Meeting in Orlando? I-Drive has all of the components for successful meetings

There are many reasons to choose the International Drive Resort Area in Orlando as the site for successful meetings and events. Flexible convention space, a wide range of accommodations, top-rated airports and convention center and sophisticated retail, dining and entertainment districts make it a top pick among meeting planners.
  • The I-Drive Area includes more than 2.4 million square feet of meeting space and 2.1 million square feet of exhibit at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
  • Right in the middle of I-Drive, the OCCC is acknowledged by many meeting planners as the industry leader when it comes to flexibility, functionality and service. The nation’s second-largest such facility, the green-friendly complex is comprised of two separate buildings connected by a 1,500-foot, open-air bridge with moving sidewalks across International Drive.
  • The OCCC was recently selected by Business Review USA as the best meetings facility in the country. The publication ranked the top 10 U.S. convention centers, and Orlando came out on top.
  • Choices of accommodations in all budget categories may be made from more than 111 hotels and resorts with a total of 38,554 rooms.
  • Six of the world’s great theme parks are located within the I-Drive area: SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Water Park, Wet ‘n Wild, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
  • For fun and recreation, there are more than 200 restaurants, more than 500 designer, brand-name and outlet shops, golf, nightlife and spas.
Hot off the press
  • Rosen Hotels & Resorts recently joined tourism officials to celebrate the opening of the Gary Sain Memorial Skybridge, which connects the Rosen Plaza with the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The bridge is dedicated to the late Gary Sain, former president and CEO of Visit Orlando. The new skybridge, which extends 745 feet, was built in just over three months and will provide meetings attendees with a safe, weather-proof and traffic-free "commute" from their guest rooms at the Rosen Plaza to the convention center. This is the fourth pedestrian walkway surrounding the OCCC and connecting it to more than 5,000 hotel rooms.
  • Cvent, the leader in cloud-based event management solutions, announced that Orlando finished in the No. 1 spot among the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the United States, according to meeting and event booking activity in the National Cvent Supplier Network. Cvent evaluated nearly 5,600 U.S. cities featured on the Cvent Supplier Network to develop the list. The ranking was determined by a set of qualifying criteria consisting of: Unique Request for Proposals Received, Total Room Nights, Awarded Request for Proposals, Awarded Room Nights, and Percentage of Qualified Meeting Venues.
  • A new meeting and special event center is being added to The Westin Orlando Universal Boulevard. A recent ground breaking ceremony took place to announce the 5,576-square-foot expansion.
The new space increases the hotel's capacity to accommodate corporate and association group meetings, as well as their ability to host weddings, banquets and special events for groups up to 370 for banquet settings and 330 for meetings.
 
With the addition, the hotel's meeting space will reach a total of 13,685 square feet. The expected opening date is February, 2014.
Finding a headquarter hotel near the convention center is easy and convenient. Choices include:
 
The Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly the Peabody Orlando),is located in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive resort area and directly connected to the Orange County Convention Center. Hyatt Regency Orlando offers leisure, meetings and convention facilities. Featuring 1,641 recently renovated guestrooms and 315,000-square-feet of meeting space, more than two million square feet of space in the Orange County Convention Center to which the hotel is attached. Hyatt Regency Orlando is the largest convention hotel for the brand in the United States.
 
1,417 rooms and 225,000 square feet of meeting space at the Hilton Orlando.
 
1,500 rooms and 490,000 square feet of meeting space at Rosen Shingle Creek.
 
1,334 rooms and 150,000 square feet of meeting space at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
 
800 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.
 
1,094 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.
 
778 rooms and 185,000 square feet of meeting space at the Renaissance at SeaWorld.
 
For meetings at Universal Orlando Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort offer a combined 2,400 guestrooms and 133,000 square feet of versatile meeting space.
 
More reasons to select the I-Drive Area for your next meeting destination…
 
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is located within 15 miles of the Orange County Convention Center and I-Drive’s attractions and accommodations. More than 50 scheduled airlines, 13 charters and 12 cargos provide nonstop service to 88 destinations in the U.S. Scheduled nonstop service is available to 19 international cities.
 
Parking the car and getting around the I-Drive area is a breeze with the popular I-Ride Trolleys that run throughout the area from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Single rides and unlimited ride passes are available. A variety of exciting spouse programs may be tailored to the specific interests of the group with I-Drive’s golf, shopping, spas, attractions, restaurants and more.
 
Green meetings
 
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is now gold-certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the only center in the world to receive a Gold Certification. The LEED designation is expected to attract businesses that demand green meeting space and sustainable facilities. Officials said the convention center achieved the designation by using LED lighting, reclaimed water and for having one of the largest rooftop solar systems in the southeast.
 
The OCCC is also the first in the country to receive certification for its recycling efforts. Recognized for recycling 40 percent of its waste, the center also uses reclaimed water for all of its landscape irrigation, has energy-efficient motors to power fountain pumps and has a control system to regulate air-conditioning and lighting levels. Hosting 300 events, shows and meetings a year, the OCCC is the second largest convention center in the U.S. www.occc.net. For full details on the OCCC's green initiatives for meeting planners, visit http://occc.net/community/green.asp
 
Thirty-seven I-Drive accommodations have been named to the Florida Green Lodging Program. To achieve this recognition, the facilities must follow certain eco-friendly practices including water conservation measures through low-flow plumbing fixtures; linen reuse programs; energy efficiency and programmable thermostats; waste reduction programs such as recycling, purchasing items in bulk and purchasing recycled materials; as well as the use of green cleaners, high-efficiency air filters and clean air handler units. Launched in March 2004, the Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for hotels and motels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. After receiving the designation, hotels are recommended to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscious lodging facilities. www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.
 
For information on planning a meeting or vacation in the International Drive Resort Area, visit www.InternationalDriveOrlando.com.
11/2013