September 24, 2020

Washington State Governor Approves Business Events in Phases 2 and 3

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has modified the state’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 restrictions around business meetings, professional development training and testing, and similar activities, effective Sept. 21. According to the new guidance, the Governor’s Safe Start reopening plan will permit meetings and business events to be held at an indoor capacity of 30% or 200 guests, whichever is less (excluding venue staff).

Adherence to strict COVID-19 protocols must be followed, including implementation of social distancing requirements for staff, attendees and onsite vendors or contractors, and all attendees will be required to wear masks within each facility. Venues must also achieve the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation or follow compliance with a comparable program. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations.

On July 7, the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC)announced its commitment to achieve the GBAC STAR™ accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. The WSCC has also released a Safety First Overview, which outlines the guidelines, precautionary measures, and requirements to be followed by everyone who enters the building. These guidelines include the use of EPA-approved disinfecting products and electrostatic sprayers, increased food safety measures, and access to the building limited to event attendees only. Along with safety guidelines, the convention center has also developed a virtual event studio which will allow meeting planners to broadcast virtual or hybrid (both in-person and virtual) meetings to attendees. The studio, which features first-class projection, lighting and a pre-installed audio/video control system, is an essential addition for the interim reality of in-person meetings.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to welcome back small groups to the building during Phase 2,” said Jeff Blosser, Washington State Convention Center President & CEO. “The convention center has bolstered its already stringent cleaning protocol to provide an even safer, but still comfortable, environment for event-goers. We look forward to collaborating with clients to mitigate known risk factors for in-person events so they and their attendees can focus on program content.”

Read the full press release from Visit Seattle.