Destination: California Meeting & Event Planning City Guide

  • California

Destination Articles

  • Cruising Down the Coast

    By Diego Vallejo

    September 19, 2014

    Imagine a windy stretch of coastal splendor, complete with jagged cliffs, evergreen forests, abundant wildlife, picturesque waterfalls, pristine beaches and brilliant sunsets illuminating expanses of blue and green ocean as far as the eye can see. The nearly 300 miles of road between Monterey and Ventura that make up a majority of California Highway 1 are the kind of stuff that dreams are made of, and offer planners endless options as close as the turn of a car key.

  • Taste of the Good Life

    By Carolyn Koenig

    August 29, 2014

    Dear Readers: After this story went to press, a 6.1 earthquake struck the Napa area on Aug. 24. Most of the businesses that suffered damage have recovered and are open and operating. Several hotels are closed, including Andaz Napa (through Sept. 30) and the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. The Westin Verasa Napa reopened Aug. 29. Visitors are advised to call in advance to confirm reservations at hotels, restaurants, tasting rooms, etc.

    The exhale when arriving in Napa Valley or Sonoma County Wine Country is palpable. The hills and valleys are lush with soft, undulating vineyards, immediately giving a sense of place and a promise of what’s to come. Seen at a distance, tucked among the vines like oases, are their wineries, built in a medley of architectural styles as individual as the vision of their winemakers.

  • Finding Your Niche in Greater Los Angeles

    By Carolyn Koenig

    July 31, 2014

    Conventional wisdom says that when you have a huge, imponderable project, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

    The same goes for destinations: When you look at Los Angeles—that seemingly amorphous city/county combo that spreads over 4,083 sq. mi. of cities, districts and neighborhoods—consider it in terms of individual niches based on each one’s character and you’ll immediately get a handle on it.

  • Cool, Fresh and Sustainable

    By Carolyn Koenig

    May 23, 2014

    The Monterey Bay area, on California’s Central Coast, holds a timeless appeal for visitors, with its natural beauty, picturesque coast-side towns and vineyard-laden hillsides. The prospect of meeting in Monterey and Santa Cruz, the two counties that hug the crescent-shaped Monterey Bay, creates a sense of anticipation in attendees, who may be familiar with diverse attractions such as the barking sea lions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the clattering wooden roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

  • Creme de la Creme

    By Nikki Gloudeman

    April 23, 2014

    How does something go from good to great? It’s a tough question to answer, but also essential for planners to ask. Because increasingly, getting attendees to stay engaged with the content of a meeting requires an experience that is more than serviceable—it must be extraordinary.

  • Weird, Wacky, Wonderful

    By Nikki Glouderman

    March 25, 2014

    Here’s an important thing to know about the San Francisco Bay Area: It’s a place where people really like to dress up in costumes. Each year, thousands of locals and visitors wear Santa suits, fish hats, zombie costumes, PJs and anything and everything in between to enjoy traditions and special events that embrace the zany.

    There are plenty of destinations that offer excellent cuisine, cultural attractions, natural beauty and meetings infrastructure, and San Francisco and its neighbors—including Berkeley, Oakland, Napa, Sonoma and San Jose—feature all in spades. But few, if any, destinations can rival the area’s healthy appetite for the offbeat.

    From costumed races to public pillow fights to lolcat festivals, the destination invites guests to let loose, have fun and be free to be who they want to be. For buttoned-up business attendees, this is an enticing quality that invites both laugh-filled team bonding and big-idea thinking. Hold a meeting here and expect business to receive a welcome boost of fun—just make sure attendees pack some silly costumes with their business suits.

     Above: Exploratorium, San Francisco, courtesy of Amy Snyder © Exploratorium

Learn about California for Event Venues, Services & Meeting Destinations

Destination Description

California: Meetings, Conferences and Conventions

California: What Makes California the Perfect Conference, Convention or Meeting Destination

Globally recognized as much for being a beach capital as an environmental awareness hub and cultural hot spot for young Hollywood—the golden state of California offers the ultimate in possibilities for destination meetings. Whether planning a conference near its sandy coasts or scheduling a corporate event amidst the striking desert or towering mountains, California leaves corporate attendees and vacationers longing to return.

The regions that make up this state are as varied as they are intriguing, and this leaves meeting planners with a great problem to have – choosing between so many great options. One way to narrow down the destination meeting choices California offers is to visualize the type of corporate event being planned.

For a hot and sunny, laid-back beach locale, try San Diego on the southern coast, which boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year. For a more active urban scene, nearby Los Angeles lives up to the hype—the electricity and spectacle of Hollywood will keep attendees charged, in and out of the boardroom.

For something more low key, take the meeting to the great outdoors—a commodity that California has a lot of. Tahoe is a true four-season meeting destination, offering ample meeting room options alongside winter snow activities and summer water sports.  For an even more remote option, Yosemite National Park is rife with hiking trails for all levels, perfect for team building activities or corporate retreats.

As you can see, each region in California has perfected a specific flavor and personality to suit any conference or meeting. With so many destinations outfitted to accommodate events large and small, planning a meeting in California becomes a natural choice. The hard part is choosing which region!

Plan Your California Meeting Today!

If you’re thinking of planning a meeting or corporate event in California and need help finding the ideal meeting venue, conference room, or convention center, explore our meeting planning properties in California.

Smart Meetings – Your Guide to Meeting Planning in California

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