Revisiting DC: A Look at New Event Venues

Location, location, location. It's a mantra for real estate, but it also has a place in the event planning world. While people attend events for the content, the location also holds sway in decision-making process.

Sometimes it's a matter of commute/travel time to get to the location. Other times it's proximity to public transport or ease of parking. Maybe it's simply that a venue is new and people welcome any excuse to check it out.

For event planners, changing locations can provide a fresh perspective on the event content and how it runs. This is especially valuable for long-running events with a built-in audience. Holding the event in a different location forces organizers to rethink how breakouts are organized and what other activities could be woven into the traditional agenda.

We did some digging and found several venues in the DC region that are worth looking at for events in 2020. Continue reading

U.S. Presidential Inaugurations – the Past and Present

Every four years Washington gets to shine as host of one of the most meaningful events for democracies world-wide - the Presidential Inauguration. The first Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC, took place in 1801 with the swearing in of Thomas Jefferson. After his second inauguration, Jefferson rode on horseback from the Capitol to the President's House "amid music and a spontaneous gathering of mechanics from the nearby Navy Yard." This spontaneous celebration was the birth of the inaugural parade.[Tweet "A superlative look at past Presidential Inaugurations #GovEventsBlog #Inauguration2017"]

Today's inaugurations are, of course, much less impromptu. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (made up of members of both parties from the House of Representatives and the Senate) and the Presidential Inaugural Committee have been planning the event for months. Planning for building the platform in front of the Capitol takes one year alone. In addition to logistics, these groups must raise funds to cover a portion of the estimated $175 to 200 million price tag for the events. The largest line items in the overall budget are security, transportation, and clean-up efforts.[Tweet "Largest #inauguration expenses are security, transportation, and clean-up. #GovEventsBlog"] Private companies also work to make sure logistics are seamless for this massive event. Verizon announced they will increase their" data network capacity by 500% on January 20th to accommodate the large crowd's bandwidth needs and to ensure first responders are supported. Continue reading

Three New DC Metro Meeting Options

With springtime upon us and the rebirth it brings (even as wet as it has been in DC), we've been inspired to look at some new options for meeting spaces in the DC metro area. We looked at the latest openings and decided to highlight the following three locations as they all provided a bit of a break from the norm.[Tweet "3 DC meeting locations that provide a break from the norm. #GovEventsBlog"]

  1. Pennsylvania 6 - this new restaurant opened in the fall and features multiple private dining rooms. Its location near the convention center makes it a great option for break-out sessions and post-event gatherings timed with events and activities at the convention complex. The thoughtfully decorated private rooms provide a change of pace from the austere surroundings of large meeting venues.
  2. Spartan Training and Development Center - this facility specifically designed for meetings and collaboration provides another option for large groups in the popular National Harbor complex. The center has five spacious training rooms, a full range of training and audiovisual equipment, the latest computer equipment and software, wireless technology, and a full kitchen and break area. It is a great set-up for training classes, meetings, workshops, seminars, small conferences, and presentations. The facility was designed with floor to ceiling windows to take advantage of the Potomac River views.
  3. Refraction - this space in Reston is just one example of how co-working spaces are catering to event planners. Refraction and other co-working spaces throughout the metro area are designed to enable collaboration and inspire innovation. Why not harness that spirit for events? Refraction offers dedicated event space and 25 private meeting rooms with the amenities of Reston Town Center right outside the front door.[Tweet "These locations only scratch the surface of what's new to DC-area meeting planners. #GovEventsBlog"]

These locations only scratch the surface of what's new and available to DC-area meeting planners. We'd love to hear your thoughts on newer spots that have captured your interest. Let us know in the comments.

Federal News Radio and Women of Washington Salute Our Military Women

Join Federal News Radio and "Women of Washington" for a special series in honor of our women veterans. The series runs October 26 through November 16, Mondays and Wednesdays at 1pm on Federal News Radio 1500AM and on

"Women of Washington" (WOW) interviews five impressive women doctors providing critical medical support to our troops in Afghanistan and Secretary Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force.  From the hospital Commander to the doctors in the ICU, these women work together to provide quality medical care to our heroes that have fallen.  These mothers, sisters and soldiers share with Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm, hosts for WOW, their heart-warming journey and stories of being forward deployed in Afghanistan.

You can listen to the innovative ways they stay in touch with loved ones at home as they support our brave, critically injured American troops and allies overseas. The last show of the series will feature Secretary Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force.  Sec James will share the amazing journey that led to her being named to head the department of the United States Air Force.

Aileen and Gigi are co-founders of Accelerated Government Strategies (AGS).  AGS helps companies build strategies to accelerate and capture public sector business.  To learn more about Aileen and Gigi and what AGS can do for your company go to

White House Plans Conference on Countering Violent Extremism

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

Originally posted on

The White House plans a conference next month on efforts to counter violent extremism -- in light of the past week's shootings in France and earlier attacks in Canada and Australia.

The meeting will highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting and inspiring others in the United States and elsewhere to carry out violent acts.

The White House says the Feb. 18 summit will build upon a U.S. strategy to address the threat of violent extremism. The White House says cities such as Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul have taken a leading role as part of their approach to crime prevention and community safety.

Representatives from other countries will attend, though the White House did not identify them.

The main goal is to "better understand, identify and prevent the cycle of radicalization to violence at home in the United States and abroad," the White House said in a statement.

France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, spoke of the need for a global strategy that combines a military response, information-sharing, law enforcement and coordination with Muslim countries "because they're on the front lines of this crisis ... and they are also the breeding ground of the crisis."

Araud said the conference was a good idea because "in a sense, France was not attacked as France. France was attacked as a Western democracy, and it could have happened everywhere in Europe, and, unfortunately, I guess, also in the U.S.," he told ABC's "This Week."

Attorney General Eric Holder said on ABC that there was a need to find ways to "prevent people from adhering to, being attracted to this terrorist ideology."


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