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stafda Convention sAFETY pRECAUTIONS

Update from the Orange County Convention Center (10/15/2021):

The city of Orlando has reached a major milestone: COVID positivity rate has dropped to 5.37%.

Update from the Orange County Convention Center (10/12/2021):

Positivity rate continues to go down. Currently Orlando is at 6.04%.

STAFDA Safety Precautions 10/5/2021
As we transition to a post-COVID-19 world, all necessary precautions are being taken for STAFDA’s Orlando Convention & Trade Show. The STAFDA office is closely working with the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Health, Visit Orlando, Freeman (our show contractor), and host hotels – the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Rosen Center and Hilton Orlando – to provide attendees with the cleanest and safest environment for our business meeting. These vendors already have stringent cleaning policies in place and STAFDA’s guidelines will be on top of their standards.

Orlando is working with Orange County officials to create the safest meeting environment possible. Orlando makes it easy to imagine the possibilities and create unforgettable events for meetings of all sizes. With low-cost accessibility, extraordinary meeting spaces and one-of-a-kind attendee experiences, Orlando is a destination like no other. Watch this quick video to see what the city and Convention Center have planned.

Here’s what to expect at the STAFDA Registration Desk:

  • COVID Protocols: Currently, masks are recommended but not required while in the Orange County Convention Center and other STAFDA Convention venues. Please contact your airline and hotel directly for their current protocols. STAFDA thanks you for your cooperation.

  • No-touch, self-check-in for badges: Attendees will scan their bar code from their badge confirmation sheet or smartphone. Their badge will print automatically with NO action on the computer required. The printer will face the attendee where they will remove their badge and pick up their own lanyard.

  • All onsite registrations will be handled with STAFDA’s staff members, again no-touch.

  • The onsite program — including attendee lists, booth information, and the agenda — will be easily accessible to attendees and will be within the STAFDA app. Members may also grab a printed copy at the registration desk.

In addition:

  • Meeting rooms are being reconfigured to allow for more distance between attendees per the City and OCCC guidelines

  • Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the building and in the Trade Show

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) will have hand sanitizers throughout the building and public spaces will be disinfected several times a day, including rest rooms. Touch-free doors and entryways will also be the norm. Freeman will provide floor graphics to denote social distancing and other signage to assist STAFDA with attendee safety and flow. The host hotels will offer remote registration and are reviewing policies about accessing elevators, guest rooms, concierge lounges, as well as their public space (restaurants and bars).

This is still a fluid learning curve for STAFDA and its key vendors. As the year progresses, STAFDA will keep members updated on additional safety measures for the Orange County Convention & Trade Show.  

Update from the Orange County Convention Center (9/28/2021):

Positivity rate has gone down again to 9.31%. Vaccination rates have gone up as well. 72% of eligible residents are now vaccinated. Orlando'sHospital Status is Green, meaning the hospital stays are significantly reduced and elected surgeries are now possible again.

Please watch the Orange County Convention Center's latest video. They have also created a video highlighting the safety protocols the OCCC has put in place.

Update from Orlando Health and Safety (8/31/2021):
Please click here for a real time updated link on the current health and safety protocols in the city of Orlando.  It's very informative especially for those who have concerns and questions. 

Update from the Orange County Convention Center (8/31/2021):



First, I would like share the news that The Center of Hospitality is the first convention center globally to receive reaccreditation by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning trade association. Our GBAC STAR reaccreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery is another step to ensuring the Center’s business continuity as we continue to lead the economic recovery in the conventions and trade show industry. Special thanks to our team members who worked on the reaccreditation process and all who continue to implement these elevated measures of cleanliness and infection prevention.


In August, the OCCC welcomed 11 events with an estimated attendance of 131,162, and a projected economic impact of $169 million for our community. We kicked off the month by welcoming back the General Council of the Assemblies of God for their biannual meeting from Aug. 2-6, 2021. The ministry hosted 19,000 attendees from across the country with an estimated economic impact of $48.9 million for the region. The General Council of the Assemblies of God also donated 39 bookcases to the Center – 14 of which were donated to Orange County’s Great Oaks Village. The donation of these bookcases will allow the agency to provide residents additional reading and educational resources.


From Aug. 12-15, pop culture fans descended upon the OCCC for Megacon Orlando. Welcoming thousands of guests across the four-day event, the event featured cosplayers, celebrities, vendors and more, in addition to stringent health and safety requirements including required facemasks.


To round out the month, we welcomed back one of our legacy events, The Landscape Show, hosted by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association. From Aug. 25-27, nearly 6,000 tree buyers, landscapers, plant enthusiasts and customers gathered at The Landscape Show, creating an estimated economic impact of $15.4 million.


We continue to prove that the OCCC can host events safely, by prioritizing the importance of increased health and safety precautions, including following the CDC’s recommendations and our Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines. I am so thankful for the ongoing support and flexibility of our clients, partners and guests as we continue to move forward and do Business Better Than Usual.


Mark Tester

Executive Director

Orange County Convention Center

Update on STAFDA's Orlando Convention, October 24-26 (8/13/2021):

As new challenges arise with the COVID-19 Delta variant, health and safety continues to be STAFDA’s top priority.

Orlando has a proven track record of hosting safe and healthy meetings. Since reopening, the city has hosted 100+ meetings at the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) accredited Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).  Orlando’s airport and STAFDA’s host hotels also have the GBAC stamp of approval awarded to facilities that follow a high standard of cleaning, disinfection, and disease prevention.  The OCCC recently hosted the 17,000-person General Assemblies of God who reported no health-related issues.

Orange County employees, which includes the OCCC, will be required to be fully vaccinated and wear masks indoors.  Local government leaders urge all residents and visitors to wear masks in indoor spaces, following CDC guidelines.  More than 64% of County residents are fully vaccinated and with mobile vaccination sites, that percentage continues to climb.

For months, STAFDA has been working closely with Orlando Health to provide attendees with a safe and positive experience.  Near STAFDA’s registration area, Event Medical Services LLC will be onsite to provide medical care.  In addition, there is a Walgreen’s within walking distance of the OCCC.

Orlando has a busy fall and a list of all events and health updates can be found on the OCCC’s website (  MegaCon’s Orlando event hosted 75,000 to 100, 000 people, August 12-15. Upcoming shows include the National Safety Council Congress & Expo, October 11-13 with anticipated attendance of 13,000;   ICE-USA/InPrint USA, October 19-21, with 3,000 attendees, and right after STAFDA is InfoComm with 44,000 attendees, October 27-29.  No events are being canceled.

STAFDA’s Orlando Convention & Trade Show is definitely “ON” and worst case scenario, attendees will wear masks like we’ve grown accustomed to the past 18 months.

Please contact the STAFDA office with any questions.

Update from the Orange County Convention Center (8/2/2021):



As we strive to consistently communicate through the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to share some information specifically related to Orange County Government employees, which includes the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).


Yesterday, on July 28, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings held a press conference announcing two very important developments:


  1. Effective immediately, all Orange County Government employees, including the OCCC, will now be required to wear masks while at their place of employment, at all County facilities which includes the OCCC.

  2. All new and existing non-union OCCC employees, with certain exemptions, have until September 30, 2021 to be fully vaccinated.


The vehicle for the Mayor to facilitate these measures was through the declaration of a local State of Emergency, which is the necessary means at a local level. The Mayor also strongly recommends all residents – vaccinated and unvaccinated – consider wearing a mask indoors, in accordance with the CDC’s recent announcement. This reflects no changes to how we have been operating in the building.


As we continue to host events at the OCCC, we are committed to the health and safety of our clients, guests, exhibitors, attendees and employees. Our team will continue to work with all of our events based on their unique needs to give their attendees and exhibitors a sense of comfort. For the foreseeable future, the OCCC will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines and our own Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines, which we released in June 2020.


I am grateful for the ongoing support and flexibility of our clients, partners, guests and employees as the Center continues to do Business Better Than Usual.

Please see below for an update from Freeman on their requirments as of 8/2/2021.

As a leader in our industry, it’s our responsibility to ensure we protect it, our people, and you. Today, Freeman announced several new policies to protect the health and safety of our team, our customers, and our industry, and I want to share them with you.

Effective August 1, Freeman will require anyone on our property or show site to wear a mask and practice social distancing. This includes our union team members.

Also, all Freeman employees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within the past 3 days. Science shows that vaccines are the number one thing we can all do to prevent infection and stop the spread of this disease, so we are also offering an incentive to all Freeman employees to get vaccinated. Our incentives include a financial reward for those who are vaccinated as well as additional time off if our team reaches a vaccination goal.

We hope our policy changes will cause others to join us so we can protect the return to face-to-face events and the thriving industry and work we love. As always, thank you for your continued partnership.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon! 

Janet Dell
President and Chief Operating Officer