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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, conventions and events of every kind, from medical industry annual meetings to comic book-inspired expos and board retreats.
Here’s why the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is meetings central in Washington, DC:
Award-Winning Digital Signage
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the largest digital signage network of its kind in any conference facility in the United States with over 200 digital signage displays located throughout the facility.
In the last two years, the convention center has significantly expanded its digital signage program adding 12 new LED video walls, a two-story curved video wall at the Concourse Rotunda, video walls above the exhibit halls and digital flags in front of the salons. The new video walls have resonated with customers since their installation, recording 90% usage of Priority 1 and Priority 2 shows.
Another new technology feature, virtual reality, uses 360-degree and 3D imagery allowing you to preview your experience inside the venue before booking and complimentary WiFi access allows attendees to engage with real-time information.
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 versatile enough to accommodate events of all sizes.
Fall 2018 kicks off a series of fresh renovations for the convention center. Upgrades include a grand lobby refresh, enhanced digital signage, a streetscape plan and a “mamava pod” for nursing mothers.
The grand lobby refresh initiative is geared towards optimizing the public spaces in the convention center by making them more flexible, user-friendly and tech-forward. Improvements are expected to be completed within a year or so.
Events DC’s streetscape planswill transform the facade of the convention center enrich the sidewalks and enhance the exterior streetscape along 9th, N and 7th Street while also introducing new lighting, signage, canopies and furniture. The plans will further brand the revitalized Shaw neighborhood as a convention and entertainment district and one of the hottest neighborhoods in DC.
Art & Design
Impressive. Striking. Modern. These are the words to describe the building, which has been recognized by the prestigious American Institute of Architects. The ultra modern structure features a soaring staircase, towering glass walls and smooth granite floors. Its $4 million public art collection combines sculpture, paintings and photography. With more than 130 pieces by 93 different artists, it is the largest public collection of art in DC outside of a museum.
Exceptional Cuisine & Retail
For your event, Centerplate/NBSE is a premier catering option. The award-winning company serves more than 115 million guests annually, using fresh and local ingredients to fuel regional favorites and innovative international cuisine. Choose from popular catering packages to put together creative, custom-themed menus to perfectly complement your event.
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 coffee company with a convenient location in the convention center's grand lobby.
The exterior space surrounding the convention center also offers a wide range of retail and dining options, including Top Chef star Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s sandwich shop, Smoked & Stacked. Another Top Chef alum, Spike Mendelsohn, is part owner of Morris American Bar, one of the city's most happy, brightly lit drinking establishments.
For locally sourced snacks and on-the-go items, guests should check out Union Kitchen Grocery, or they can grab a table at the Unconventional Diner, a high-end diner concept specializing in modern comfort food.
Convention-goers can get their CrossFit fix at the Urban Athletic Club, which includes 3,000 square feet of training space, one-on-one training sessions and open gym hours. Guests in need of haircuts have it made at Cuttin-Up Barber Shop, which accepts walk-ins.
The convention center is a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability initiatives, which include a color-coded recycling program, water efficiency, green product purchasing and more. The building boasts a long list of energy-reducing features, from low-emission glass to computerized HVAC systems. The center is Metro accessible (Green/Yellow lines) with a dedicated Mt. Vernon-7th St-Convention Center stop and immediately walkable to Shaw's booming restaurant scene and downtown's museums and nightlife, as well as the National Mall.
Convention Center Floor PlansView floor plans overview in a higher resolution.
Events DC owns and operates the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. To learn more, visit eventsdc.com.
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