In case you didn’t know (we sure didn’t), April 11 is “Global Meetings Industry Day” and not one to miss out on a theme, Visit Orlando asked Orlando’s Poet Laureate, Shawn Welcome, to write an original poem in honor of the occasion.

Visit Orlando shared that meetings and conventions contribute an estimated $4 billion to the local economy, with Orlando regularly ranked as one of the top meeting destinations in the nation.

Welcome was appointed as the city’s official Poet Laureate in October 2021, replacing the first-ever Poet Laureate, Susan Lilley. He is a long-time Orlando resident and University of Central Florida graduate and he has been involved in the Orlando community facilitating poetic expression since 2006 through his “Diverse Word” series, a weekly poetry night he launched that features local literary artists from across Central Florida. He has worked with several ara organizations including Page 15, The Hope CommUnity Center, the Orlando Boys and Girls Club, Frontline Outreach Community Center, and more.

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