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Meet in Washington, DC

A leading destination for meetings and conventions of all sizes

A leading destination for meetings and conventions of all sizes

Meet in the nation’s capital, where economics, culture and academics unite. Washington, DC is where great minds gather for meetings in the technology, biotech/pharmaceutical, education and medical sectors as well as sustainability, transportation and government advocacy. Many people think DC starts and ends with the federal government, but the 176-square-kilometre city has so much more to offer. With the sum of major development projects reaching $11.2 billion and 15 hotels with approximately 3,147 new hotel rooms in the pipeline, there is always something new and notable in Washington, DC. Discover the real DC and wow guests with unique venues, vibrant neighbourhoods and a Michelin-starred restaurant scene, in addition to DC’s iconic monuments, memorials and museums.

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Tara Miller
Tara Miller Senior Manager of International Sales
  • Destination DC
  • 901 7th Street NW
  • Suite 400
  • Washington, DC
  • 20001
  • U.S.
  • National Languages: English
  • Time Zone: Eastern Time

Information

Transport

By Plane: There are three major airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the closest and offers flights from 95-plus destinations, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is the primary airport with flights from 140-plus destinations and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).  

By Train: Union Station is the country’s second busiest Amtrak station.

By Bus: Greyhound, Peter Pan, BoltBus, Megabus.com and BestBus all offer services from Union Station. Or, let Destination DC recommend a transportation company.

Getting Around DC: DC is the #1 city for public transport and has one of the safest, cleanest and most efficient in the world. The walkability of the city is unparalleled, saving the cost of shuttles with over 40 hotels within walking distance of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 

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Climate & Weather

DC has a temperate climate and experiences all the seasons: warm summers, cool and sometimes cold winters, and pleasant springs and falls.

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Public Holidays

  • 01/01/2020, New Year’s Day
  • 20/01/2020, Martin Luther King Jr. Day **
  • 18/02/2020, George Washington's Birthday
  • 16/04/2020, DC Emancipation Day
  • 27/05/2020, Memorial Day **
  • 04/07/2020, Independence Day
  • 07/09/2020, Labor Day **
  • 12/10/2020, Columbus Day
  • 11/11/2020, Veterans Day
  • 26/11/2020, Thanksgiving **
  • 25/12/2020, Christmas
**changes annually

Unusual Venues

The nation’s capital is filled with exceptional venues, from 16 free Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, to historic landmarks, photogenic buildings and tech-friendly settings. Here are some standouts, with many more to be found on washington.org/venues.

Washington National Cathedral

  • Located in the idyllic Upper Northwest neighbourhood, this beautiful cathedral is much more than a place of worship. With four distinctive and scenic spaces dedicated to hosting meetings or events, your choices are plentiful. The gorgeous nave, which has space for up to 1,500 people, consistently draws rave reviews.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

  • The Smithsonian's most popular museum holds the world's most significant collection of aviation and space exploration artifacts. It can accommodate large-scale events of up to 4,000 people.

The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard

  • Situated in the building that houses the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, this downtown venue has a soaring glass canopy ceiling and the capacity to host up to 1,200 reception-style or 1,000 for a seated dinner.

District Winery

  • Set in lively Capitol Riverfront, the 17,000-square-foot District Winery overlooks the winding Anacostia River and features a glass-encased winery with a tasting bar, as well as Ana, a restaurant that can seat up to 50 indoors and 80 on its patio. Treat your attendees to wine flights, sweeping sunsets and impeccable service at DC’s first winery.

Nationals Park

  • Give your event a championship backdrop. DC’s state-of-the-art baseball stadium (home of the Washington Nationals) offers more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space. It features four large club spaces, 70 luxurious suites, a conference centre and outstanding catering services.

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Visa Requirements

International visitors who need a visa must apply at an American embassy or consulate. For more information visit travel.state.gov.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

  • The VWP enables nationals of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
  • Eligible travellers must apply for an ESTA application via the official government site.
  • Please be aware of a significant number of Internet scams involving ESTA procedures. 

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Transfers

Find out everything you need to know about how to get to and from the airports closest to Washington, DC. 

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

  • Reagan Airport is accessible via its own Metro stop on the Blue and Yellow lines.

Washington Dulles International Airport

  • Dulles Airport has a dedicated access road that makes getting to or from the airport efficient via car or airport shuttle. Washington Flyer taxi cabs exclusively service Dulles Airport and the Silver Line extension on the Metro will be complete in 2020.

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

  • BWI Airport is accessible via a MARC/Amtrak train route that picks up and drops off at Union Station.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

There are countless CSR opportunities in Washington, DC such as Impact 4 Good, DC Central Kitchen, Bread for the City, National Park Service, Ronald McDonald House and Bright Beginnings. Service opportunities are perfect for your next meeting, event or as a team building activity. From supporting educational initiatives such as literacy to awareness and support of community hunger via food pantry projects, the nation’s capital has a variety of available causes to support. 

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Activities

You can find all the best things to do right here in DC, from concerts and cultural events to American history, free attractions and so much more.

No city has as many world-class activities for free as Washington, DC. It’s easy to ride the Metro or hop on a bike and explore all that the nation’s capital has to offer. Walk the halls of free Smithsonian museums, paddle on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers or sit back on a double-decker tour bus and soak up some history. Local shops, funky marketplaces and people-watching hot spots beckon by midday, as nighttime gives way to multi-course dinners and drinks from local breweries. However you spend your time here, make it count.

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Team Building Events

Discover DC’s top destination management companies (DMCs) for your next meeting or event in Washington, DC. A DMC can assist a corporate event or meeting planner as they have extensive knowledge of the DC area. Our local DMCs are prepped to organise and plan any event, whether it be a gala dinner, corporate meeting, incentive group or conference.

Of the millions of visitors who travel to Washington, DC each year, many are part of large groups. That’s because the city makes group travel easy with its accessibility, clearly understood bus regulations, amazing dining options, educational tours and wealth of free museums. Make your group travel plans today with our team of experts there to help you along the way. Check out our website for the latest tour options for groups – from Big Bus or Segway tours to group activities at new attractions such as the International Spy Museum or the REACH at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the options are endless.

There are countless events and festivals happening in the District throughout the year that are perfect for groups. Check out various resources on washington.org. 

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Watch Videos

Welcome to Washington, DC

#MyDCcool

World Gas Case Study

Discover the Real DC

Explore the Arts District

Cheers to the Perfect Getaway

Legacies of Medical Meetings and Alignment to the UNSDG's

IBTM Global Policy and Practice Forum - Melissa Riley

Programmes

Corporate Meetings Sample Programme

A Connected Corporate Meeting in Washington, DC – Bring your corporate meeting to the nation’s capital and discover the Real DC, where real businesses are thriving. No other city has access to experiences, influencers and industry assets within various thriving sectors such as technology, biotech/pharma, medical, transportation, education, sustainability and government advocacy.

Meeting Venue: The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is a one-of-a-kind building, located on historic Pennsylvania Ave., within walking distance of the White House, the Capitol, the National Mall and many of DC’s most popular museums. From art and entertainment, events and exhibits to restaurants and retail shopping, the Reagan Building is a premier event space for your next corporate meeting.

Nearby Hotels: Assembly on Pennsylvania Avenue – JW Marriott, Willard InterContinental, W Hotel and many more.

Attendee Experience: Access world-class speakers and customise prestigious university programming within thriving sectors such as medical/healthcare and technology. Cap-off an impactful programme with a memorable networking event with exclusive hire of one of the Smithsonian Institution’s iconic museums!

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Convention Sample Programme

A Walkable Convention in a Global Hub – From easy-to-use public transportation and accessible airports to unparalleled walkability and innovative developments, the nation’s capital has one of the best public transportation networks in the U.S. Washington, DC is a great place to host meetings without the use and added expense of a shuttle.

Convention Venue: With 40+ hotels within walking distance of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the ease of commuting within the city continues to add to DC’s appeal for business travellers. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is as functional as it is artistically impressive. The 2.3-million-square-foot space hosts meetings, conventions and events of every kind, from medical industry annual meetings to comic book-inspired expos and board retreats, boasting 703,000 square feet of exhibition space inside the center and award-winning digital signage.

Nearby Hotels: The Marriott Marquis, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel and Grand Hyatt Washington DC often serve as headquarters, but there are 40+ hotel rooms within walking distance to choose from!

Attendee Experience: With attendees convening in the centre of Washington, DC—within walking distance to the White House and National Mall—and surrounded by a vibrant neighbourhood and dining scene, they’ll be immersed in a dynamic convention experience both inside and outside the venue.

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Incentive Sample Programme

Discover the Real DC – Many people think DC starts and ends with the federal government, but this 68-square-mile city has so much more – and it’s at the top of its game. Michelin-starred masterpieces. Pre-Broadway premieres. Hands-on history. Find out what the District is really all about and plan your next incentive programme in Washington, DC.

Meeting Venue: The REACH at the Kennedy Center is the first major expansion in the Kennedy Center’s history, designed to bridge the gap between audience and art. In addition to a green roof, pedestrian bridge and casual café, the expansion features 11 flexible spaces that transform any event into an interactive arts experience. The stunning Skylight Pavilion features views of the Potomac River and is augmented by theatrical lighting to transform the room for special events, while the Moonshot Studio is a 'Maker Space' where groups can hold interactive workshops or meetings.

Nearby Hotels: From luxury at the Conrad Washington DC and Four Seasons and lifestyle at The LINE DC and the Riggs Washington DC, to historic at The Hay-Adams and Omni Shoreham, the accommodation options are endless.

Attendee Experience: Kick-off a monumental programme atop a rooftop overlooking the iconic skyline followed by a Monuments by Moonlight sightseeing tour. Open the next day with a general session at The REACH at the Kennedy Center followed by a foodie tour in charming Georgetown with mainstays and hidden gems. Optional excursions can include anything from art and architecture, to American politics and espionage at the International Spy Museum. Evening events will be memorable with exclusive hire of one of the Smithsonian Institution’s iconic museums or dining on the lawn of the first president’s home at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. A nightcap at any of the District’s live music venues and cocktail lounges will highlight the unique music genre of Go-Go.

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Testimonials

Jay Copan

Jay Copan

WGC 2018

Our goal for this year's World Gas Conference was to put on a world-class event in a world-class city. We exceeded that goal. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the most impressive venue that has hosted any of our conferences. Destination DC and Events DC have truly exceptional, friendly and professional teams. All of our thousands of attendees were thrilled with being in Washington, DC for this year's conference.

Eduardo Chaillo

Eduardo Chaillo

Latin America at Maritz Global Events

DC is a place where innovation and creativity create the prime environment for meetings and conferences - it's a place where all voices are heard, and global decisions are made.

Iona Roberts

Iona Roberts

Black Tomato Agency

There are a variety of activities and venue options in Washington, DC to form an exciting event programme around. Most impressive to me are the great conference facilities for large groups and the water activities available in DC, which add a special element to any experience.

Phil Keeling

Phil Keeling

CWT Meetings & Events

My trip to Washington, DC was an unforgettable experience. The city has so much to offer and I'd go back in a heartbeat. My experience working with Destination DC was flawless and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend using them for any of my colleagues.

Greg Oates

Greg Oates

NEXTFactor Enterprises Inc and Skift

Destination DC gets it. There’s an obvious passion and commitment across the DMO to play an important role in stewarding the future of the city. What DC brings to the table as a DMO in the meetings and events space is unique in the U.S.

Michael V. Wilson

Michael V. Wilson

American Veterinary Medical Association

DC's access to medical thought-leaders, such as the U.S. Surgeon General, is a definite advantage for our organisation and our partners in the industry. The Surgeon General's platform on One Health, supporting the idea that the health of people and animals are interconnected in our shared environment, was right in line with our keynote session and added to all the activities for a successful convention overall.

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