By Nadia Vanderhoof
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., one of the first convention centers to receive GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™, (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, recently became the first convention center to achieve reaccreditation globally after a successful year of hosting in person events. Through its dedication to upholding GBAC STAR infection prevention protocols, as well as its Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health, and its pioneering collaboration with Orlando Health®, the OCCC hosted more than 100 live events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the very beginning, we have been committed to hosting safe events and prioritizing the health of all who enter the OCCC,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “GBAC STAR has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are today. We are grateful for the ongoing support and flexibility of our clients and partners, as well as our guests and employees, as we continue to uphold the new standard of cleanliness.”
As of August 19, 2021, the OCCC has 52 contracted events planned throughout the rest of the year, including 12 conventions, trade shows, and sporting events that relocated their events to the OCCC from other destinations. In June 2021, the facility welcomed its largest event to date, the Amateur Athletic Union’s (AAU) 48th Annual Junior National Volleyball Championships, which brought in more than 135,000 attendees. It also recently hosted attendees for the world’s leading aviation, aerospace, and defense conference, Aviation Week MRO Americas, as well as the North American Veterinary Community’s (NAVC) 38th annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX), the world’s leading veterinary conference and expo.
GBAC STAR Facility Reaccreditation is an annual process that builds on the initial accreditation to ensure that accredited facilities continue to evolve, improve, and advance with the performance-based GBAC STAR program elements. With over 1,000 facilities having achieved the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation in 2020, many are now beginning the process of reaccreditation.
“We designed GBAC STAR to grow and evolve with facilities as new information and best practices emerge,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “The reaccreditation process is a great way to ensure that over time, as restrictions ease and the public becomes more comfortable in public settings, facilities continue to do everything in their power to prevent the spread of infection. OCCC is a leader in the trade show industry, showing how to hold safe events in the middle of a pandemic and beyond.”
Learn more and apply for GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation at gbac.org/star. Learn more about the GBAC STAR Facility Reaccreditation process at gbac.issa.com/gbac-star-facility-reaccreditation. Find accredited facilities and those pursuing accreditation via the GBAC STAR Facility Directory at gbac.org/directory.
Nadia Vanderhoof is Marketing and Communications Manager for the Orange County Convention Center.