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Washington, D.C. Venue Spotlight: Welcome to Our City!

DC Convention Center

While Washington, D.C. is a hotspot for meetings, galas and conferences, venue selection can be tricky. Unlike other cities known for their oversized hotels, conference centers, and casinos, D.C. boasts smaller historical venues. However, what the city lacks in size, it makes up for in character and opportunities to set your event in unique atmospheres.

With our LAI Live office being based in D.C., we know the area's venues like the back of our hands and share everything you need to know about some of the city's leading event spaces in this post. 

Versatile Venues

  • The Anthem: Located at the Wharf, surrounded by restaurants and boutique shopping, The Anthem is an ideal spot for a gala or blowout celebration event. Depending on the stage set up, you can see 1,000 in rounds on the main floor. With the venue being designed for events, rigging and AV systems are built in, opening up many more opportunities for stage design. There are multiple locations for receptions and photo ops, and you can even utilize the outdoor marquee for branding.
  • Warner Theater: One of our favorite venues in the city because of it’s architecture and ease of use. The stage is surrounded by beautiful classical seating, but can be retrofitted to feature a floor with seating in rounds for about 350 people, with a larger dinner set-up option next door. The venue features two levels that are ideal for a reception, but also a smaller VIP, speakeasy-esque room that you can have some fun with. The venue also has a ton of customizable options from the marquee to the posters, and so much more.
  • National Theatre: This is a unique space to hold a business meeting and the built-in seating offers the opportunity to seat up to 250 attendees. The versatile stage also opens up the possibilities for scenic backdrops, large or small.
  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Though technically in Virginia near Dulles, this is a venue to consider when scouting the D.C. venue scene. Not only is it easy to access for out of state attendees, but it also naturally provides an atmosphere that creates excitement and energy as people walk through the door. Depending on the room in which the event is held, you can seat 200+ people with AV.
  • National Portrait Gallery: With the main room being open and airy, this venue can be utilized in a variety of ways. Events range from business meetings, to exhibit halls, experiential engagement, and galas. Depending on the stage set, about 300 people can be seated on the main floor.

Gala Venues

  • National Museum of American History: This venue is ideal for small galas, comfortably seating 300 people in the elegant Flag Hall. Additionally, the small exhibit rooms surround the Flag Hall are ideal for receptions and engagement stations.
  • National Building Museum: Known for its large, open space, this building makes it easy to create a pomp and circumstance feel for your black-tie gala. The capacity is largely based on the way the venue is utilized, but it can fit over 1,000 people comfortably in the main hall.
  • Union Station: One of the main draws of this venue is the ability to utilize its existing beauty for your gala. With a variety of rooms to choose from that can accommodate anywhere from 200 to 2,000 guests, this is an ideal space if you’d like to give your attendees and once in a lifetime unique experience.

Business Meeting Venues

  • Marriott Marquis: Located next to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, this space is large, bright, and clean. Though it can be hard to secure space if not also using the Convention Center, it’s certainly worth a try. Your attendees will love being in the heart of downtown near Gallery Place, City Center, and Metro Center.
  • Omni Shoreham: A venue that’s more spread out than others, the Omni Shoreham has a variety of rooms suited to business meetings. With a small stage set, the Regency Ballroom can seat 1,000 people in rounds and even more in the theatre.
  • Gaylord National Harbor: While located in Maryland, this venue is ideal for large conferences that have breakout sessions, committee meetings, and other private business meetings. It overlooks the harbor, with restaurants and shopping centers just a short walk away. Room capacities range from 100 to over 2,000 people. If you’re concerned about its location, the Gaylord will assist with providing shuttle buses.

Other venues worth noting include the Washington, DCA Airport Hanger or Historic Lobby, Ronald Reagan Building, Melon Auditorium, and Willard Hotel.

LAI Live Can Help You Plan Your Next Event

If you need help deciding on a venue or with any other aspect of event planning and production, the LAI Live team can help. Contact us to get started.

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