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The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC - Top Meeting and Convention Venue in Washington, DC

Industry Updates

Learn about the redesigned washington.org, a new DEI organization called Tourism Diversity Matters and the American Experience Foundation’s latest program.

Washington.org Redesign

In January, Destination DC (DDC) launched the redesigned washington.org. The new mobile-first site provides an immersive experience for users while maintaining its status as a go-to hub to discover Washington, DC neighborhoods, art, culture, shopping, sports, theaters, museums, hotels, deals and up-to-date information about the city. Visitors to the revamped washington.org will experience optimized navigation and search, an upgraded press room and up-to-date information about the city, including the latest travel status and safety measures in place at travel-related businesses.

 

Tourism Diversity Matters

Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM), a new organization created to foster diversity, equity and inclusion practices across the industry, launched in February. DDC’s president and CEO, Elliott Ferguson, was named chairman of the Board of Directors. TDM will execute on its goal of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry under four key pillars: apprenticeships, workforce development, DEI training and research.

 

Smart Meetings Award

Melissa Riley, DDC’s vice president of convention sales and services, was awarded the 2021 Innovator Award by Smart Meetings for her leadership. The 2021 Smart Women in Meetings Awards honors trailblazing women in the meetings and events industry. “I never doubted the ability of my team, but I continue to be amazed by the adaptability of their work and spirit,” said Riley. “If there is a task to be done outside normal job responsibilities, I have countless volunteers. If we need market strategy, they jump at the opportunity to lead the discussion. When I ask, they offer endless support. I have an incredible team and I’ve learned to never underestimate them!”

 

Career Bridge Bootcamp

In partnership with DC Public Schools and the Department of Employment Services (DOES), DDC and its affiliated 501(c)(3) public charity, the American Experience Foundation (AEF), launched its Career Bridge Bootcamp on March 15. The program runs through May 15 and will provide hospitality career education as well as an opportunity to build employability skills for 20 seniors attending Anacostia High School, Ballou STAY, Cardozo Educational Campus, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Dunbar High School, Eastern High School, Roosevelt High School, Roosevelt STAY and H.D. Woodson High School. Participating students will be paid by DOES. Partners include Smithsonian Institution, Washington Nationals, Donohoe Hospitality Services, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Clyde’s Restaurant Group and Encore Global. Heroic Headshots will supply each student with a free professional headshot.

 

Hybrid Meetings

As meetings adapt in a digital world, enterprising event strategists are leaning into hybrid options. Washington, DC is uniquely set up to complement in-person or virtual meetings thanks to a variety of venues that can stream to all ends of the globe. On washington.org, meeting planners find inspiration on where to plan their next hybrid event or streaming session in the nation's capital in 7 Studios and Spaces that Channel Virtual Excitement in DC.