Destination DC Announces New Sectors as Part of ‘Connected Capital’ Sales Positioning at PCMA Convening Leaders

11th Jan, 2019

Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, today launches the next iteration of its asset-based sales value proposition, focusing on DC as a “Connected Capital.” DDC will use the positioning to pitch more meetings within three new sectors: sustainability, transportation and government advocacy, as well as four existing sectors: technology, biotech/pharma, medical and education. DDC will be focusing on the city’s strengths in these industries and benefits that are only found in the nation’s capital.  

Meeting planners within the sustainability, transportation and government advocacy space will find major sustainability advancements, transformative public transportation initiatives and access to the country’s leaders and lawmakers in DC, which benefit their attendees, sponsors and bottom line. 

“We want our customers to understand and benefit from the assets in Washington, DC that they can’t find anywhere else,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “The 2018 World Gas Conference is a great example of a group that took advantage of DC’s access to both thought leaders and local legislators, with the Secretary of Energy for the United States as a keynote speaker and the group’s focus on educating policymakers on behalf of the global gas industry.”  

In 2017, DDC shifted its sales strategy beyond dates, rates and space to highlight the city as a leader in growing and established key industries: technology, biotech/pharma, medical and education. DDC continues to establish the capital as a leader in these four sectors in order to attract corresponding meetings, especially technology, as Amazon HQ2 arrives and the regional tech industry continues to grow. DDC’s convention sales and services team successfully recorded over 100,000 definite room nights and over 100 leads in FY2018 based on the new strategy, with technology seeing the strongest activity followed by medical meetings.

Sector-specific highlights in the DC region include: 

  • More LEED-certified buildings than any other city in the U.S. (USGBC, 2017)
  • Local government commitment to the nation’s first 100% renewable energy bill, which would require District utilities to source all electricity from wind and solar by 2032.
  • #1 for public transport (SmartAsset, WalletHub, 2018)
  • Fourth city in which Ford will debut its self-driving vehicles  
  • Approximately one out of every 10 jobs in the DC region is in the federal government (WTOP, 2018)
  • Over 11,270 lobbyists in Washington, DC spent $2.59 billion in 2018. Top industries include pharmaceuticals/health products, insurance, electronics and business associations. (Center for Responsive Politics)
  • Approximately 400 think tanks located here include the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (TripSavvy, 2018)
  • Recruit high-level speakers based in DC, such as presidential cabinet secretaries or federal policymakers.
  • #1 for high-tech employment (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • #1 city for women in tech (CBRE Tech Talent Scorecard, 2017)
  • #1 most educated city in the U.S. (U.S. Census)
  • Access to NIH’s renowned 27 institutes
  • 21 higher education institutions
  • “DNA Alley” is home to 170 biotech companies

“As we work to attain Mayor Bowser’s vision to make DC carbon-neutral and climate resilient by 2050, I am thrilled Destination DC has added sustainability as a new sector to its already robust sales platformsaid Tommy Wells, director of the Department of Energy and Environment. “In order to be a true ‘Connected Capital,’ I look forward to working in concert with our partners in the private sector to reach the ambitious goals laid out in our Sustainable DC plan.”

New advertising creative in targeted publications will support the “Connected Capital” campaign. Detailed information is available on, with new white papers for each sector that DDC will publish in January. 

“We are showing meeting planners that DC provides the connections that will benefit their business throughout seven distinct industries,” said Melissa A. Riley, vice president, convention sales and services, DDC. “Choosing DC means choosing a city where economics, culture and academics can all unite in one room.”  

What’s New

The meetings portion of has undergone an extensive overhaul. Planners can find new sustainable meetings resources to private dining for intimate groups, and listicles including 18 Unique Boardrooms with Natural Light for your Next Meeting and 17 Venues to Host Outdoor Meetings.

In 2019, DC will welcome 20 citywide conventions and special events (2,500 room nights on peak and above), generating more than 360,000 total room nights and an estimated economic impact of $321 million. Major events include the American Academy of Dermatology (March 1-5), NAFSA: Association of International Educators (May 28-31), American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (Oct. 21-25) and American Society of Nephrology (Nov. 8-11).

There are 18 hotels in the pipeline adding 3,987 rooms to the city, including The Conrad Washington, DC and Hilton Washington DC National Mall, both anticipated to open in the first quarter of 2019.   

New attractions, renovations and exhibits are a draw. The National Law Enforcement Museum opened Oct. 13. The International Spy Museum moves to L’Enfant Plaza and reopens next spring. The Washington Monument reopens next spring and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Fossil Hall” reopens in June. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ expansion (the REACH) opens Sept. 7, 2019.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

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