Hit Your Meeting Out of the Park With The Largest Conference Center’s Spring Training Package

The National Conference Center is one of the largest training and development facilities in the nation, and it’s celebrating the opening day of baseball by announcing its Spring Training Package.  Offering a unique bundling of services, the National is the expert at providing the perfect meeting place for experiential learning, meetings and teambuilding.Spring Training

“With Spring finally here, it’s time to refresh and rejuvenate with new ideas and goals for companies and associations. We work with each of our clients to advise and meet their goals with each meeting held at our facility,” says Juan Garcia, Executive Director of Sales.

The National is one of the leaders in developing the Complete Meeting Package (CMP), which is an inclusive per person charge for meetings. The National’s Spring Training Packages for day meetings includes:Savings Spring Training

  • One general session room
  • Two breakout rooms
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Unlimited refreshment breaks
  • A technology package
  • Complimentary covered parking
  • Complimentary wi-fi

Hot Dates:  April 15 | May 6 | June 3
Save 20-40%

Big and Small Facilities
Depending on the size and flavor of your meeting, The National offers unique, individualized meeting space with conference rooms, outdoor space and rooms with natural light. With 265,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, offering 250 purpose-built conference rooms, breakout rooms and general session rooms, we offer flexibility in a big way. Recently, The National has created small, intimate meeting space. The outdoor courtyard with Pergola and fire pits are used almost daily, along with a modern Living Room space and a “speakeasy” room aptly named The National Secret. The finished room is down a hallway around the corner from the active Black Olive Bar & Grill with no other entrance.

The Food Experience:  Hyper-Local
The National’s food and beverage program continues to grow and evolve under the direction of Todd Goldian, Executive Chef. We focus on local farm-to-table cuisine incorporating over 60 local products to the daily menus that serve as many as 1,200 guests per day. The newest partnership is with a local farmer, CEA Farms, who has been farming in Loudoun County since 1797. Farmer Virts provides all the tomatoes, lettuces and specialty greens for our guess. For day meetings and events that take place in the adjacent West Belmont Place, guests enjoy the same food quality for a banquet or luncheon as guests in the Dining Room and Black Olive.

The National Challenge Course
Experiential learning has been touted as an exceptional method in creating memorable learning experiences with high recall. The Challenge Course includes action-based learning components such as the high ropes course and other elements designed for problem solving and leadership development. The new course features nine unique elements strategically placed within the 65-acre campus and each element provides multiple challenges.

For more information or to book a Spring Training Package at The National Conference Center, contact the sales office at sales@conferencecenter.com.

Selecting the Right Venue for your Meeting

The most important step before selecting a location or venue is to understand the overall goals, objectives and outcomes desired at the end of your conference.  Is the purpose to incentivize or Sales Meeting Venuereward?  Is the goal to strategize and plan? Or, is the goal to educate and train?  The answer to these questions may assist your organization to select the right type of venue and location.  Though budget is always a factor; the desired outcomes should be the first consideration.

Cities and resort destinations are often the first locations considered for sales launches and incentive trips.  These destinations are convenient to attractions, dining and shopping.  If building a cohesive sales team is important to your organization, then perhaps other destinations and venue types should be explored.  Conference centers are often overlooked because they do not provide a traditional hotel experience.

Most conference centers are dedicated only to meetings.  Your attendees are not competing for attention with other leisure travelers and non-meeting guests.  If your conference center is a member of  IACC, the International Association for Conference Centers, then that conference center has implemented a set of benchmarks within their venue to reflect the highest standards, facilities, technology, and are modeled with strong corporate social responsibility in mind.  Conference centers simplify the buying process through offering a CMP, or Complete Meeting Package, to encompass meals, breaks, meeting room rentals, basic a/v and internet.  Many items such as executive board chairs often come standard.  Less add-on fees and fewer hidden charges are assessed.

Conference Centers provide an environment for learning, networking, and team building.  The open spaces and wide variety of meeting and event space provide near limitless opportunities for you to create a meeting that achieves your objectives while creating a memorable and meaningful program for your attendees.

About The National

The National Conference Center, located 40 minutes from Washington, DC and 12 miles from Dulles International Airport, is enjoying a renaissance of epic proportion.

Under new ownership and management and following a multi-Aerial view of The Nationalmillion dollar investment in the first two years of a three year plan, The National presents a beautiful 65 acre campus featuring newly renovated spaces and new venues, including the new lobby Living Room, the National Secret “speakeasy” and the National Challenge Course, as well as an innovative re-engineering of the entire culinary programming  to include “a la minute-style” food service at breakfast, lunch and dinner in the newly remodeled Dining Room.

With 917 guest rooms and 250 conference rooms, including Northern Virginia’s largest ballroom (16,552sf), The National is a hybrid of the best from conference centers, the size of a convention center and the flexibility of an independent venue devoted to productive meetings and events at the forefront of the learning and development marketplace.

Meetings, conferences and small conventions ranging from 12 persons to 1,200 are uniquely accommodated within the 55,000sf West Belmont Place and two purpose-built conference wings featuring five “pods” that enable a conference/hotel within a conference hotel concept for groups up to 200 participants.

In addition to the 1.2M square feet interior meeting space under one roof, The National Challenge Course features 14 elements within a beautifully designed six-acre circuit that enables Hi element rope courseexperiential learning for as many as 250 persons. A partnership with the Browne Center delivers facilitation for leadership development, team building and other learning and development opportunities.

Exciting additions, renovations and innovative products and services continue to enhance the total guest experience at The National Conference Center. If you have not recently visited The National, you do not know The “new” National.

Six Trends Observed in Experiential Learning

The National Conference Center – one of the nation’s largest conference centers and the largest on the East Coast – with its partner The Browne Center, has observed six trends in experiential learning.

Team Building at NCC

 

Experiential learning presents a highly unique growth opportunity for participants, and a tool that planners can use to achieve a specific outcome.  Differentiated from the more traditional teambuilding, experiential learning uses a blended approach to learning, integrating activities, exercises, adventure elements, quiet time and ongoing post-event coaching to create powerful programs of leadership development, strategic planning, mentoring and coaching, communication, feedback & observation and enhancement of behavior styles.

 

 

Team Building with Chef

 

Six Trends Observed in Experiential Learning:

  1. Barrier Free Learning … Take away the white classroom tables. Barrier free learning is hands-on training in a lab-like setting verses the traditional meeting room or classroom. For example, The National has created an entire workroom and lab for simulation or scenario training for a top major client to deliver new skills, taking away the barrier of the ‘white table’ with attendees learning in a lab or open space area.
  2. Learning by Choice … Mixing classroom training with outdoor activities. The Challenge Course at The National has high and low rope elements, and increasingly facilitators are using a Challenge-by-Choice approach.  Learning Programs are designed to meet the variety of goals unique to each client, whether conferees make use of the elements of the high or low course, or none at all. There is a role for everyone in the training, even if individuals choose not to physically participate.
  3. Learning by Shared Experiences … Creating ‘shared experiences’, such as a building project, where everyone is involved collectively – from C-level executives to assistant managers – taking each participant out of their comfort zone and into a creative problem solving task to construct the future.
  4. Learning by Silence … Groups are increasingly exploring the power of silence in a high-speed, technically dependent world. Facilitators are allowing more time for conferees’ solo quests, reflection, meditation time and movements like yoga that can provide powerful reconnection with the natural world, and the true inner self, opening new channels of connection and learning.
  5. Learning by Doing… Learners participate in carefully chosen experiences that are supported by reflection, critical analysis and synthesis. It engages the learners to be in direct experience, to be doing something that connects to an area they hope to improve or develop.  The learner is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, experiment-ting, being curious, and solving problems, assuming responsibility, being creative, and constructing meaning.
  6. Learning through Application … While debriefing is a structured process facilitated by a skilled professional throughout the process of a program, it has been in place for some time.  Today a post program application assists participants over time with how learning translates back at the office. There are a number of strategies that can be arranged to help facilitate this continued learning process. These include, self-directed debrief meetings, professional coaching sessions by phone or in person, or follow up, mini sessions at the one, two or three month intervals. These sessions can be highly productive and fun, assisting the participants in real time learning application issues. They can be on the participants work site or scheduled as an offsite.

 

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The National Conference Center installed a state-of-the-art challenge course last year to provide additional training and learning opportunities for their clients. The National Challenge Course consists of five low elements plus many portable options, which are weight bearing problem solving activities that can accommodate 15 or more people at any one time. Also six high elements can be done with two or more solo, or with many other climbers simultaneously. All high elements are dynamic relays where participants hold the rope for one another.

For more information about experiential learning at The National, call 800-640-2684.

3 Loudoun County Side Trips to add to your Meeting Agenda

Meeting planners often are looking for activities off property to enhance their attendees’ experience. Check out these three Loudoun County side trips that can be added to any meeting agenda.

Sometimes you just need to get attendees moving and out of the classroom or meeting room. In beautiful Loudoun County, known for its historic, equestrian and agricultural landscapes, there are many attractions that can be added to your meeting agenda.

The National is part of a vibrant community in Loudoun County, with its award-winning, revitalized downtown, entertainment, sports, arts, shopping, dining and agriculture including wineries, breweries and distilleries. The surrounding Loudoun area offers everything from fishing, hiking and boating to golf, antiquing and exploring historic sites.

We’ve put together three side trips that we think would add value to any meeting, training or conference. These trips can be used as teambuilding add-ons or just a fun way for attendees to spend time together, an important part of any meeting.

Challenge Your Team

Team Building at NCCIf teambuilding events are planned and executed well, people feel good about themselves and about their colleagues. This trip starts right here at The National’s Challenge Rope Course.

Low Elements -permanent weight bearing structures constructed outdoors of wood and cables and High Elements-outdoor challenges constructed of wood and cable that allow participants to be as high as 40’.  All participants are in climbing gear and are protected by belayers.

The Rope Course could take place in the morning; then break for lunch with a Southern-style BBQ in the courtyard; then off to Pev’s Paintball or Top Golf. Paintball is fast paced, high-tension game that brings people together with a little pressure and competition. In order to win a game of paintball, your team must work together, communicate, and be willing to take risks. Our team can create a customized team-building program or your group can simply learn to play the game and have a recreational event.

Top Golf Dulles , now open in Loudoun County, features 102 bays over 3 floors, an amazing rooftop terrace, lively bars and a golf game concept that is sure to blow you away! Anyone can play Topgolf, from aspiring pros to those who’ve never walked 18 holes. All you have to do is swing a club and try to hit your microchipped balls into dartboard-like targets. It’s competitive. It’s fun. And it’s always better with a big group! There are many different packages available with food and beverage included.

Meet and Eat

Meet and EatStart the day off with a bus tour to Leesburg Farmer’s markets sponsored by EatLoco. Loudoun County is filled with rolling hills and farmland studded with orchards, vineyards, Christmas tree farms, and much more. From the eco-ganic vegetables at Potomac Vegetable Farm and the certified-humane heritage breed meats and organic produce at Ayrshire Farm to the county’s hand crafted beer, wine, and spirits, Loudoun brings the farm to your table. Visit the local farmers market with Executive Chef Todd Goldian as you plan for a custom Chef’s Table that night. That’s right, you’ll pick the produce, cook the dinner with chef in the kitchen and then visit a winery or brewery the next day. We know the value of food to meetings. Research shows that food plays an important role in ensuring meetings are more efficient and more productive when attendees are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.

Our Chief Wine Officer Mary Watson will host a winery or brewery tour with you to learn how to taste wine, what to look for when pairing wine with food and explain the Loudoun County terroir. See the full list of wineries and breweries just a few miles from the National.

Backyard History

Morven ParkStart the day with a visit to the regional park, which was the site of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. This October 21, 1861 clash was the second largest to take place in the county during the Civil War. It took place along the banks of the Potomac River, where the Union fell backward into the river in a defeat that merited a congressional investigation. The national cemetery here is one of the smallest in the country. A one mile hiking trail offers interpretive signs.

A visit and tour of Morven Park will not disappoint. The movie, “Fighting & Frolicking”, brings to life Confederate soldiers in camp early in the Civil War. The living history program features historical interpreters portraying Civil War soldiers who lived at Morven Park in the winter of 1861-62, as well as civilians.

If time permits, a driver could take your group through the Mosby Heritage Area or you could do a Middleburg Walking Tour.

End the day with a historically researched dinner prepared by the culinary team, along with a teambuilding exercise: Civil War Trivia Night in the Black Olive Bar & Grill.

Whichever you choose, each of these side trips complement  teambuilding activities or could be used as networking opportunities. Ask your conference planner for a private tour of our rope course or to help set up the culinary or historic tours. We look forward to working with you.