Happiness Is: Calling Your Meeting to San Diego

September 7, 2021
San Diego

Sponsored by San Diego Tourism Authority

Whether you’re returning or visiting for the first time, San Diego is ready to greet you with open skies and wide-open spaces. Our sun-soaked surroundings, sandy beaches and countless outdoor venues and renovations will liberate your thinking, open you up to big ideas and renew your outlook. Because when it comes to getting down to business, San Diego offers the ideal backdrop to elevate any meeting or event.

Make Your Meeting Safe — and Sunny

San Diego makes it easy to gather safely outdoors, and our teams are dedicated to ensuring the health, well-being and security of all. We’ve put extensive protocols in place so your attendees can relax, network freely and enjoy the creativity and collaboration that only in-person meetings can provide.

Open-air Venues That Are a Breath of Fresh Air

Our varied menu of meeting and event venues is breathtakingly long. But they all share our year-round temperate climate that makes it easy to meet outside, poolside, bayside or beachside. The San Diego Convention Center, located along the waterfront in Downtown San Diego, is just steps from the historic Gaslamp Quarter. This iconic facility has hosted countless events throughout its rich history and is known for its world-class service.

Discover Something New Under the Sun

The newest addition to San Diego’s splendor is The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Located on the edge of the San Diego Bay and just a short walk from the Convention Center, this striking state-of-the-art venue is available for public and private events. Home to the San Diego Symphony, it boasts a calendar that’s packed with a rich slate of performances by today’s top musical and theatrical talent. This open-air venue — a work of art in itself — boasts an acoustically engineered stage embraced by an elegant concert shell that’s designed to deliver every note with absolute clarity. Tiered seating for up to 10,000 people offers unobstructed views of the stage from every angle.

And close by, you’ll find Downtown’s Embarcadero and its newest addition, Portside Pier. This over-the-water dining complex features four signature bayfront restaurants, outdoor patios, a viewing deck and dock-and-dine berths.

Many of the region’s hotels and resorts have undergone extensive renovations, including the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Mission Bay Resort and Bahia Resort on Mission Bay. The Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley recently completed a $90 million transformation, including guest rooms, meeting and exhibit space and a new 10,000-square-foot pool complex. Virtually every venue provides the opportunity to hold an outdoor meeting where your attendees can enjoy blue skies, sunshine and ocean breezes while getting down to business.

San Diego

A Warm Welcome Awaits

No city is more ready to make your next meeting safe, open and exciting than San Diego. And no other city can offer the joy of wandering through Balboa Park’s gardens, kayaking or snorkeling in La Jolla, or so many other options for outdoor networking and fun before or after your meeting. Our airport is just 10 minutes from Downtown, with lively, walkable neighborhoods nearby. We’ve got the positive outlook and the perfect climate for creativity that can make your meeting memorable and productive. Happiness is: Ready and waiting for you and your team in San Diego.

Let us help you make your next meeting an unparalleled, sunny success and an extraordinary experience for everyone. Visit SanDiego.org/meetings or call 877-973-6338 to start planning today. 

Funded in part with City of San Diego Tourism Marketing District Assessment Funds.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.