Get Ready for APTA’s Big Event

Sept. 22, 2021
APTA’s TRANSform Conference and EXPO is proceeding as an in-person event this November in Orlando and promises to engage and inform attendees.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), as well as the North American transit industry, is preparing to travel to Orlando, Fla., this November to attend APTA’s TRANSform Conference and EXPO.

The show, which will be held Nov. 7-10, 2021, is typically held every three years. However, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event to be rescheduled and moved from Anaheim, Calif., to the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando. OCCC is the second largest convention facility in North America and has hosted more than 100 conventions, trade shows, meetings and other events since the onset of the pandemic. OCCC received its Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation in July 2020, which is considered the gold standard of reduced biorisk situations.

When APTA announced the show’s move to Orlando in April 2021, the association noted Orlando and OCCC’s success in hosting large conventions and tradeshows, as well as the surrounding hotels’ ability to safely handle large groups.

Safety of attendees is a focus of the show and the association recognizes the spread of the delta variant adds a new element of concern. APTA reports it is “working diligently to provide the safest experience possible for all those participating.” Its Safety First policy will include proof of vaccination from attendees or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event start date; proper mask use; using floor decals to encourage six-feet of physical distance, as well as offering contactless badge pick-up and hand sanitizing stations throughout the convention center.

Registration for the event is open and, while there is a fee to attend the TRANSform Conference, attending the exhibit is free. The show floor will feature more than 725 suppliers across three halls. The show floor will also feature four Learning Zones. The four themed Learning Zones include:

  • Innovations Learning Zone where groundbreaking products and technologies impacting rider experience, sustainability and the business of public transport will be featured.
  • Solutions Learning Zone where applications- and service-based presentations will offer solutions to common challenges.
  • Procurement Learning Zone will help attendees determine strategies for more effective procurements.
  • Hot Topics Learning Zone will showcase the latest developments, projects, current and emerging trends from the U.S. and around the world.

APTA TRANSform Conference attendees will have three full days of education sessions that APTA says “will provide ideas, insights and connections” as transit professionals manage the changing environment.

The APTA TRANSform Conference will include two powerful keynote speakers meant to inspire and leave attendees empowered.

Dr. Cady Coleman will deliver the opening keynote on Monday, Nov. 8, and Jeff Henderson will deliver the general session keynote on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Dr. Coleman is a former NASA astronaut and Air Force colonel who has spent more than 180 days in space during two shuttle missions and a six-month expedition to the International Space Station, where she acted as the lead robotics and lead science officer.

She also served in a variety of Earth-bound roles with the Astronaut Office at NASA, including chief of robotics, lead for tile repair efforts after the Columbia accident and lead astronaut for integration with NASA's commercial partners, which includes SpaceX. Her work is credited with paving the way for commercial spaceflight collaborations.

Dr. Coleman is a vocal advocate for inclusion in STEM/STEAM fields, serves as the Global Explorer in Residence at Arizona State University and is also a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab.

Her keynote will draw from her time at NASA and in extreme "remote work" situations to discuss team building, leadership and innovation.

Jeff Henderson is a bestselling author, philanthropist, TV personality and leader in personal and professional development. He is also an award-winning American chef, which is how many around the world know him.

Chef Jeff’s dynamic teaching and powerful story of personal transformation illuminates audiences with proven, high-impact strategies that empower change and inspire fulfillment.

Henderson discovered his passion for cooking while serving a near 10-year stint in federal prison. Upon his release in 1996, he started as a dishwasher, eventually working to become the first African-American Chef de Cuisine at Caesars Palace, being named Las Vegas Chef of The Year and then executive chef at Café Bellagio.

Following the publishing of his bestselling memoir, cookbooks and self-help story, Henderson travels the world teaching his life-changing lessons and working with at-risk young people through his non-profit.

Up-to-date information on the APTA TRANSform Conference and EXPO is available at

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