Washington, DC has mounted a concerted campaign to attract more technology focused meetings and conventions – despite the US city not being traditionally dominant in the IT sector.
The push, by Destination DC (DCC), will highlight the region’s tech cluster, its thriving education and employment opportunities, and the city’s proximity to local and federal government.
It includes the publication of a white paper examining the district’s commitment to technology, which includes rankings and statistics, and the opinions of local tech leaders.
Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO, DDC, said: “Today’s meetings have moved beyond dates, rates and space and organizations are looking for a value-added approach. For tech companies, Washington, DC is uniquely positioned with the access companies want, whether that’s thought leaders and influencers, cybersecurity experts or venture capital firms and start-ups.”
Think of tech cities in the US and the likes of San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Austin spring to mind. But Washington, DC believes it has the credentials to compete with its domestic rivals.
The DC region is home to more than 1,000 tech start-ups, five of the top 100 investors in early start-up tech companies, and venture capital firms, such as Revolution and The Carlyle Group.
High-tech employment is two-and-a-half times more concentrated in the DC metro area (compared with the US in general) with 185,000 high-tech workers and 27,000 cybersecurity jobs.
“The district continues to be the epicentre for inclusive innovation and technology in the country,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “From opportunities that foster women entrepreneurs to the creation of innovation labs and incentives for tech company headquarters, DC is at the forefront of the tech movement and inclusive innovation growth.”
“We hope to show tech meeting planners that selecting DC will benefit their attendee, exhibitor and sponsor base, and ultimately their bottom line,” said Melissa Riley, VP, convention sales and services, DDC. “Choosing DC means choosing a city that naturally has the resources to enhance their business goals.”