. San Diego | Northstar Meetings Group

Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

San Diego

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in San Diego. 

Why San Diego for Your Next Meeting or Event?

This fair-weathered Southern California city has become a favorite for conventioneers, offering a walkable downtown experience surrounding the convention center, and plenty of food and nightlife in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter. The surrounding environs offer plentiful opportunities for outdoor fun.

Venue Additions & Renovations 

New Affiliation
The iconic Hotel del Coronado became part of the Curio Collection by Hilton last summer. The 130-year-old property, a National Historic Landmark, offers 757 rooms and 78 luxury villas and cottages, plus 47 meeting venues on-site. As part of the Curio Collection, the hotel has tapped into Hilton's sales, marketing and loyalty programs.

The 98-room TownePlace Suites San Diego Downtown is slated to open this month. The new all-suite hotel provides rooms with full kitchens and separate living/working and sleeping areas. It also promises to be the first downtown San Diego property to offer the Guest Service Robot Butler, built by Savioke, which will deliver items to guest rooms 24/7. A bar and grill will be on-site, and the hotel will share meeting space with the Holiday Inn Express next door.

Looking to Plan a San Diego Meeting?
Learn everything you need to know about this surfside locale at Destination California, Northstar’s premier event for meetings and incentive pros looking to book biz in the area.

This coming September, the 400-room InterContinental San Diego is expected to open on the site of the former Lane Field baseball park. A two-story Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse will be part of the mix, as will many street-level restaurants and shops, underground parking, and 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. That includes two ballrooms, of 12,000 and 4,500 square feet, respectively. The adjoining 50,000-square-foot Lane Field park will be available for private events, as well. An 8,000-square-foot fourth-floor pool deck overlooks San Diego Bay, and the 19th floor will be home to a sky bar and an outdoor terrace.

The San Diego Marriott Mission Valley wrapped up a $9 million renovation in February. The 353-room property now sports an upgraded events lawn, revamped meeting space, a remodeled lobby and lobby bar, and the first signature M Club Lounge in San Diego. The lounge, which is reserved exclusively for Elite and Club loyalty members, offers complimentary hot breakfast, hors d'oeuvres and beverages. The hotel's approximately 33,550 square feet of meeting and event space has been completely refreshed to better foster communication and productivity and is now outfitted with energy-efficient lighting. 

Exotic Wellness
The Children's Nature Retreat, a 20-acre educational center east of San Diego that's home to 120 animals, has added a spa and wellness center for groups. The retreat hosts up to 125 for private events.

The property formerly known as both the Renaissance and the W San Diego debuted in November as the 258-room Hotel Republic San Diego, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. The hotel offers sophisticated design and 16,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a VIP Marriott Rewards Veranda Lounge. Hospitality firm the Patio Group runs three dining venues on-site, including the Topside Terrace Kitchen & Bar, the Trade cocktail bar and restaurant, and the Patio Marketplace.  

Sun Power

Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, will debut Major League Baseball's largest solar-power system in time for the season opener on March 29. The system will produce some 12 million kilowatt-hours over the next 25 years. The high-tech stadium also is in the process of constructing a new $2 million video board directly over the right-field seats, which should also be ready to go on opening day.

North Park Al Fresco

The new Glampisphere, an outdoor, sail-covered event space, is in a hip spot adjacent to the Air Conditioned Lounge. The venue holds up to 77 outside or 193 in tandem with the lounge.

Travel Essentials

Convention Center: San Diego Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 615,701 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 72; (619) 525-5000 

Taxes: Occupancy tax, 10.5%; San Diego tourism assessment, 2%; California tourism assessment, approximately 0.2%; sales tax, 7.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, approximately 12.7%

Event Venue: The Museum of Making Music, an interactive exploration through the past century of playing and recording music, provides a unique meetings backdrop in the North County coastal village of Carlsbad. Up to 150 attendees can be accommodated for private events. (760) 438-5996

Contact: San Diego Tourism Authority,  (619) 232-3101