What it's like at CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservatives

The Conservative Political Action Conference took place this week in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.

The annual political confab has been the largest gathering of conservatives since its inception in 1974. Thousands attend each year to listen to luminaries deliver speeches and offer their vision for the future of conservatism.

This year was no different. With a noticeable tilt toward Trumpism, the 2017 conference brought together conservatives of all different stripes and concluded with a boat party held by Breitbart.

Business Insider attended the conference. Here are some of the sights we saw.

CPAC 2017
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CPAC 2017
CPAC is also known for the parties held at night. The most popular gathering is hosted by Breitbart and this year's took place on a boat docked nearby. It had a Hawaiian luau theme.
Attendees leave the event.
Guests at the Breitbart party included "Dog the Bounty Hunter," Nigel Farage, and others.
CPAC was held this year at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Here's the main check in stand where attendees picked up their badges.
Pig was served as the main course of the luau.
There was an official Trump store allowing attendees to purchase 'Make America Great Again' gear.
The Republican National Committee was also present. The RNC allowed individuals to take photos in a pair of chairs with a backdrop of the White House.
The 'Draft Sheriff Clarke for U.S. Senate' booth featured giant bobbleheads of the sheriff.
In the exhibit hall was a booth aimed at drafting controversial and outspoken Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to run for U.S. Senate.
Here's one of the 'snowflake coloring books' attendees could complete.
In the exhibit hall was an 'art theory lounge' which featured 'snowflake coloring books' for people to work on.
The shopping experience at the Breitbart store included a branded brown bag.
Breitbart also sold t-shirts. One read: 'Border Wall Construction Co.'
Breitbart mugs for sale.
Upon walking in the entrance to the exhibit hall, attendees were greeted with the Breitbart swag store.
Downstairs was the exhibit hall where conservative organizations setup their booths.
White nationalist Richard Spencer stirred controversy Thursday on radio row before being ejected from the conference. A CPAC spokesperson called his views 'repugnant.'
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Conservative luminaries are often swarmed by both journalists and attendees as they walk on radio row. Here's Judge Jeanine Pirro taking selfies with fans as she filmed for her Fox News show.
Outside the ballroom, near radio row, is where attendees voted in the famous CPAC straw poll, which serves as a good indicator about which strain of conservatism is most popular.
Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the organization that hosts CPAC, doing an on-camera interview with Bloomberg.
TV outlets often do live shots or interview politicians from the risers in the press pen.
Toward the back of the main ballroom was an enclosed area for members of the press to sit and file their stories. 
For high-profile speakers, the ballroom regularly fills to capacity. This is what it looked like when Trump addressed the conference on Friday.
Here's the entrance to the main ballroom.
On radio row was a man dressed up as a swamp creature. President Donald Trump famously promised during the campaign to 'drain the swamp' of corruption.

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