Otakon is held in the 2.3 million-square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center!
As one of the country's most accessible cities, Washington is surrounded by three major airports, Amtrak and a first-rate subway system, Metro. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located between 7th and 9th Streets and N Street and Mt. Vernon Place in downtown DC, right across from Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.
GBAC STARTM facility accreditation means that WEWCC venue staff and partners are implementing the highest standards for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. It provides third-party validation that the facilities meet high levels of cleanliness and safety.
Check out the Health and Safety Updates tab for full details on all the many technology upgrades the WEWCC has installed!
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the first GBAC STARTM accredited facility in the District and the first GBAC STARTM accredited convention center in the Mid-Atlantic/ Northeast.
The WEWCC has made numerous technology updates to the facility to keep you safe and healthy. These safety and health technologies are subject to change based on changes to CDC guidelines, Convention Center procedures, local regulations or other data.
BIOPROTECTTM is a patented technology that combines a hospital grade 5-Log Kill 99.999% effective solution with a patented antimicrobial which provides long-lasting protection for our guests and staff. It is a surface treatment that provides a long-lasting layer of protection against harmful microorganisms, including algae, bacteria, fungi, and mold. BIOPROTECTTM is non- toxic, non-corrosive, non-flammable, odor-free and biodegradable. It meets OSHA standards and is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as safe for use in kitchens and on food surfaces. It is registered as an antimicrobial preservative under EPA and FDA regulation to preserve food preparation surfaces and food contact articles.
The antimicrobial formulation was proven by two Centers of Excellence of the Global Virus Network to kill and provide residual surface protection against SARS-CoV-2 (the unique coronavirus that causes COVID-19) for more than six weeks.
The extensive independent laboratory tests were announced by the Global Virus Network, a coalition comprised of the world’s pre-eminent human and animal virologists from 53 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 32 countries. Led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia and the Rega Medical Research Institute of KU Leuven in Belgium, both Centers of Excellence used state-of-the-art high containment virology facilities to independently conduct extensive tests on a BIOPROTECTTM formulation to study its effects on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity on various surfaces.
SurfaceGuard technicians test and remediate all BIOPROTECTTM treated surfaces every 30 days to certify and ensure that our treated venues are germ-free.
The WEWCC treats all furnishings, tables, chairs, fabric, doors, escalator treads, fixed handrails, and glass surfaces in the Center with the BIOPROTECTTM process.
The Kogniz AI Health Response Platform uses a combination of thermal imaging and artificial intelligence to provide real-time detection of elevated surface temperature and physical distancing management for large groups of people. The platform does not require the use of fixed walkthrough scanners but uses the existing camera system to scan surface temperatures of groups of people. The system monitors exposure detection and physical distancing. It uses cutting-edge detection algorithms and customizable rules developed over many person-years by top AI researchers, scientists, and developers.
The system merges thermal and optical images from disparate cameras into single images and leverages advanced facial detection algorithms to home in on facial areas that provide the most accurate temperature results. It constantly normalizes readings in real time so that readings reflect actual body temperatures, rather than surface skin temperatures that are highly inaccurate and vulnerable to ambient conditions.
The system also measures crowd densities and sends alerts when there are more people in a space than are permitted by system occupancy rules, allowing quick response to address physical distancing requirements.
The WEWCC has deployed the Kogniz AI Health Response Platform throughout the Center.
The NanoSeptic self-cleaning surface turns high traffic public touchpoints into continuously self- cleaning surfaces. Powered by light, NanoSeptic surfaces use mineral nanocrystals to create a powerful oxidation reaction. The surface continually oxidizes contaminants. Unlike traditional disinfectants or cleaners, the NanoSeptic surface uses no poisons, heavy metals, or chemicals. Nothing is released from the surface as the nanocrystals are molecularly bonded to the material.
The WEWCC has treated elevator buttons, door handles, copier machines and similar high-touch areas in the Center with the NanoSeptic product:
The Synexis DHP BioDefense System is a proprietary process that synthesizes Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP), the gaseous form of hydrogen peroxide, from ambient oxygen and humidity in rooms. DHP flows wherever the air flows in all the Center indoor spaces, safely and effectively breaking down pathogens in circulating air. By continuously flowing through the indoor spaces DHP reduces the level of viruses, bacteria, mold, and odors in the air and on all surfaces.
DHP is naturally safe; Underwriter Laboratories (UL) has declared the Synexis DHP BioDefense System to be non-ozone producing.
The WEWCC has installed the Synexis DHP BioDefense System in the HVAC systems serving the East and West Salons, all Meeting Rooms, and the Ballroom. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the first convention center to install the Synexis DHP BioDefense System.
The Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module is used to efficiently disinfect the handrails of escalators to suppress the spread of viruses. Escalator handrails are typically cleaned by housekeepers wiping down the handrail surfaces; continuous cleaning requires a housekeeper to remain at the escalator and continuously wipe down the handrail. The Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module uses germicidal UVC light to irradiate handrails through a 270° direct exposure, ensuring that surface bacteria and viruses are effectively killed. The process is chemical-free, continuous, and automatic. The module is installed inside the escalator, ensuring passenger safety; handrails are automatically disinfected as they circulate through the module. With this physical disinfection process escalator handrails are disinfected in an efficient and environmentally manner.
Escalators equipped with the Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module are identified by signage mounted on the escalator balustrade interior panel.
The WEWCC are installing the Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module on the most heavily used public escalators in the Center’s South (main entrance) and Middle (L Street entrance) Buildings.
Sharp’s exclusive patented Plasmacluster® ion technology eliminates microscopic pollutants that traditional air filters cannot trap, by replicating nature’s own cleaning process of producing positive and negative ions from water vapor in the air. These ions refresh the air without any harmful chemicals or perfumes.
Positive and negative ions are dispersed into the air using airborne water vapor. These ions actively attach to and break down pollutants. The ions neutralize their charge by pulling apart airborne pollutants, thereby reducing the pollutants in the air. The ions then return to the air as water vapor.
Pharmacluster® ions are proven to significantly reduce bacteria viruses, mold and fungus.
The WEWCC has installed Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifiers in each elevator in the Center.
Below are the venue maps for Otakon 2019 for reference. We'll be updating for Otakon 2021 soon! Click on a map to expand. Blue maps are the WEWCC, red maps are the Marriott Marquis.