WASHINGTON, D.C. The nation’s capital produces a variety of events, from its obviously deep slate of political gatherings to classic holiday celebrations and food events that cater to Washington’s increasingly sophisticated palate.
Like the city’s event scene itself, the list is constantly changing to reflect the diversity and interests of the city. More than 10 percent of events are new to the list, including the pop culture fan convention Awesome Con DC, a relatively new event now in its fourth year but already drawing more than 44,000 people, and the Washington Ideas Forum, a companion event to the Aspen Ideas Festival and New York Ideas that set a record attendance this year. Other longtime event staples—the holiday special Christmas in Washington and the National Design Awards Luncheon—are taking a break this year and so have left our list.
The selections in this year's Top 100 reflect the galas that raise the most money, trade shows that attract the highest attendance, and programs that feature top speakers and guests (including the city’s top V.I.P.s President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama).
To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.