Orange County Convention Center Helps Design & Build Week Make Significant Donations to Support Affordable Housing

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Orange County Convention Center Helps Design & Build Week Make Significant Donations to Support Affordable Housing

There’s no doubt that when a trade show goes the extra mile to make a positive difference in its host community, the impacts can be incredibly significant. Example: 9and annual Design and Build Week (DCW), held at Orange County Convention Center From February 8-10, who generously donated $13,300 in leftover kitchen, bathroom, living room, and outdoor items to an Orlando-area nonprofit with support the site’s sustainability coordinator.

As the largest in-person trade show take place in the establishment since the start of the pandemic, the massive event consisted of two collocated lounges: the NAHB International Builder’s Show (IBS), the world’s largest annual home building trade show, and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), North America’s largest kitchen and bath industry trade show.

Through collaboration with Katerina Chagoya, OCCC’s Sustainability Coordinator, show organizers were able to connect with West Orange Habitat for Humanity ensure that gently used furniture, household items and building materials exhibited by DCW exhibitors are sent to the Restore at Winter Garden, where they would be sold to help support Habitat’s mission to create decent, affordable homes.

“All sales from our ReStore go directly to help build safe, decent and affordable homes for local families in need,” said Nicole Campbell, communications manager for West Orange Habitat for Humanity. “These donations are an important part of how we operate as a nonprofit and allow us to continue our mission here in Central Florida.”

For nonprofits like West Orange Habitat, trade shows and conventions can be a reliable source of donations. According to OCCC officials, shows held at the convention center this year have so far provided nearly $250,000 in donations to the organization. But to make this kind of large-scale donation a reality, teamwork and coordination on the part of show and venue organizers are essential parts of the equation.

In her role at OCCC, Chagoya works with each client to coordinate donations with local nonprofits, schools, and charities in Orange County and Central Florida. During the donation process, she assists clients by providing an ever-growing resource list of local partners, from which the client directly manages coordination of donations. More frequently, the event will choose to leave donations entirely in the hands of the OCCC and Chagoya itself.

“As a government-owned and operated public institution, the OCCC provides information on nonprofit organizations that may receive goods, however, the client makes the final decision and sometimes a priority list of organizations that should receive the gift,” Chagoya explained. “If the event does not have a preference, the OCCC sends the items throughout Central Florida. In this case, West Orange Habitat for Humanity ReStore staff and volunteers, along with OCCC staff, coordinated the storage and transportation of donations.

To help facilitate the process for event customers interested in donating after the show, Chagoya will compile a comprehensive inventory of items that will not be returned with the customer or vendors at each exhibit booth. She then takes photos of the items, documents the items, quantities, dimensions, and locations on the floor, and sends this information to various organizations who can then claim the items on a first-come, first-served basis. Once organizations claim the items, Chagoya helps coordinate their transportation and provides a report showing the weight, approximate value, and organization that received each item.

So how can more trade shows participate in post-show donation efforts? It all starts with pre-show planning and coordination, Chagoya said.

For example, think about items that will be left behind after the event, from large light fixtures and furniture to small items like lanyards and fake plants, then ask the convention center if it has a donation process, she said. suggested. Additionally, ask them to help provide the names of local nonprofits, schools, and charities, keeping in mind the types of items these entities accept, if they have a means of transportation and if someone is available to unload large items, she added.

Many convention centers, such as the OCCC, now offer green meeting services for customers, which should include a network of charities and partners to help facilitate post-show donations.

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