With its mild, spring-like climate, stunning cityscape that includes 7.5 miles of waterfront, and landmark attractions, San Francisco is a popular destination for business and leisure travelers alike. In fact, its total number of annual visitors and convention participants regularly tops 16 million people, and it ranks among the top 10 North American destinations for conventions and conferences. Trendy and popular, San Francisco meeting planning has a lot to offer to planners in order to amplify their meetings, events, and conferences.
Travelers can easily reach the city via plane at the San Francisco International Airport or nearby Oakland International Airport. Once in the city, guests can easily hop from one site to the next thanks to the affordable, 103-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. The iconic San Francisco cable cars also ferry guests to destinations such as Fisherman's Wharf and the Maritime Museum and Aquatic Park.
San Francisco's public transportation network also provides easy access to the Moscone Center, San Francisco's premier facility for meetings and conventions. Comprised of North and South and West halls, the Moscone Center encompasses over two million square feet of space, including over 700,000 square feet of exhibit space and 106 meeting rooms. The North and South Moscone can provide up to 442,000 of exhibit space, while its Gateway Ballroom can host up to 1,300 people for banquets and receptions. West Moscone's three floors of space can accommodate nearly 300,000 square feet of exhibit space total, in addition to ballroom and lobby function areas, which makes it an excellent option for San Francisco event planning.
Aside from its versatile spaces, the Moscone Center boasts an ideal location in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of multiple San Francisco meeting hotels and over 20,000 hotel rooms. Overall, for meeting planning San Francisco, the city has more than 33,000 hotel rooms at properties that offer nearly one million square feet of meeting space. In addition to well-appointed overnight accommodations, planners can host receptions, post-event cocktail hours, meetings and more at hotels such as the Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco Marriott, and Hyatt Regency San Francisco.
Outside of traditional space, San Francisco is home to an impressive array of captivating and memorable attractions that double as unique event locales. A collection of over 26,000 art works, photographs and design objects create a striking backdrop for events at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Captivate attendees by hosting a reception or gala for up to 550 people among the jellies, octopus, sharks and other aquatic life inhabiting the Aquarium of the Bay. Back on land, the popular Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park offers five exhibit spaces marked by exotic plants and flowers, custom metal work and stunning architecture.
San Francisco event venues such as the Conservancy of Flowers are a great way to add green to events, but San Francisco makes it easy to go green when it comes to meetings as well. The city has been making rapid strides to be an eco-friendly destination; in fact, it regularly earns a spot on green city lists such as Meeting Strategies Best Places to MeetGreen Scorecard, SustainLane's U.S. City Rankings on sustainability, and Popular Science's 50 Green Cities in America. It currently has a 70 percent recycling rate, with a goal of zero waste by 2020. In addition to a number of hotel and restaurant facilities doing their part to implement green initiatives, San Francisco event planning gives alternative choices to planners to suite their needs, like the Moscone Center, which is leading the way with the largest city-owned solar installation in the country on its roof.
A principal banking and finance center on the West Coast in the early 20th century, San Francisco is now home to numerous financial institutions and multinational banks, as well as six Fortune 500 companies. Among the largest 25 public bay area companies are Chevron Corp., Hewlett-Packard, McKesson Corp., HP, Safeway, Inc., Apple, Inc., and Gap, Inc. The city is also home to the University of California, San Francisco, which operates the top-ranked UCSF Medical Center. The University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, and Academy of Art University are among the other educational institutions based in the city.