Living up to its name: first convention in town in 18 months

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Ever since the pandemic hit, the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center turned from an event destination to an emergency vaccination site. However that all changes soon.

Starting tomorrow, attendees will walk through the convention doors for the College Music Society Conference – the first conference to be held at the convention center since March of 2020.

"Our enthusiasm as a staff and myself, personally, we couldn’t be happier to be welcoming visitors back into the center," said Jim Brown, executive director at the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center.

Although the doors never fully closed at the convention center during the pandemic, the meaning will finally live up to its name.

"Having College Music Society here in Rochester is a huge milestone for us as we begin our recovery. It’s been a long time," said Wendy O’Duffy, director of sales at Visit Rochester.

In addition to playing host to a vaccination site for Monroe County during the pandemic, the center kept busy.

"We’ve been under major capital improvements here. We have new escalators going in, new media room partitions, all very important things to help the building improve and be more attractive to our visitors," Brown said.

"Folks will be spending money in our hotels our restaurants, our attractions, our museums and our local shop, so it’s a great way to kick off the conventions that are coming in we have thousands of people coming in through the season," O’Duffy said.

Convention center executive Jim Brown says this moment has been a long time coming and he is excited to open the doors tomorrow

"First and foremost attendees can expect a welcoming smile from me and my staff because we’re just so happy to have people here. Of course, we are still living in a COVID world, so we’re still adhering to Monroe County health recommendations," Brown said.