Planners, do MICE venues meet your safety criteria?

Cleanliness and certification stand out as top considerations in ensuring delegate confidence in attending in-person events.

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation is an important indication of a venue’s enhanced health and safety protocols.
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation is an important indication of a venue’s enhanced health and safety protocols. Photo Credit: gettyimages/swasdee

As venues get ready for the strong resumption of in-person events, maintaining high safety and cleanliness standards are even more important to reassure planners and delegates that it is safe to attend large-scale events once more. ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association sets the bar high with its Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation.

Early in the pandemic, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation became an important indication of a venue’s enhanced health and safety protocols. It was promoted to event organisers to reassure them, as well as attendees, that the venue was following specific prevention, response, and recovery procedures to keep everyone as safe as possible.

MICE venues in destinations with strict Covid-19 safety regulations are well-prepared to handle the resumption of heavy foot falls and delegate attendance. Others have their own internal processes for managing and minimising risk of Covid-19, from touchless technology and intensive cleaning rosters to upgrades in air filtration and purification systems.

Nicole Wu, VP of APAC at Kimberly-Clark Professional shares insights on safety and hygiene.
Nicole Wu, VP of APAC at Kimberly-Clark Professional shares insights on safety and hygiene. Photo Credit: Kimberly-Clark Professional

Nicole Wu, Vice President of APAC at Kimberly-Clark Professional shares: “63% of public washroom end-users believe confidence in hygiene requires more than just the appearance of a clean facility. In fact, Nearly 50% of decision-makers of products in facilities expect public washroom hygiene to be better in the next 12 months.”

Wu added that nearly 50% of end-users surveyed indicated that touchless amenities such as touchless soap dispensers, touchless disposable paper towel dispensers, and automatic doors are important to make them feel confident that the washroom facility is clean and hygienic.

These results were highlighted by a survey commissioned by Kimberly-Clark Professional, which asked washroom end-users in Australia on their expectations of hygiene standards.

“New COVID-19 variants, like Omicron, and other infectious diseases are continuing to present risks, making it more important than ever that facilities seek formal accreditation to remain safe and give visitors confidence in their health,” says GBAC Senior Director Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner.

Dr Macgregor-Skinner added that the GBAC STAR Event Accreditation answers many questions from event managers, exhibitors and potential attendees. “’Is the event being held in a facility that is following proper infection-prevention protocols?’ ‘Is the cleaning-service provider using the right cleaning methods and products and helping prevent transmission of any infectious disease? and ‘Is the event being held in a safe and healthy indoor space?’ These are among the common concerns,” he says.

Within ISSA’s portfolio of global conventions, the association is seeing enthusiasm from members and exhibitors about reconnecting in person. “Our exhibitors will be showcasing their latest products, services and innovations, and our education streams will be addressing hot topics facing the market. It has never been more essential for the industry to come together especially as many businesses are battling labor shortage and searching for new processes, technologies, and systems to boost productivity,” shares Lauren Micallef, Oceania Manager for ISSA.

GBAC has been offering both Facility Accreditation for meeting venues and other facilities such airports, hotels and restaurants, and Service Accreditation for building service contractors, and it now lists over 3,000 accredited facilities and services in its database. The accreditation lasts for one year, and the organisation recommends that facilities and services get reaccredited every year to reaffirm their intention to maintain a safe environment.

Wu added that touchless technology too, plays a pivotal part in ensuring MICE venues and their facilities are up to expectations. “People should be able to use shared equipment and spaces such as washrooms with as little surface contact as possible – from doors to sinks to touchless paper towel dispensers – with access to sanitisation materials for contact surfaces.”



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