5 days straight has kept me in shape but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Below are some of the amenities that the Waldorf has on property, note the * means that this is shared with the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

  • Rees Jones-designed championship course that is shared with the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
  • Restaurants and Lounges: *Bull & Bear, *Oscar’s, Sir Harry’s Lounge, Aquamarine, The Clubhouse Grille and in-room dining.
  • A Pool of its own and Private Cabanas.
  • Fitness Center

Now these properties provide ample space for any convention or conference and event but off-site venues are what makes this destination stand out. Let me share a couple of places that my groups have had their events.

UNIVERSAL CITY WALK ORLANDO

Orlando Event Photography of adults excited to be at Universal Studios The place for Conventions and Meetings

Convention Attendees having a blast at Universal Studios. ©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

Orlando Event Photography of Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk
©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

If you ever wanted to wow your group then this is the place. Universal Orlando Resort has a meetings department that can setup anything you need.

As the groups Convention and Event Photographer I covered CITYWALK BLOCK PARTY. Yep, that sound right. It comprises of a variety of venues that include restaurants and entertainment clubs. Your guests are provided with food at all locations served buffet style and the entertainment venues provide drinks onsite.

The entertainment venues can have karaoke, live bands at different areas. Heck the sky’s the limit. If you haven’t experience this you need to.

After the opening reception held at CITYWALK the group was escorted to an after-hours theme park event. The group picked Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

All attendees were invited to unlimited rides in the area and closed to the public no less. There was food and drinks until the event was over. What an end to a great convention week and the attendees were so happy.

Conventions, conferences, meetings and events bring people together, to make connections, friends, it’s how teams gets formed. New alliances made.

Showcasing your brand face to face and the opportunities are limitless. I miss the moments and know in time we will be back to having our meetings but until then I will continue to write about my experiences and places.

Thanks for reading my blog if you got this far. If you need a convention or event photographer, consider my company Professional Images Photography for your meeting. You can send your RFP here and remember, Orlando Florida is a great place for meetings and conventions.