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Orange County Convention Center Sees First Cancellation From Coronavirus

Aerial photo of the Orange County Convention Center, courtesy of the convention center.
Aerial photo of the Orange County Convention Center, courtesy of the convention center.

The Orange County Convention Center has had its first cancellation due to the coronavirus.
Ellucian Live 2020 is an upcoming technology conference for the higher education industry. It was expected to bring 8,000 attendees to the convention center in early April.

But now, conference planners say the event has been canceled due to growing concerns about the new coronavirus. Instead, it will now be a virtual conference. Attendees are getting their registration fees refunded.

“The health and well-being of all Ellucian employees, customers and partners throughout the world is of utmost importance to me, to our Board of Directors, and to all of us at Ellucian," said Ellucian President and CEO Laura Ipsen in a statement. "As more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak became available, it became more apparent that our 2,700 customers around the world need to have their leadership available to prepare and respond to the challenges that the virus poses to their students, faculty and staff.”

It’s believed to be the first cancellation at the convention center due to COVID-19.

"As of March 3, we received notification of one show cancellation for the first week of April 2020," wrote Nadia Vanderhoof, marketing and communication specialist with the convention center. "We continue to monitor the situation through updates from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health, along with Orange County Government officials."

Next week, the convention center is expected to welcome President Donald Trump and more than 36,000 visitors for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference. It’s the third largest conference at the convention center annually.

CNBC is reporting that, while the conference is still on, several large vendors like Amazon, Intel and Salesforce have backed out of attending. Cisco also announced it won't be attending.

"While we are extremely disappointed that we cannot continue with these events as planned, we strongly believe this is the right decision given the current circumstances," Cisco officials wrote on its website.

According to its annual report, the Orange County Convention Center has an estimated annual economic impact of $3 billion dollars.