Hargrove Inc., a creator of world-class experiential events, trade shows, and exhibits, has gained tremendous experience hosting events at federal and public buildings in Washington, D.C. The Hargrove team has grown to understand the rules and regulations, processes, and small details needed to successfully utilize venues, while supporting events that include national and state summits, presidential inaugural balls, and the lighting of the national Christmas tree at the White House.
Next week, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center will be host to Elevate, D.C., a hands-on learning experience designed to connect event professionals around the power of live events. In anticipation of this event, Hargrove Inc., has gathered the top three recommendations and tips to keep in mind when hosting an event in a Washington, D.C., (or any other city) federal or state building:
- Prepare to deal with security prior to and during an event. Depending on the federal or state building in which the event is being hosted, some venues require a complete list of staff names with other vital statistics, so be sure to gather and submit that information in advance. More than likely, event planners will need to work with security either on- or off-site during the time of deliveries and installation. This process can be time consuming, so plan enough time for vehicles to be screened before unloading. Lastly, attendees may need to participate in individual screenings as they arrive for the event. It's best to make attendees aware of this before their arrival.
- Use experienced vendors. Knowing the vendors who have experience in the venue may not only save organizers money, but also can ensure more efficient installation and dismantle processes. These vendors will have an operational familiarity with the venue and the building's other service providers. The venues are working facilities and may very well be open for public business during installation and dismantle. There will often be decorum and noise restrictions to which vendors must adhere. Also, remember that federal and state buildings are often popular locations for events and book up quickly. Reserve dates well in advance, which can also benefit event budgets.
- Select a decorator or general contractor with operational expertise of the facility. Partnering with a contractor who knows the specific rules of the building and the facility's staff can help relieve a planner’s burden. A general contractor who is familiar with the venue will know the architectural and design details of the building and will be able to create a design concept that complements the venue. In fact, the contractor might already have custom pieces built especially for spaces in that particular venue. Additionally, organizers may be able to rent a custom stage or window panel without the high cost of building new.
Hosting an event in a federal or state building in Washington, D.C., adds a distinguished element to events, but the planning and execution can also be more complex than at normal facilities. Keep these three tips in mind when planning to help events run more smoothly.