Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organisation for Washington, DC, has shared its ongoing commitment to attracting international groups at IMEX Frankfurt.
“As we continue to focus on selling DC differently, our ‘Connected’ sales positioning enables us to tap into international insights from DC’s numerous associations while providing experts and experiences that can elevate the profile of an organisation meeting in the city,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “IMEX Frankfurt is one of the world’s largest events for meetings and incentive travel, making it the ideal time to reconnect with planners and showcase all that we have to offer in increasing business potential and accessing new market opportunities for Washington, DC.”
DDC’s convention sales and services team attracts customers by focusing on the benefits of meeting in DC that no other city can claim – like access to policymakers, expert speakers and leaders in key industries including tech, sustainability, biotech/pharma, education and medical.
“Connected Capital continues to be an added value for groups coming to Washington, DC,” said Melissa Riley, vice president of convention sales and services. “Whether listening to a dynamic keynote speaker talk about advances in technology or being guided through meaningful experiences and hands-on workshops, corporate members benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the city’s intellectual capital.”
DDC is committed to growing the international meetings market. Among the activities, the organisation is partnering with Association World to engage the association community during the Washington Information Association Forum (WIAF) in Washington, DC Sept. 27-28. Representatives of international and American associations and non-profit organisations will gather for the first time outside of Europe to provide a peer-to-peer exchange, share best practices and design joint initiatives and strategies that result in greater impact. Aligning with DDC’s Connected Capital priorities, WIAF’s meeting will include expert speakers from DC’s associations. The event will also complement the organisation’s missions and values with a legacy project that impacts the local community in one of the world’s flagship host destinations for professional organisations.
DC’s Convention Outlook
In 2022, there are 19 total citywide conventions (defined as meetings bringing 2,500 room nights to the city on peak), with an estimated 394,000 total room nights and an estimated economic impact of more than $265,000,000.
Sustainability is among DC’s leading sectors, as the city helps its businesses reduce their carbon footprints. Among many initiatives, the local government is committed to being the healthiest, greenest city in the U.S. with the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act, which sets a mandate of 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. As a participant of the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), DDC continues collaborating to drive recognition of sustainable practices across the global events industry. Washington, DC was named the first LEED Platinum City in the World in August by U.S. Green Building Council because of its environmentally-forward practices.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC is the first convention center in the world to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating through the International WELL Building Institute. The designation focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a Covid-19 environment now and into the future.
The ease of travel continues to add to DC’s appeal for business travelers. A $1 billion investment called “Project Journey” added new security checkpoints and a 14-gate concourse to replace busing operations at Reagan National Airport in 2021. Construction is nearing completion on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, connecting Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown DC. Plans for a $675 million 400,000-square-foot concourse with new amenities is set to begin in 2023. Dulles International Airport provides daily nonstop service from over 50 international destinations with new nonstop air service launching from Spain (Iberia), Togo (Ethiopian Airlines) and Jordan (United Airlines).