BCMC Prepares Safe Venue for All Participants

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineJune 23, 2020
by SBCA's Executive Committee


BCMC is returning to Columbus, Ohio, September 29-October 2! America continues to reopen after the disruption of various stay at home orders and restrictions in local and state jurisdictions were implemented to “flatten the curve” and avoid stressing the capacities of local medical facilities. In order to address attendees’ and exhibitors’ concerns, the BCMC Committee and staff are taking a number of steps to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all show participants.

Precautions are being prepared on three separate levels and will be tiered in their application to provide a flexible and dynamic approach to safeguarding everyone’s health. These levels are:

  1. Greater Columbus Convention Center: Facilities Management
  2. Building Component Manufacturers Conference: Event Management
  3. Individual Responsibility

The Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is truly a national leader in its response to reopening post-COVID-19.  Columbus is one of the first destinations to coordinate a citywide pursuit of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR accreditation, which is the cleaning industry’s gold standard for facilities and the only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. This ensures BCMC will be held in one of the cleanest facilities in the country for conventions. This significantly reduces any potential for attendees to contract any type of disease or illness contracted via surfaces. In addition, the GCCC is LEED Certified Silver which includes heightened minimum indoor air quality performance requirements, including the use of Merv 13 air filters (typically used in hospitals) to ensure air inside the convention center is clean.

Venue shield logo

Additionally, GCCC is establishing new room capacities that employ six-foot social distancing guidelines for classroom, theater and banquet set ups that determine how a room is organized for various educational sessions and group meetings.  GCCC staff wear masks in all public areas and have installed six-foot social distancing signs throughout the center. Furthermore, ASM Global, the owner of GCCC is implementing its “Venue Shield” program to provide the highest levels of cleanliness and safety to inspire confidence amongst attendees, the result of a partnership with leading medical professionals, industry experts and public health officials. 

BCMC staff is also working diligently to ensure this year’s show is safe and provides attendees the opportunity to enjoy the show floor and educational sessions free from worry. All options for alterations and accommodations are being reviewed and put in place for the protection of attendees and exhibitors. These considerations include rethinking registration, the ribbon cutting ceremony, exhibit hours, educational sessions and social distancing protocols for any area where people congregate or come together. Other ideas include one-way traffic for aisles on the show flow, staggering booths and aisles to ensure people don’t amass in front of booths and even including spacing between booths for conversations to occur without blocking aisle traffic. Attendees will also find ample hand sanitizers on the show floor and throughout the GCCC to use during their BCMC experience. 

BCMC staff is also exploring ways to distribute educational session handouts in a “no touch” way, cleaning exhibit floor surfaces outside of show hours and including a robust first aid station for participants. Attendees may be expected to have a temperature check and questionnaire at GCCC entrances with daily stickers placed on badges to denote compliance each day of BCMC. Masks may also be available for attendees and exhibitors with usage recommendations determined on site, depending on up to the moment CDC Guidelines and best practices during BCMC. If necessary, Columbus has a number of COVID-19 drive-through testing centers for anyone who feels a test would put their mind at ease.

Columbus FWD logo

The third and final level to ensure a safe BCMC relies on attendees and exhibitors acting prudently. This involves frequently and thoroughly washing hands and using hand sanitizer after contacting commonly touched surfaces like door handles and escalator railings. Experience Columbus is promoting its “Live Forward” Pledge to assure city guests that each of their businesses who are participating are putting health and safety of their patrons at the forefront of their operation. 

When exploring Columbus outside of show hours look for the Pledge Partner logo to know that venue is:

  • Following, enforcing and adhering to the health and safety guidelines for its organization’s staff and customers as outlined by the CDC and Ohio Department of Health
  • Requiring that employees wear protective gear, such as face masks and gloves, and clearly communicating expectations regarding customers wearing face masks, whether mandated or note
  • Implementing and enforcing social distancing practices within our establishment, such as decreased maximum capacity, floor markers and appointment scheduling if possible. 

BCMC is a proven way for attendees to improve their businesses and their operations. Together we can all ensure that BCMC 2020 is a success and all participants return home as healthy as when they left, while taking steps to ensure everyone’s businesses succeeds in 2020 and beyond.