ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., recently became the first convention center to achieve Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR reaccreditation globally after a year of hosting in-person events.
Armed with a combination of GBAC STAR protocols, local Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health, and ongoing collaboration with Orlando Health, the OCCC has 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 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 Aug. 19, 2021, the OCCC has 52 contracted events on the calendar through 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).
GBAC STAR facility reaccreditation is an annual process that builds on the initial accreditation to ensure facilities continue with the performance-based GBAC STAR program elements.
“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.”