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The Comprehensive Meeting Guide
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San Diego

California's second largest city and the country's eighth, San Diego has a large and diverse economy.

San Diego's defense industry stretches all the way back to 1852, when a part of its Point Loma peninsula was set aside for military purposes, and this industry has continued to grow since then, with the US Navy now being the city's top employer. San Diego is home to, among other things, the largest naval fleet in the world, all of the West Coast's major submarine and shipbuilding yards, and a large aviation sector.

After the US Navy, the city's next largest employer is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), employing 28,071 people in 2013. The recent growth of San Diego into a center for healthcare and biotechnology research and development is due in part to UCSD and its Medical Center. The city's third, eighth, and ninth largest employers in 2013 were Sharp HealthCare, Kaiser Permanente, and the UCSD Health System.

San Diego's position on the US–Mexico border and its port both make it an important location for international trade, boosting the city's economy. Aided by its climate and attractions, San Diego is a very popular destination for tourists, hosting more than 32 million in 2012.

Conference Centers

The non-profit public benefit corporation SDCCC manages the San Diego Convention Center, located on the San Diego Bay. The distinctive, 90,000 square foot Sails Pavilion is just one feature offered by this huge center, and even further expansions are planned.

High-profile events held at the center range from meetings of the Society for Neuroscience and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, to the 1996 Republic National Convention and the 2007 California Democratic Party Convention, to live tapings of Wheel of Fortune and the largest Comic-Con in the US (which has been held in San Diego annually since 1970).

San Diego's ranking as fifth on Cvent's list of the 50 best meeting destinations in the entire United States is in part thanks to the center's impressive size, design, and location.

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Office Space and Business Services

San Diego's economy is very active, particularly in the defense, education, tourism, international trade, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to helping businesses thrive in the city, and as such makes efforts to assist businesses which are new to the area. Information on conveniently located office space available in the city can be found here.


The city is served by multiple airports, primarily the San Diego International Airport. The area has an extensive freeway system, and travel by bicycle is also a very practical option in much of the city. The San Diego Trolley light rail system, the Coaster commuter rail service, and the higher-speed Amtrack Pacific Surfliner passenger train all operate in the city, as do San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Buses.

Useful Information and Services

Official Website
Visit San Diego
San Diego Chamber
San Diego Meeting Planner
San Diego Business Centers & Services

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