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Technology powers the California economy — especially in Los Angeles. Headquarters to several of the world’s largest tech companies, the city is a rising star that boasts a diverse, growing talent pool of more than 150,000 workers in this sector.
With its rich legacy as ‘the capital of creativity’ in entertainment and aerospace, the city’s tech sector is booming, with more companies launching and expanding each year. And because its two primary industries — Hollywood and technology — combine forces to innovate, Los Angeles has become a global hotspot offering groundbreaking opportunities for startup ecosystems.
Leading sectors in the City of Angels include tech manufacturing, artificial intelligence and software services, making it a strong contender to host tech-focused conferences and events. Innovative organizations can leverage Los Angeles’ exceptional knowledge base, entrepreneurial expertise and engaged tech community.
With the Golden State leading the U.S. economy and set to become the world’s fourth-largest economy, according to Bloomberg, the region has seen growing employment in next-generation technology, biotech and entertainment.
Other sub-sectors in the tech space include life sciences, gaming and cleantech. With its many startup incubators, prestigious academic institutions and research centers such as UCLA and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, plus the highest concentration of esports teams in the country, Los Angeles has a wealth of experts that planners can leverage to round out speaker programs.
To find out how the city’s tech capabilities can deliver memorable, world-class business events, we spoke with Darren K. Green, chief sales officer for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
Los Angeles has long been a top destination for entertainment, sports and culture, but its position as a tech innovator is sometimes overlooked. Tell us why LA is a cutting-edge destination for tech innovation.
It’s true that Los Angeles is a magnetic place for so many industries and one of the best destinations in the world for numerous platforms. Tech is no exception.
Some of the most disruptive tech companies and gurus call our city home. Titans like Google, YouTube and Facebook have locations in LA. Other groundbreaking companies that have made the region their home include SpaceX, Hulu, Beats by Dre, Snap Inc (Snapchat) and Headspace, to name a few.
LA has more than 7,000 tech companies — including nearly 400 in healthtech, 328 in martech, 78 in greentech and thousands of sector-specific startups and established companies ranging from fintech and biotech to AI, gaming and entertainment — one of our city’s best-known virtues. In fact, as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World,’ there’s no other city where tech and entertainment join forces at this magnitude to host citywide events like E3 and Adobe Max.
Along with our world-leading entertainment and ecosystem of companies, LA is an unquestioned leader in creativity, global accessibility and state-of-the-art infrastructure. That’s what makes us a cutting-edge tech destination, one that’s highlighted by our aptly named Silicon Beach.
What else makes California a great destination for tech and innovation?
There’s room in California for several dominant technology sectors. And as the demand for tech talent grows, our state’s size and population not only allow for this influx, but we welcome it.
A recent Forbes article detailed the virtues of California as the global leader in tech innovation. It showed that California created more unicorns (startups with a value of over $1 billion) in its first three months of 2021 alone than the entire southern U.S. It’s those kinds of numbers, along with what I’ve personally seen and experienced from living here and working with tech meetings and conventions groups, that further solidify our state’s impact on technology and innovation.
How can visiting groups tap into Los Angeles’ innovative spirit and intellectual capital?
Incorporating a city’s intellectual capital into their event can be one of the biggest unknowns for tech event professionals. Our city’s knowledge base is made up of some of the world’s brightest minds at the helm of tech’s leading companies. It can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to utilizing this pool of talent or thinking of unique ways to integrate LA’s technology into an event.
Our team at LA Tourism has worked with countless planners, and we’re your direct resource to tapping into these connections and opportunities — such as visiting our tech companies, booking local thought leaders as speakers and finding creative ways to incorporate tech into your event.
Can you share an example of an innovative approach to meetings and events in Los Angeles and California?
Brands are capturing, creating and producing a diverse range of content at events. One of the best examples of incorporating LA’s influence on entertainment technology into meetings and events is with a cinema-inspired backdrop at one of our studios, such as Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., Sony and more. While they meet, your group can experience different ‘worlds’ through full tech, catering and hosting capabilities, taking experiential storytelling to the next level at your very own content studio.
How can destinations in California help planners make the most of technological advances in the meetings industry? Who can planners look to for help with this?
As the official DMO/CVB for the city of Los Angeles, our team has a deep knowledge of the technologies that our venues, suppliers, and state as a whole are capable of.
Our city hosts some of the most high-profile events in the world every year, from the ESPYs, the Emmy Awards, the American Music Awards to the GRAMMYs, as well as the largest technology expo series in the world, TECHSPO.
We’ve seen firsthand so many ways that advances in tech have engaged attendees at events. Planning professionals can count on our team as a direct resource for helping them leverage our innovative community.