(Originally published 10.10.11 in BizBash Washington)
These new and recently renovated ballrooms, conference centers, and private rooms in Washington can accommodate groups small and large for meetings, conferences, product launches, presentations, and other types of corporate gatherings.
1. The Executive Conference and Training Center opened a new Dulles location in January with 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Located within a short distance of five hotels, the venue has eight meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of 32 to 54 each with a conference setup. For larger events, the three Synergy Rooms can be combined to host as many as 456 people with a theater arrangement. Collaboration Rooms I and II can seat 52 and 72, respectively, with a classroom setup or be combined for groups of 120. The rooms are outfitted with wall-encompassing white boards, built-in audiovisual systems, and high-speed Internet for meetings. The center also provides all-inclusive meeting packages.
2. The Melting Pot’s newest area location opened in July in Reston with 8,200 square feet of dining and entertaining space. The fondue restaurant has a private room for 35. TVs at the main bar can be linked for presentations or logo displays for events. Semiprivate gatherings can also be hosted on the patio for 40, or buyouts are available for as many as 190 people.
3. In September the 216-room Park Hyatt Washington D.C. completed renovations to 10,000 of its 12,000 square feet of meeting space—the other space had previously been revamped. The new area is now known as the Gallery and includes a foyer, a lounge hosting 30, a 300-seat ballroom that can accommodate as many as 450 standing, and a drawing room for 140, which can be split into two equal spaces. The Salon is also divisible into five areas, or can be used in its entirety for groups as large as 250. Theatrical lighting and multiple hanging points for light and presentation rigging ahttp://www.bizbash.com/publish/story_edit.php?pg=arch&id=21566re available in the ballroom, and LED screens hidden in the walls of each Salon room can be used for presentations.
4. Seasons 52 opened its second area location (the first is in North Bethesda) in Tysons Corner in late June. Ideal for meetings, the 10,000-square-foot restaurant has four private rooms seating between nine and 60 people each, two of which can be combined for meetings as large as 100 people. The smallest of the three spaces is the chef’s table for nine, followed by the Napa room seating 40. The Sonoma and Carneros rooms can accommodate 110 when used together or 50 and 60, respectively. The Napa, Sonoma, and Carneros rooms are equipped with built-in drop-down projectors and screens as well as Wi-Fi Internet. There is also seating for 120 in the main dining room.
5. For a more unconventional meeting, the Riot Act Comedy Theater, which opened in August, is ideal for presentations with its fixed stage and theater seating for 330 in the main showroom. The space has built-in audiovisual equipment, a whitewashed stage backdrop perfect for projections, and video recording capabilities. The 13,000-square-foot entertainment venue also has a first-floor bar hosting 80 and an upstairs bar that can accommodate 100.
6. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is expanding its event capabilities with the opening of a new private room in November. The space will be able to seat 52 or host as many as 70 for receptions. The room has vaulted ceilings and a double-sided bar that connects to the main dining room. There will also be audiovisual equipment available for presentations and a separate sound system for entertainment purposes. The 9,000-square-foot Chinatown restaurant also has a smaller 28-seat private dining room, a lounge for 50, and 170 seats in its main dining room.
7. The United States Institute of Peace got a new permanent headquarters last month with the opening of its 150,000-square-foot building on the National Mall overlooking the Lincoln, World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials. In addition to office space, the building has 14 event spaces, including two atriums for 200 and 325, a 230-seat theater, a plaza accommodating 275 for pre-event receptions, and a rooftop terrace that can host 200 people. There is also a meeting center with six conference rooms seating groups of eight to 30 as well as an executive boardroom for 20. On-site parking is available.
8. Just a short jaunt from Washington, Baltimore will get a new meeting destination with the opening of the Four Seasons next month. Located in Harbour East, the 256-room property will have 20,000 square feet of meeting space, the majority of which overlooks Inner Harbor. There are two ballrooms seating 240 and 400 people each as well as six function rooms and a boardroom for seating meetings of 18 to as many as 100 on the second floor. The fourth floor has an additional five salon areas for groups of 60 or fewer. There will also be two restaurants: Wit and Wisdom from Michael Mina seating 156 in its main dining room and two private spaces for 12 and 24, and Japanese eatery Pabu seating 136 upon its opening in February.
9. Last month the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown began a renovation to its meeting spaces. On November 1, Fahrenheit restaurant will reopen as Fahrenheit Ballroom with newly refinished floors, exposed steel beams, and red brick walls, and be available strictly for private events. The space will be able to seat 75 people or host receptions for as many as 120.
10. Carr Workplaces opened its 13th area location in July in a LEED-certified building near Capitol Hill and just two blocks from Union Station. The 26,132-square-foot ninth floor has 85 offices and three conference rooms seating between five and 10 people each. The Washington Room has video-conferencing capabilities, and presentation materials like LCD projectors and flat-screen TVs can be rented. The floor has floor-to-ceiling windows around the perimeter and a rooftop event space with views of the Capitol. As with the company’s other locations, the workspaces are available for rent by the hour, month, or year.
**Photos: all courtesy of the venues except United States Institute of Peace (Timothy Hursley)