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Convention Center leaders reveal proposed campus upgrades

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) executive team presented two proposed Campus Master Plan improvements to the Board of County Commissioners on June 20.

The OCCC engaged an internationally-renowned consultant, Populous, Inc., to assist in completing a Campus Master Plan intended to identify market-based needs and recommendations for future development of the campus and facilities, and develop associated architectural concepts and estimates for future planning.

This planning process gave Convention Center leaders a clear perspective on the needs of our current and prospective clients, our competitive position relative to comparable facilities and destinations, and the potential market demand that we should be ready to respond to. This insight served as guidance for the development of the Campus Master Plan Program. Preliminary recommendations were developed and discussed in various forums with the OCCC Client Advisory Board, other Convention Center clients, Convention Center District stakeholders, OCCC service partners, and staff.

Based upon that feedback, the following key priorities have been identified:

Convention Way Grand Concourse – an enclosed connection between the North and South concourses that includes additional meeting and ballroom space and provides a new grand entry to the North/South Building along Convention Way. 

Multipurpose Venue – a 200,000-square-foot, flexible, divisible, column-free space with a combination of retractable and floor seating to accommodate between 18,000-20,000 guests.  This project will also incorporate additional meeting space and connectivity between the North and South concourses.

The projects, which would vastly improve the OCCC’s North/South building, will keep the country’s second-largest convention center relevant and cutting edge in a competitive tradeshow and convention industry.

Members of the OCCC’s Client Advisory Board attended the Board of County Commissioners meeting and supported both proposals.

Carla Bell Johnson, the OCCC’s Director of Strategic Planning & Development, told commissioners that current OCCC clients have choices in where they take their shows. The proposed projects will give them more reasons to keep their business in Orlando.

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