Any meeting planner knows that attendees come to experience a city as much as they do the conference. Rather than focus on just convention districts and event facilities, destination developers are taking an approach with a much more consumer-savvy lens, focusing not only on space but also on retail and entertainment. Events DC is playing an integral role in helping Washington, D.C., become one of the most desirable event cities in the world by developing key retail partnerships and renewing the city’s historic neighborhoods.
This year, Events DC is collaborating with Apple to open the company’s first global flagship at DC’s iconic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. The store will be known as a global Apple flagship retail location, and one of the company’s largest restoration projects to-date.
“Events DC is excited to collaborate with Apple on this global flagship project in creating a larger convention and entertainment district within the heart of DC that links the Shaw neighborhood and the Convention Center area to the vibrant downtown corridor full of retail and restaurants for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.
Other retail partnerships include Compass Coffee, a “Made in DC” business, located inside the Convention Center and exterior tenants, Unconventional Diner, a high-end diner, Smoked & Stacked, a fast-casual sandwich shop by local top chef, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Union Kitchen Grocery, Morris American Bar, Urban Athletic Club, Composition ID and a neighborhood barbershop.
Shaw: Growing Neighborhood for Foodies and Retail Shoppers Alike
Shaw is one of DC’s hippest enclaves, with craft cocktail bars, boutiques and trendy global restaurants. The historically African-American neighborhood is home to the Howard Theatre, where jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington once performed. Today the neighborhood hosts many events and feels intimate, despite the fact that it’s adjacent to the 2.3 million square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center. More than just a meeting facility, the Convention Center has become an anchor for this significant neighborhood.
Capitol Hill/Hill East: A Historic Neighborhood and Home to a Future Reimagined RFK Campus
The big story for the Capitol Hill/Hill East neighborhood is at the intersection of its past and future—most notably in the redevelopment of the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus. The RFK Campus redevelopment project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the 190-acre iconic campus in a holistic shape that leverages the District’s waterfront, provides neighborhood serving amenities and connectivity with increased green space and flexible sports, entertainment and recreational fields for District residents and visitors to utilize and enjoy.
Congress Heights: Vibrant Cultural District Located on the Anacostia River
Brand new to Congress Heights is the opening of an Entertainment & Sports Arena that will host the WNBA Washington Mystics as well as NBA G-League’s Capital City Go-Go. The Arena will serve as the practice facility for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, and become the new home for esports, concerts, boxing and amateur sporting events. Also in Congress Heights, are Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a 1-acre park, as well as the R.I.S.E. (Relate, Innovate, Stimulate and Elevate) Demonstration Center, a technologically enhanced, flexible function space for events with less than 300 attendees on the St. Elizabeth’s East Campus. The R.I.S.E Center is a new key in the rebirth of the neighborhood, providing a venue for local gatherings and other community and cultural events.
Events DC Brings It All Together
Events DC brings together venues, meetings, sports and cultural events to keep the District’s economy running strong and help communities continue to thrive. Learn more about what makes Events DC happen at eventsdc.com/plan.