Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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AN ABUNDANCE OF OPTIONS KEEPS DC ON MEETING PLANNERS' WISH LISTS B Y B U C K S A M U E L S Host your meeting in one of Washington DC's exceptional venues, choosing from iconic attractions and more than 135 hotels, many of which fea- ture historic and memorable meeting spaces with natural light or amazing waterfront views of the city. In addition to a variety of distinctive spaces, the nation's capital is home to over 32,000 hotel rooms with a dynamic view. Among DC's inspirational ingredients are LEED-certified meetings spaces, tech-friendly venues, captivating muse- ums and memorials, and a Michelin- starred restaurant scene, bringing a unique and memorable experience to any event. Of the millions of visitors who travel to Washington, DC each year, many are part of large groups. That's because the city provides groups an abundance of unique itinerary options, with amazing dining, specialty tours and wealth of free museums. The cornerstone of downtown DC's renaissance, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is as functional as it is artistically impressive. The 2.3-million- square-foot space hosts meetings, con- ventions and events of every kind, from medical industry annual meetings to comic book-inspired expos and board retreats. You can mold all 703,000 square feet of exhibition space inside the convention center into whatever shape you need. Within its two levels and five exhibit halls is a 473,000 square-foot exhibit hall that can be subdivided into three rooms, 198,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a 52,000 square-foot ballroom and 77 breakout rooms. The space is ver- satile enough to accommodate events of all sizes. There are plenty of great places to eat and drink near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Guests seeking to taste the local flavor can drop by Compass Coffee, a homegrown cof- fee company with a convenient location in the convention center's grand lobby. The District is home to more than 130 hotel properties, most of which feature meeting space. If location is important to your group, check out the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the only property directly connected to the convention center. Or, if you prefer to meet among embassies and art gal- leries, check out The Royal Sonesta Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Meeting and leisure travelers alike have a plethora of historical museums and historical sites to explore that will entertain and educate them all at once. Residing on the National Mall, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is a monu- ment in the form of a museum providing meeting delegates a cultural experience they can explore after a long day of ses- sions. The building's stunning architecture gives way to dozens of stunning and detailed exhibits that tell the story of African American life and culture dating back hundreds of years. As well as being a recreational activity the museum also offers space for special events. The four-acre crescent shaped site in West Potomac Park on the Tidal Basin was selected for the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial. President Obama dedicat- ed the memorial on Oct. 16, 2011. The two mountains represent the "Mountain of Despair" reaching for "Hope from Despair," while the space in the middle symbolizes the distance between them. The memorial is one of the highlights of the National Mall. Benjamin Banneker was a self-educat- ed astronomer, farmer, mathematician and urban planner. In 1791, as a free man, Banneker literally helped shape the District by working with Major Andrew Ellicott to survey the boundaries of the future nation's capital. Benjamin Banneker Memorial Park, a favorite of landscape archi- tects, pays homage to the surveyor. Destination DC P r e s i d e n t / C E O Elliott Ferguson and his team stand ready to help you make this your most successful event yet! There are three major airports in the Washington, DC region: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (airport code: DCA), Washington Dulles Inter- national Airport (airport code: IAD) and Baltimore/-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (airport code: BWI). B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• 56 • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. 1,175 Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center 245 Capitol Hill Hotel 153 Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill 836 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Walter E. Washington Convention Center Total Space 703,000 sq. ft. Largest Hall 473,000 sq. ft. Largest Ballroom 52,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 77 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Destination DC – (202) 789-7000 WA S H I N G T O N , D C Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial AREA GUIDES

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