Washington, DC is a leading destination for meetings and conventions of all sizes. The city is dedicated to developing initiatives and investing in new opportunities by adding to its strong industries with $11.5 billion in development, 19 hotels in the pipeline and many new and renovated special events venues in the works. Washington, DC’s appeal and ease of access are unparalleled, making it a hot spot for the international business community and specifically its top international meetings markets: UK, India, Japan and China.
According to the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Statistics Report, Washington, DC is the #1 city in the USA for international association meetings. With 17 free-to-enter Smithsonian museums, historic landmarks, tech-friendly venues and artistically-appealing buildings, the city is one of the top destinations to host a meeting.
Washington, DC’s landscape is ever-changing with new unique venues such as the popular innovative digital art gallery, Artechouse, and DC’s first winery, District Winery, a 17,000 sq. foot venue in Capitol Riverfront overlooking the Anacostia River. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center (pictured) will begin a fresh renovation this fall with capital improvements include new seating, enhanced digital signage, a streetscape plan and a “mamava pod” for nursing mothers.
New and upcoming developments that bring even more unique meeting and event space include:
- + Eaton Workshop (Opening late summer 2018)
A pilot project aimed at inspiring social change, the new global hotel brand will debut with a 209-room property downtown. Eaton Workshop boasts 10,000 sq. feet of event space, rotating art exhibits and a co-working club that can accommodate up to 370 members.
- + The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion (Opening spring 2019)
The world-renowned DC venue will add 2,500 sq. feet of new performance space, 7,500 sq. feet of pre-function and event space, new art installations and digital advancements. Outside, guests can utilize a new video wall, a terrace for up to 1,600 people and a scenic walkway to the Potomac River and nearby monuments and memorials.
- + International Spy Museum (Opening spring 2019)
One of the city’s most popular museums will move from Penn Quarter to L’Enfant Plaza, a short walk from the National Mall. The new location will be 140,000 sq. feet, more than double the original space, and will feature a lecture hall/theater and event space with great views.
- + The Conrad Washington, DC (Opening winter 2019)
A 360-room hotel from Hilton Worldwide adds more luxury to CityCenterDC. Features include two outdoor terraces, a rooftop bar, conference rooms and 30,000 sq. feet of luxury retail space.
- + SLS Hotel (Opening late 2019)
DC’s first SLS-branded property is expected to open at 5th and Eye Street NW. The design-focused 12-story building will house a 175-room property on floors 2-8. The mezzanine and cellar will include amenities and a 5,500 sq. foot ballroom.
The ease of travel continues to add to DC’s appeal for international business travelers. The city recently launched direct nonstop air service into Dulles International Airport from key international markets, including El Salvador via Volaris, which began in May 2018; Edinburgh, Scotland via United Airlines (seasonal, May 23 to Oct. 4, 2018); London Stansted Airport via Primera Air (August 2018) and Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific (September 2018).
“We welcome more business and hope the new nonstop air service and hotel inventory will help make it easy to choose Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Business travelers can access industry thought leaders, meet in incredible venues and enjoy the city’s captivating free museums and Michelin-starred restaurant scene all year round.”