To many associations, the annual fly-in is one of the most important events of the year. And since nothing is more central to planning an important event than selecting the appropriate venue, it helps to get proper guidance.
Enter the Association TRENDS Fly-in/Legislative Day Yearly Guide, or F.L.Y. Guide, the most comprehensive ranking of lobby day venues in the D.C. area. The hotels in this report are ranked by three criteria. First, the TripAdvisor and Yelp ratings for each hotel are averaged. Second, a survey is sent to 6,800 association executives and government relations personnel asking them to rate their fly-in venue on a scale from 1 to 5 and to provide some reasoning for their response. The results of this survey are weighted appropriately, and then blended with the TripAdvisor/Yelp scores. Third, TRENDS secretly shops each hotel to gauge both the ease of the planning process and the degree to which the hotel staff is knowledgeable on standard fly-in logistics. (A brief note on this point: “fly-in,” “legislative day” and “lobby day” are not part of the lexicon of any hotel front desk. One must opt for “tradeshow” instead). These calls result in the “secret shopper” rating, which is weighted the least, given its subjectivity.
The most striking feature of this year’s report is the dominance of the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. Last year it was ranked fourth overall, and first in terms of logistics. This year it is ranked first overall, and swept all three superlatives: best accommodations, best logistics and most knowledgeable for legislative day protocol, with one respondent proclaiming that the Hyatt Regency is “the best location for Hill fly-ins.”
Best accommodations and meeting rooms – Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill: One respondent said, “The accommodations are excellent and the meeting space is attractive, comfortable, and well-serviced. Very pleased!”
Best logistics – Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill: The most popular response was one word: “location.” The Hyatt Regency is just two blocks from the U.S. Capitol, making transportation to the Hill a nonissue.
Most knowledgeable for legislative day protocol – Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill: One respondent said, “The Hyatt is too close to the Capitol to not know how to host a fly-in.”
The TRENDS 2013 F.L.Y. Guide is attached at bottom.