Thinking Small in San Francisco

While San Francisco beefs up its flagship convention center, the city is also focused on attracting smaller meetings, too. In early November, the San Francisco Travel Association hosted a Self-Contained Meetings Advisory Council with a select group of 14 meeting planners from across the U.S. Together, the group discussed their thoughts on San Francisco and gave suggestions on how to make the city more user-friendly for self-contained meetings. 

“With this meeting, we were really trying to say, ‘San Francisco is looking for all different types of meetings,’ and we’re one of the best places to host small meetings, too,’” says Reyes. Reyes claims are backed by the Professional Convention Management Association’s Best of the Industry awards, which named San Francisco as the “Best Place for Small Meetings” this summer.

Some of the companies that have recently hosted small meetings in the city include Benefit Cosmetics, AT&T, Gould’s Distributors Worldwide Group, and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment.

More New Developments in Store
The Moscone Center isn’t the only big new development in town, either. In January, the new $60-million SFJAZZ center is expected to open, built specifically to cater to musicians and music enthusiasts alike. The 35,000-square-foot, transparent, freestanding venue will boast flexible seating and staging arrangements to suit a range of artists, and will also aim to obtain LEED Gold certification. 

In the spring, San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to art, science, and human perception, will move to its new waterfront home at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, tripling its exhibition space to 330,000 square feet in total. Of particular note is the museum’s two acres of park and open space, as well as a new glass-and-steel observatory building with impressive, panoramic views of the city and the bay. “This will become a great special event venue for planners who have meetings in San Francisco,” says Reyes. Like the Moscone Center and the SFJAZZ Center, the new Exploratorium hopes to achieve LEED Gold certification and to become a net-zero energy facility.