LAS VEGAS — When the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) closed its doors in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility management had one overriding question they needed to answer: How could they keep everyone safe when they reopened and began hosting events that would see thousands of people walking through their doors during a trade show, expo, or convention?
“While we had documented standards and procedures, we were concerned with where to start, especially early in the pandemic,” Randy Shingleton, Vice President of Facilities, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said.
The answer was the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation. Developed by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, GBAC STAR is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. This accreditation means that a facility has established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents and has the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation helps facility management establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to enable them to minimize risk to employees and visitors. To achieve accreditation, facility management must submit an application that details compliance with 20 key elements, which is reviewed by the Accreditation Council. Facilities must also reaccredit annually to uphold the GBAC STAR-accredited status.
The LVCC has become the first facility in Nevada to be awarded the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation. Improving the cleaning process is critical for high-traffic
international facilities like LVCC. GBAC STAR has given LVCC the tools to self-evaluate and streamline strategies. The facility management team reviewed and updated protocols, tools, and training to implement better practices for cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention.
For example, LVCC explored more effective options for disinfecting to shorten product dwell time and introduced easy-to-use tools so staff would perform their duties without cutting corners.
According to Shingleton, “we took a holistic approach of not just being good corporate citizens to our local economy, but being good global citizens to keep our corner of the world safe.”
Securing the accreditation gives LVCC’s trade show clients and employees peace of mind about returning to the facility. Frontline staff feel safer as they interact with customers, which in turn helps customers feel safe, valued, and respected. “Accreditation showcases that we put extensive thought and action into following the industry’s top health and safety protocols and best practices,” Shingleton said. In fact, GBAC STAR accreditation is now a requirement for many event and trade show organizers, so LVCC’s accreditation status enables it to secure business.
According to Nicole Hallada, Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Marketing at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, it is making a difference to trade show organizers and attendees. CONEXPO-CON/AGG, North America’s largest construction trade show, is meeting at the LVCC in March of 2023. “CONEXPO-CON/AGG and the co-located IFPE, appreciate the diligence of the Las Vegas Convention Center to acquire the GBAC STAR Accreditation. This attention to health and safety in today’s environment gives our exhibitors and attendees an additional layer of confidence when making the decision to participate in March 2023,” Hallada said.