Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 16 2015

Big Convention Center To Test A New Transit System

David McMillin

For attendees trying to tally massive numbers of steps on their Fitbits, Apple Watches and other wearable devices, many conventions deliver three days of education sessions paired with exercise opportunities. As they walk from breakout rooms to hotels to networking receptions, attendees can return home with new personal records for distance traveled.

However, there are many attendees who cannot get around easily, and the large layouts of convention center campuses pose serious challenges. At the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, the facility is looking to solve those challenges with a way to help attendees get from Point A to Point B more efficiently. According to a recent Orlando Sentinel article from Caitlin Dineen, the center plans to test a new minibus system during the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting and the Global Pet Expo. Both events will occur in March 2016.

Carla Bell Johnson, Director of Strategic Planning and Development, Orange County Convention Center, told the Sentinel  that the minibus routes will help attendees travel between the West and North/South concourses easily, and attendees will also be able to get to destinations close to the center. While the test routes are not confirmed, they will include Pointe Orlando, a shopping and entertainment complex. In addition to giving attendees a chance to relax, Bell Johnson highlights that this type of system will have an eco-friendly impact.

“Anything we can do here to encourage people to use some sort of transit option, that’s one less car on the road making the trip,” Bell Johnson told the Sentinel.

As convention center officials continue evaluating options such as this minibus system on the center campus, there is another transit proposal that could impact the future of attendee travel in Orlando. There are potential plans for a $400 million rail line that would connect passengers from Orlando International Airport with the convention center, but the plans have a number of hurdles to clear before construction can begin. 

Orlando isn’t the only destination looking to make getting around easier for attendees. Check out “3 Convention Cities Where Attendee Travel Is Getting Cheaper.”

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