Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

San Francisco

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

Why San Francisco for Your Next Meeting or Event?

From breathtaking natural beauty to a variety of cultural institutions, the City by the Bay has much to offer planners. What's more, the Moscone Center expansion debuted in January, adding another 170,000 square feet of flexible meeting space to the venue. 

Travel Essentials
CONVENTION CENTER: Moscone Center; exhibit space, 888,300 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 186; (415) 974-4000

TAXES: Room tax, 14%; sales tax, 8.5%;  Tourism Improvement District assessment, Zone 1 (convention hotels area), 2.25%; total tax, Zone 1 rooms, 16.25%

CONTACT: San Francisco Travel, (415) 974-6900

Recent Hotel & Venue Additions

• The JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square wrapped up renovations of its meeting space this past August, complementing recently updated guest rooms and marking the end of a multimillion-dollar propertywide upgrade. The 344-room luxury hotel now offers remodeled ballrooms and 21st-floor meeting rooms, all with new technology, natural lighting and sweeping views of the city. The hotel has 16,648 square feet of meeting and event space overall, including an expansive outdoor terrace and a 4,352-square-foot ballroom that can host up to 500 attendees. 

• The city welcomed the massive $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center in August -- only to have it temporarily close six weeks later when cracks were discovered in two steel beams. Repairs to the 1 million-square-foot transit hub are ongoing, and a reopening date has not yet been announced. Bus service can be found at the temporary Transbay Terminal at Howard Street and Main Street.

• The Hotel Triton, a historic 140-room property near Union Square, recently wrapped up a $6 million renovation project. The hotel offers a comfortable vibe, with bright open spaces as part of its new look. The redesign is evident in all guest rooms and bathrooms, as well as the lobby. Marble finishes, new custom furniture such as lounge chairs and round dining tables, decorative mirrors and new bathroom fixtures are among the improvements. The lobby now features a 1940s mural that was uncovered behind the wall during the renovation.

Peninsula Debuts
The Park James Hotel debuted in Menlo Park in late September. The 61-room luxury Silicon Valley newcomer features the locally sourced Oak + Violet restaurant and 1,200 square feet of meeting space.

Phase 1 of renovations at the 476-room San Mateo Marriottare complete, resulting in last month's debut of Craft/Code Kitchen & Cocktails, as well as other reimagined public spaces.

• The five "Enlightened Rooms" at the 116-room Hotel Zetta now feature Peloton bikes for workouts, along with free healthy snacks in the in-room VitalBars.

• Last summer's opening of the 34-room Signature San Francisco heralded the debut of Red Lion's refreshed boutique brand. The South-of-Market property, a chic retro-modern transformation of the former City Center Inn & Suites, is on 7th Street, five blocks from Moscone Center. Tech touches include mobile key and check-in.

Meeting Hotels

Properties in the South of Market area near Moscone Center include the 1,500-room San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 681-room Park Central Hotel, 550-room InterContinental San Francisco, 413-room W San Francisco, 405-room Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown, 277-room Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, 260-room St. Regis San Francisco, 202-room Hotel Zelos and 143-room Americania Hotel

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group's venue finder. 

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

More Event Venues

For those considering a side trip or off-site event in nearby Napa Valley, the 180-room Westin Verasa Napa offers a convenient Downtown Napa location and the F&B chops of its signature restaurant, La Toque, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Ken Frank. The more than 12,000 square feet of event space at the property includes a large outdoor courtyard strung with lights, and the 3,128-square-foot Amphora Ballroom. La Toque can cater events off-site, too, and partners with wineries such as Shadybrook Estate and Charles Krug. (707) 257-1800

Transportation in & Around San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport, 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco; transfer cost by taxi, about $46-$66; by shuttle, $17. Lyft, Uber, Sitbaq and Wingz apps all operate here.