Since it was unveiled in May, the GBAC STAR accreditation—awarded to facilities for stellar cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease outbreak prevention protocols—has made waves in the U.S., with hundreds of facilities around the country earning the accreditation this year.
One of the newest to earn a spot on the list is the Austin Convention Center.
To earn the accreditation, a facility must comply with 20 of the program’s “core elements,” including risk assessment strategies, sustainability (making sure it’s an ongoing program), the use of PPE, standard operating procedures, the consideration of new technology and tools and emergency preparedness.
“When the submittal process was presented, our staff never hesitated with the thought of increased documentation and new cleaning protocols,” said Taje Allen, the interim facilities manager for the Austin Convention Center Department, in a press release. “We are excited about our new equipment that will assist us with infectious disease prevention and disinfection. I’m proud to say our convention center staff has taken all changes in stride and has welcomed all newly implemented safety measures to ensure a clean and safe environment for all workers and guests.”
[Related: The GBAC STAR Accreditation and What It Means for Planners]
New equipment that the Austin Convention Center will use includes:
- Stearns ONE PACKS Mark E II Disinfectant/Deodorizer, a one-step germicide, detergent, deodorizer, fungicide and virucide.
- Sentry 4 UV standalone disinfection machines that emit full spectrum UV light to eliminate up to 99.9% of the bacteria, fungi and viruses in a space and limit the growth of fungi.
- The convention center has also ordered handheld electrostatic sprayers from Victory Sprayers, which uses a patented technology to achieve effective and even coverage.
“The GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation is a performance-based program that certifies that the Austin Convention Center continues to protect our staff and visitors, as we are equipped and ready to safely welcome back in-person events,” said Trisha Tatro, interim director for the Austin Convention Center Department, in a press release. “Our staff has worked extremely hard to operate using specific procedures and protocols to best prepare, protect and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.”
Who Else Is on the List?
If sourcing for an upcoming event and the GBAC STAR is something that will help make decisions or get those stamps of approval, planners can go to the GBAC STAR directory, where they can search by location (region, country, state or zip code), facilities type (from arenas and convention centers to airports and restaurants) and type of accreditation (whether they’re fully accredited or have “committed” to it and are in the process of being accredited).
Some notable additions to the accredited list include:
- America’s Center
- Atlantic City Convention Center
- Austin Convention Center
- Baltimore Convention Center
- Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex
- Boise Center
- Camping World Stadium
- Charlotte Convention Center
- Dallas Love Field Airport
- DFW International Airport
- Gatlinburg Convention Center
- Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center (which recently hosted MPI’s WEC 2020)
- Georgia World Congress Center
- Honda Center
- Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland
- Hyatt Regency Orlando (where we recently visited for #MTLive2020)
- Javits Center
- Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas
- Kentucky International Convention Center
- Lancaster County Convention Center
- Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
- Long Beach Convention Center
- Los Angeles Convention Center
- Miami Beach Convention Center
- Microsoft Theater
- Monona Terrace Convention Center
- Music City Center
- Myrtle Beach Convention Center
- Myrtle Beach International Airport
- Orange County Convention Center
- Overland Park Convention Center
- Pasadena Convention Center
- Pennsylvania Convention Center
- Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Center
- Savannah Convention Center
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Tampa Convention Center
- The Salt Palace Convention Center
- Wisconsin Center
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