The Greater Way Forward - Update on COVID-19 and Convention Center Reopening

Greater Tacoma Convention Center Recognized as a Top Convention Center in North America

EXHIBITOR magazine, a leading industry publication, named the Greater Tacoma Convention Center to its top convention centers in North America for a second year. The venue was also named best convention center (under 100,000 square feet of exhibit space). Winners were announced during a virtual ceremony December 10.


“Being named among our Centers of Excellence is a huge accomplishment,” said Travis Stanton, editor of EXHIBITOR magazine. “But to further acknowledge the best of the best, these special awards recognize the exhibitor-friendly venues that consistently exceed expectations and collectively raise the bar with regard to what a convention center is and should be.” 

Tacoma was recognized alongside convention centers in Anaheim, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Orange County, Chicago, and more. Convention centers were evaluated using criteria in five primary categories: facility and functionality; location and accommodations; service and execution; expansions and upgrades; and awards and industry participation.  

Leadership for the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, alongside a coalition of Washington venues, defined an operational proposal to safely re-open, recognizing the critical need for in-person meetings, and the economic impact of closures to the vitality of surrounding businesses and individuals in their respective communities.   

The Greater Tacoma Convention Center is currently closed to meetings and events under the Governor’s Safe Start Plan. Under the facility’s Greater Way Forward plan, modifications are underway for recovery. Application has been made for Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. New protocols include reduced touchpoints, heightened employee training and awareness, and adapted food and beverage service. Flexible booking policies and focused communication with event planners and guests are in place to instill confidence in the safe return to events.   

The 304-room Marriott Tacoma Downtown, managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, opened in November.  The 22-story Marriott Tacoma Downtown connects to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center on the ballroom level with a grand promenade that features large windows and views of the Tacoma waterfront and Mt. Rainier.  

The leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, Exhibitor Media Group publishes the award-winning EXHIBITOR magazine, a monthly publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR's learning events include: EXHIBITORLIVE, Best Practices in Trade Shows and Events; EXHIBITORFastTrak accelerated learning conferences; and EXHIBITOR eTrak, professional online learning. Exhibitor Media Group is also the founder and sponsor of CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer), the industry's only university-affiliated professional certification program.