Skip to main content

Wow Your Attendees with Capital Speakers

A little-known advantage of hosting your event in Arlington is the abundance of speakers who are experts in practically any field you can imagine. Home to the Pentagon, research agencies, tech companies, universities, and trade associations – along with being located just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. – Arlington is within easy reach of professionals who can inform and impress your attendees. As an extra bonus, you’ll save on speaker travel expenses!

George Mason University event taking place in Founders Hall
A recent event at George Mason University.

Whether your event planning team is seeking a keynote speaker or panel facilitator who’s a leader in the defense industry, a top academic researcher, political journalist, nonprofit head, international trade expert, historian or technology guru, you’ll find plenty of speaker options for your Arlington event. And you may be amazed to know that members of Congress can get to Arlington from their Capitol Hill offices in about 10 or 15 minutes most times of the day. 

With its diverse array of companies, agencies and educational institutions, Arlington also has opportunities for making and strengthening connections relevant to your industry. When your organization has identified local contacts in your field, you may find opportunities to collaborate with them on special events, facility tours and other aspects of your meeting or convention.

Speakers from A Range of Organizations

Home to more than 1,000 companies, Arlington’s local community offers experts in the worlds of cybersecurity, aerospace, media and environmental fields. Arlington is the headquarters for Amazon HQ2, aerospace company BAE Systems Inc., The Nature Conservancy, Rosetta Stone, and media organizations like Axios and Politico. From this collection of trailblazers, you’ll find speakers who may lend national perspective to your meeting or conference.

World-Class Research Institutions

For your Arlington event, you’re also minutes from potential speakers from several nationally recognized academic and research institutions. The state-of-the-art Virginia Tech Research Center—Arlington; the George Mason University Arlington Campus (including its Law School, School of Policy and Government, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Arts Management and Business); the George Washington University Arlington Graduate Education Center; and Marymount University all employ top educators who can enrich your attendees’ professional development.

In addition to industry-specific speakers you might independently seek for your event, you also can search for local speakers bureaus by visiting the StayArlington website, clicking on “Filter Partners,” and selecting the category “Speakers & Trainers.”

Here’s a checklist to help you find and secure the best speakers for your group:

1. Consider the interests of your audience, both professionally and personally.

2. Determine your budget, time, date and place.

3. Prepare well in advance to secure your top choices. Use connections from the StayArlington team to help you contact them.

4. Decide on the purpose of your speakers. Do you want them to ignite energy, educate, promote team building or provide inspiration? Ask for references, and chat with them to articulate your expectations.

5. Contract with a venue to secure the audio/visual support you’ll need.

6. Agree to a firm time limit on each speaker and whether you’ll allow for audience questions.

8. Promote your speakers to your audience with a detailed biography. 

Author: Renee Sklarew