April 2018 Newsletter - A message from Gregory A. O’Dell, president & chief executive officer of Events DC
Spring in the District is finally upon us and we’re just getting heated up with what we have in store for the rest of 2018!
If you couldn’t tell from the bustling downtown streets, Washington, DC’s convention season is underway. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve hosted hundreds of thousands of attendees, from the popular Awesome Con and the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) & American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators’ (ASOA) Annual Meeting. Congratulations to our staff and service partners who have worked countless hours on these events to provide our clients and their attendees with world-class service. The magnitude of these events are a good reminder of the impact that the Convention Center has on the city – from our hotels to restaurants and attractions. Since we’ve opened our doors, the Convention Center has generated an estimated $5.2 billion of economic impact for the city! To continue to lead the way in the convention & meetings industry, it’s so important to keep up with the technology and meeting trends, and with that, we will soon begin a lobby and placemaking redesign – as well as exterior building and streetscape updates to provide more amenities and benefits for our visitors.
In our Sports & Entertainment Division, we continue to make strides with the construction progress on the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The project remains on budget and on schedule and we’ll soon be holding a Job Fair for Arena related jobs for the local community. Also look out for a really exciting advertising campaign for the Arena that will take flight this spring and summer around the city. One of our priorities at Events DC over the last 18 months has been to create and execute an esports strategy to position Washington, DC as a leader in this important economic development and tourism space. We have done this through our ongoing sponsorship of NRG Esports and hosting of esports events in DC. In collaboration with our partner at NRG Esports, we recently announced a team house in DC for NRG’s development Overwatch team – the Contenders. This strategic move, reinforces our commitment to building an esports ecosystem in DC and attracting major esports tournaments to the new Arena.
As part of our strategic initiatives, we are making great progress forward with the redevelopment project for the 190-acre RFK Campus, focusing on the short-term elements. Look out for more information this spring regarding updates on the multi-purpose recreational fields and the RFK Memorial. You can also hear more updates at our next RFK Campus community meeting on April 30, click here to RSVP. Upcoming spring events on the RFK Campus include, the National Cannabis Festival on April 21, Broccoli City Festival on April 28 and the highly-anticipated Rugby Match on June 2, where the South African national team will face the Welsh national team.
Other special events that we’re proud to be a part of across the city this spring, include the 10th anniversary Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge on May 17 at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, the DC Bike Ride on May 19 and the DC Jazz Festival from June 8 – 17.
With our exciting event programming and forward-thinking initiatives, as an organization, we continue to look ahead and plan for the future – in an effort to create even more economic impact and community benefits for our city’s continued prosperity. Best of luck to both the Washington Capitals and Wizards on reaching the playoffs and their respective championship quests.