Skip to main content

Press Releases

Orange County Convention Center Recognized with a Dozen National Industry-Leading Awards in 2021

Orange County Convention Center Recognized with a Dozen National Industry-Leading Awards in 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. – (Dec. 30, 2021) The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is demonstrating its excellence in customer service and safely hosting trade shows and events by continuing its commitment to doing Business Better than Usual. Efforts to prioritize its culture of hospitality and health and safety protocols have resulted in a dozen industry recognitions for the OCCC and its dedicated staff in 2021.

Exhibitor Magazine, a leading magazine for corporate trade show and event professionals, announced the OCCC is the nation’s best Convention Center with more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space in addition to its selection as a Center of Excellence in the magazine’s 2022 list of the nation’s best centers for trade shows.

ConventionSouth, a leading U.S. Southern meetings industry publication, has awarded the Center with a 2021 Readers Choice Award. Top meeting professionals who hold events in the South have come together to recognize the Center’s commitment to professionalism and creativity, as it continues to propel the hospitality industry forward. This is the tenth time that OCCC has been presented a Reader’s Choice Award since its creation in 2001.

VenuesNow has also honored the OCCC with their 2021 VenuesNow All-Stars Award for the Center’s efforts to continue working with event organizers and community leaders in developing its health and safety protocols, and maintain a steady rise in hosting meetings and events. This distinction is awarded to 40 honorees across the industry for their dedication to excellence, innovation and commitment to diversity.

Additionally, Northstar Meetings Group recently awarded the Center with a 2021 Gold Stella Award – acknowledging its status as the best convention center in the Southeastern U.S. The Gold Stella Award recognizes organizations from around the globe for consistently achieving overall excellence by delivering quality service and innovation to meeting and event professionals. This is the Center’s second consecutive year receiving this award.

“The Center has implemented several safety precautions and has led the industry in safely hosting live conventions and trade shows again,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “These awards are a testament to the Convention Center’s enhanced safety protocols and our world-class hospitality on International Drive.”

Various leading industry publications and organizations also recognized the Center and its staff with the following awards and recognitions in 2021:

  • Smart Meetings recognized the OCCC as the 2021 Smart Stars Best Convention Center winner. 
  • EXHIBITOR magazine recognized five companies who received top honors for their outstanding results in their 2020 AdProbe Ad Readership Study, conducted by the independent research firm Signet Research Inc., on behalf of Exhibitor Media Group. The Center’s Meeting Safely Today for a Stronger Tomorrow ad was included in the magazine’s October 2020
  • Smart Meetings recognized the OCCC’s Deputy Director Yulita Osuba, CMP as a 2021 Smart Women in Meetings in the Visionary category for her innovative leadership and commitment to the OCCC.
  • Orlando Magazine recognized Executive Director Mark Tester as one of Orlando's 50 Most Powerful People in business. 
  • The Public Relations Society of America's Florida Sunshine District recognized the OCCC's Marketing and Communications team with three awards. First place in Executive Communications and first place in the Videos category for their "Meeting Safely Today for a Stronger Tomorrow" video campaign. The 2021 Trailblazer Award went to OCCC Chief Marketing Officer Nadia Vanderhoof. 

“As we continue to grow and innovate, we draw from our expertise and recognition as an industry leader to continue our efforts as we move into a new era of hosting events,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “We are honored to be recognized by so many of our peers and appreciate the trust of our clients and the continued support of our partners, stakeholders and the convention and trade show industry.”

# # #

About the Orange County Convention Center

The award-winning Orange County Convention Center provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the Convention Center has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. For more information about the Orange County Convention Center, visit


Not any article
Get In Touch

Orange County Convention Center

P.O. Box 691509

Orlando, FL 32869-1509

   Get Directions

Phone :

Toll Free :

Follow Us:

(407) 685-9800

(800) 345-9845