Preparing for your next in-person trade show, conference or other event likely looks quite different from 2019. Venues and facilities throughout the United States and across the globe have added or significantly increased precautions for cleaning and disease prevention in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Attendees, exhibitors, and show organizers must adhere to a number of new parameters, including temperature checks and hand sterilization, to maximize safety. The GBAC STAR accreditation is a more formalized set of guidelines and best practices for mass gatherings and in-person events.
What is GBAC STAR accreditation?
GBAC, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, “helps organizations and businesses prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats, and biohazard situations and real-time crises.” The council, which is an impressive network of scientists, experts, and specialists, offers “education, training, certification, response management, and crisis consulting for situations where environments require a much higher level of cleaning, disinfection, and restoration.” They are a division of ISSA, the Worldwide Industry Cleaning Association.
GBAC offers a STAR accreditation program, that “is performance-based and designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention for their staff and their building.” At present, it is the only outbreak prevention certification offered by the cleaning industry.
Following STAR protocol means that a facility has: “
- Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
- The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
- Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.”
The full program, which will be updated at regular intervals, includes twenty key elements and is similar to existing ISO programs. Airlines, hotels, and other businesses can also receive the accreditation.
Multiple event and exhibit industry organizations have voiced their support for STAR, including the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), and the Go LIVE Together Coalition.
What does this mean for me as an exhibitor?
With more than 3,000 facilities actively pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation globally, exhibitors can expect more and more convention centers, expo halls, and trade show venues to receive the certification and to enforce more stringent guidelines on both attendance and participation.
As of third quarter 2020, the following event venues in the United States have received their accreditation:
- Anaheim Convention Center
- Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
- Georgia World Congress Center
- Las Vegas Convention Center
- Los Angeles Convention Center
- McCormick Place
- Miami Beach Convention Center
- Orange County Convention Center
- Walter E. Washington Convention Center
It is the hope of the exhibit industry that with improved cleaning protocol and enhanced safety precautions, events industry will see a rebound and more face-to-face events will safely resume.
Exhibiting at a GBAC STAR accredited facility
From Anaheim to Washington, D.C. and everywhere in between, Condit is your event marketing resource. Our team is diligently reviewing all GBAC documentation to help our clients and prospects artfully and intelligently incorporate the latest health and safety requirements into their exhibits.