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

The Greater Way Forward

Update on COVID-19 and events

We miss you and cannot wait to welcome you back. We remain committed to the best interests and well-being of our team members, clients, guests, and community.

Reopening Guidelines

In collaboration with the Washington Safe Meeting and Convention Coalition, the Greater Tacoma Convention Center and other facilities proposed guidelines for the reopening of the meetings industry in Washington State. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee's “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan allows for events at varying capacity limits, depending on the event type, including meetings, trainings, weddings, sporting events, etc. If food or drinks are served, additional guidelines must be followed. For more information on event specific guidelines or to have a customized reduced occupancy floor plan created to fit your needs, please contact us for more information.

What To Expect

We have made modifications to ensure we exceed reopening guidelines so our clients and guests feel comfortable returning and clients feel confident booking their next event. 

While we continue to follow this dynamic situation, we have developed our readiness plan and here is some of what clients and guests can expect: 

  • We have achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) Star™ Accreditation. GBAC STAR™ is the venue industry’s premier outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a division of the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA), the Greater Tacoma Convention Center has adopted the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention, aligning with venues across North America and the world in commitment to the highest safety and cleaning standards.
  • HVAC upgrades to improve indoor air quality, including BiPolar ionization units to reduce contaminated air particles, protecting people from airborne bacteria and viruses.
  • Electrostatic sprayers will be used to thoroughly disinfect between events. Electrostatic cleaning is a means of spraying a fine mist of positively charged disinfectant particles that adhere to surfaces and objects.
  • NanoSeptic® self-cleaning surfaces applied to door handles and elevator buttons.
  • UV-C light array sanitizing units are used to disinfect rooms.
  • Water fountains replaced by single bottle fillers in public lobby areas.
  • All restroom facility fixtures are touchless and air hand dryers disabled.
  • Employee training and healthy workplace protocols including use of appropriate PPE and staff wellness checks.
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitation of high touch and high traffic areas during events.
  • Hand sanitizer provided throughout the facility.
  • Physical distancing protocols established, including working with clients on adapted seating arrangements in meeting spaces. Clear signage in both front and back of house reinforces COVID-19 policies enforced by staff. Front of house signage is placed in public common areas such as lobbies, elevators, and at entryways.
  • All guests and staff are required to wear face coverings.
  • A COVID-19 compliance staff member is present during every event to ensure appropriate physical distancing and facial coverings practices are in place.
  • Staggered event times will be utilized if there are multiple events in the facility.
  • Creative modifications to food service with more pre-packaged individual service items.
  • Touch-free parking payment is available through the Flowbird App.
  • A controlled environment where attendees are pre-registered and contact information is retained by event planners.

Flexible Booking Guidelines

With the uncertainty of the phased reopening timeline, we have implemented flexible booking guidelines to reduce worries for events in 2021 and beyond:

  • New events of all types can be booked for up to 600 people. Events with more than 600 people will be considered for mid-2021 and beyond, only with backup dates selected.
  • New events can be booked for up to 1,000 people for July, August, and September with a maximum capacity of 75% of each event space. New events of all sizes can be booked for October through December 2021. For all new 2021 events, additional backup dates must be selected within the following six months at the time of booking.
  • Should event dates change within the six month window (or rooms need to change) due to phased guidelines from state government, additional rental fees will not be charged, and all deposits will be transferred to the new date.


With limited menus for each phase, we will continue to deliver quality experiences that enrich and nourish lives through our healthy service commitment, including:

  • Employees adhering to strict health and safety procedures.
  • Touchless hot urns and cold beverage containers will be provided.
  • Condiments will be packaged as single-serving items.

We will monitor the continually evolving guidelines through national, international, local and state health authorities while our team continues to create innovative solutions for clients and guests to gather in safe and healthy ways. 

We know there is a lot riding on events here – stay healthy and rest assured that we will continue to adapt for the greater way forward. 



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