Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 06 2016

Top Reasons To Plan Election And Inauguration Events At This D.C. Venue

Jeanna Hofmeister

From election night through Inauguration day, there’s no better place to plan a special event than in the heart of our nation’s capital. Of course, this amazing and historic city is a great option in any season, but let’s be honest… the pulse of American politics in Washington, D.C. almost throbs throughout the election season. In a city that efficiently accommodates some 1.6 million people every day, savvy planners can lay claim to some of that intense excitement and energy for their election related events.

The Center of Influential Experiences


A great election night or inaugural event starts with finding the right venue. Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is a dynamic hub for government, business, commerce, and community events. As the first and only federal building dedicated to both public and private use, the Reagan Building boasts an impressive guest list. In the past year alone, it has been the scene of special events with such guests as the President, First Lady, Vice President, Heads of State, and foreign ambassadors, along with some who remain classified. “There will always be a special cachet to bringing together government officials from Washington and around the world with heads of think tanks, NGOs and private sector companies in the heart of our nation's capital,” says Clay Doherty, former Director of Protocol and Special Events for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “Regardless of the event, you know something special will happen just by having them together in one room.”

Location, Location, Location


Location is important, particularly when it comes to events that revolve around politics. This venue is centrally located on historic Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Guest experiences are enhanced by the fact that it’s a very short walk to the National Mall and many other local attractions including several Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument and more.

Perfect Spaces For Events Of Every Size


The Reagan Building is a landmark site that fuses dramatic architecture with sophisticated design. Whether you’re planning an intimate election night party or an inaugural day bash, both will be equally at home in this facility that features spaces to accommodate a wide range of functions. “Doing events at the Ronald Reagan Building affords the planner the ability to simultaneously coordinate a variety of events in multiple venues under one roof. Whether it’s a large summit keynoted by the President of the United States, four concurrent sessions for 250 each or a networking breakfast meeting for 50 or all of the above, you know you will have the professional support from the building to cover every aspect of your event,” says Doherty.

Experience Counts

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Photo Credit: Reflections Event Photography

Election night and inaugural events are fraught with competing priorities and logistical constraints. From juggling VIPs, speakers and entertainers to programming, catering and décor, you’ll need to rely on professionals that can manage all the moving parts of your event. “I could pick up the phone today and know that I could have an event planned within the hour and trust their team to jump into action to ensure the event was a complete success,” says Doherty. From hosting the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Ball to NATO’s 50th Anniversary Summit, the Reagan Building’s team can help planners flawlessly manage an event at any level.

Creative Catering


Food makes an impression, but great food seals the memory. At this facility, innovative food choices are nearly limitless. With an award-winning catering team, custom menus for events are always an option, but even the standard catering menu delivers unexpected fare. In his time hosting both high level and smaller events, Doherty says the food service at the Reagan Building reflects the growing culinary prominence of Washington, D.C. “They are also very accommodating to special requests from needing halal meat for an Iftar to bringing in a celebrity chef. For a large venue like this, their pastry chef is really talented at creating specialty desserts that are unique as well as tasty, which can often be a challenge when being produced for large banquet events,” he says.


Safety & Security

Naturally, the safety of your guests and attendees is a key consideration when choosing a venue for your special event.  Because the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center facility is a federal building, safety and security are always at the forefront. All staff members are vetted, receive background checks and must be officially credentialed in order to become part of the events team, ensuring you great service along with peace of mind.


This informative article was brought to you by the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. For more information, contact Karen Shao Coberly, Assistant Director of Sales

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