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Convention Center Loses Four Events As COVID Cases Surge

VMX returned to the Orange County Convention Center in 2021 after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
VMX returned to the Orange County Convention Center in 2021 after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Four events have been cancelled at the Orange County Convention Center in the last week.

Those conferences were expected to bring in more than 17,ooo tourists. Orange County Convention Center Director Mark Tester says the cancellations are related to the current surge of Covid-19 cases in Florida.

“Right now, no other event has indicated that they are going to cancel," Tester said. "We have had four - two in August and two later. Two of those four were medical events."

Tester said that when Megacon begins next week, attendees will have to wear a mask. He says event organizers can require guests to wear masks - but the convention center can not.

"The governor precluded us from making that a mandate, but our mayor has indicated that all county employees wear a mask, so we’re all doing that now," Tester said, adding that convention center employees will have to be vaccinated as a condition of employment because they work for the county.

The convention center still has 52 events booked for the rest of 2021, with an estimated economic impact of about $1 billion. The Orange County Convention Center is the third largest convention center in the U.S.

The cancelled events are:

Association of perioperative Nurses (AORN) | August 7-10, 202
Global Surgical Conference and Expo
Anticipated Attendance – 5,000
Anticipated Economic Impact - $12,835,00

American Association of Neurological Surgeons | August 21-24, 2021
Anticipated Attendance – 1,000
Anticipated Economic Impact- $2,567,000

The NAFEM Show | August 26 – 28, 2021
Anticipated Attendance: 10,000
Anticipated Economic Impact - $25,670,000

Electrochemical Society | October 10-14, 2021
Anticipated Attendance – 1,100
Anticipated Economic Impact- $2,823,700