Named Walter E. Washington Convention Center Best North American Convention Center

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, announced that the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was named one of EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2021 Centers of Excellence. The Center was recognized as one of the best convention centers in North America for trade shows and events as well as for its health and safety protocols for safe return to live events.

“We appreciate the recognition from EXHIBITOR, acknowledging the hard work and excellence of our team at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Events DC remained committed to the health and safety of our customers and employees as the highest priority. Our goal is to ensure their confidence and safety as they return to our venues, and we are dedicated to focusing our efforts on taking our operating standards to the next level.”

Over the past year, Events DC implemented several transformative changes and physical improvements at the Center with an eye toward to the future and help drive the economic recovery of the District of Columbia. The Center was the first convention center in the United States to implement BIOPROTECT™ by SurfaceGuard, a NASA developed technology designed to kill COVID-19, and was the first convention center in the Northeast Corridor to achieve GBAC STAR™ certification, which was recently recertified for 2021.

Events DC also unveiled a new 19,000 square-foot state-of-the-art production studio in the Center for virtual and hybrid programming. Events DC recently opened two locally-owned vendors inside the Center – the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl and Shop Made in DC. Hosted in partnership with our service partner Aramark, these exciting new additions will provide guests with authentic DC experiences through locally-inspired cuisine and crafts that visitors to the District crave.

“We are thrilled to achieve the 2021 EXHIBITOR Center of Excellence award for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center,” said Samuel Thomas, chief operating officer of Events DC. “To receive this acknowledgement that we are considered one of the best convention centers in the country speaks to the hard work, persistence and commitment of our entire Events DC team. We have safely reopened and continue to provide premier hospitality for our clients and their attendees.”

“While individual exhibit managers rarely have a say in where their trade shows are held, they are often the ones most impacted by that decision. This is their opportunity to give credit where credit is due and celebrate the exhibitor-friendly venues that do their part to make trade shows and events as smooth, successful, and painless as possible,” said Travis Stanton, editor of EXHIBITOR magazine, noting that everything from COVID-related health and safety protocols to the cost and quality of Wi-Fi access can have a significant impact on exhibiting companies’ experience at events. “Simply by virtue of being included in this list, these facilities have proven their ability to host trade shows and events of all shapes and sizes while providing world-class service and state-of-the-art accommodations.”

Featuring 2.3 million square feet of flexible conventions and meetings space, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center welcomes more than 1.5 million attendees each year and has generated over $6 billion of economic impact for Washington, DC since 2003.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center was the first convention center in the northeast corridor to achieve GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation for preeminent cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention strategies. To earn this accreditation, the convention center successfully completed 20 program elements with specific performance and guidance criteria met. The GBAC STAR™ accreditation provides third-party validation that facilities are implementing thorough cleaning and disinfection programs. The Center recently achieved re-certification for 2021-22.

Looking ahead, the Center will host groups including Association of the United States Army (Oct. 11-13), Association for Financial Professionals (Nov. 7-10) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Nov. 18-20). In 2022, the District anticipates hosting over a dozen citywide meetings at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

­­­­About Events DC

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the Nation’s Capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in direct economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and Entertainment & Sports Arena all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit and find us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Events DC), and Twitter (@TheEventsDC).