Many Washington, DC residents are familiar with the complexities of planning events on Capitol Hill (a.k.a. "The Hill"); however, if you are new to this city or planning an event on the Hill, there are certain nuances to keep in mind.
Planning events on Capitol Hill can be tricky because there are so many pieces to juggle that are unique to the government. For example, setting up meetings with representatives can be challenging because you have to find the proper contact information for your Senator or Congressman, submit an official letter, and make follow up phone calls. One of the best ways to actually get a meeting is to directly contact the Legislative Assistant.
In order to reserve a room for the event, your space must be sponsored by a Congressman or Representative. You’re most-likely to get a response from the offices of one of the congressman you previously contacted to set up a meeting.
Luckily, the only catering company allowed on Capitol Hill, Capitol Host, is easy to work with and professional. Once you know the date and location of your event, give them a call and they will walk you through all the important steps to fulfill your catering needs.
The biggest concern is security. Everything that you will bring in to either the Capitol building or one of the House or Senate offices, you’ll have to take through security. The Capitol building is extremely strict and does not allow food or drink. You should confirm first that anything you bring with you (example: signs) are allowed inside. Also, when considering the start time of your event, allow at least half an hour for guests to get through security because the lines can often be long.
With thoughtful and careful planning, the Hill can truly serve as a memorable venue for your next meeting or event.