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The South San Francisco Conference Centre celebrates 25 years of successful business events and looks ahead to more of the same in the years to come

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Situated just a 15-minute drive from Silicon Valley, the South San Francisco Conference Centre is the perfect destination for business travellers looking to make deals, network or simply find some inspiration
Situated just a 15-minute drive from Silicon Valley, the South San Francisco Conference Centre is the perfect destination for business travellers looking to make deals, network or simply find some inspiration 

A good location is essential for a successful event venue, and the South San Francisco Conference Centre certainly ticks this box. Situated just a 15-minute drive from Silicon Valley, the centre is the perfect destination for business travellers looking to make deals, network or simply find some inspiration.

Plus, with a range of transport options to choose from, including highways, railways, ocean cargo links and three international airports, getting around couldn’t be more straightforward.

The centre’s complimentary parking and free weekday shuttle to and from the South San Francisco BART station, Caltrain station and South San Francisco ferry terminal provides another layer of convenience for its visitors. With ample hotel accommodation, those planning on making an extended visit have plenty of options to choose from too.

With Silicon Valley and its world-famous digital firms located nearby, technology plays a vital role in the smooth running of the centre’s conferences

The venue’s location, however, is not the only reason the South San Francisco Conference Centre is such a popular venue. With world-class facilities and a wealth of nearby entertainment options to keep visitors occupied, the centre caters to a broad spectrum of requirements.

As it gears up to commemorate its 25th anniversary, it will be hosting a celebration that reflects on more than two decades of excellence, and will be looking at how it can continue its work in the MICE space in the future.

A smooth operator
A key factor behind the conference centre’s success is the support it offers to its event hosts and visitors. Its knowledgeable staff are always willing to help with bookings, accommodation arrangements and the management of essential conference functions.

With competitive rates, top-class technical assistance and bespoke support, it is hardly surprising that the South San Francisco Conference Centre has attracted a wide variety of industry events for a quarter of a century.

With Silicon Valley and its world-famous digital firms located nearby, technology plays a vital role in the smooth running of the centre’s conferences. It utilises the talents of Projection Presentation Technology, an industry-leading presentation management provider, to deliver its in-house audiovisual services.

Event hosts can expect access to top-class audio systems, video broadcast solutions and teleconferencing applications. High-speed fibre optic Wi-Fi is also supplied throughout the conference centre.

The South San Francisco Conference Centre understands that every client has unique needs and so endeavours to be as flexible as possible with its services. With 20,500sq ft of meeting space and a further 3,600sq ft of pre-function space, the centre is able to accommodate local functions and international get-togethers alike.

What’s more, as the Grand Ballroom can be easily divided into as many as 10 meeting rooms, visitors can use as little or as much space as they require. Every meeting room is soundproofed to ensure that business discussions remain confidential.

Cultural delights
Visiting South San Francisco without exploring some of the city’s cultural highlights would be a real missed opportunity. Fortunately, the South San Francisco Conference Centre is just 15 minutes from the city centre, meaning visitors are never far from high-class retail outlets, top-quality artistic activities and thrilling sporting events.

The city’s cultural diversity is another of its strengths. Cultural influences from all over the world abound in the city, so tourists are sure to find something that reminds them of home – albeit with a West Coast twist.

25

years since the centre openeed

25,500 sq ft

of meeting space

3,600 sq ft

of pre-function events spaces

Foodies will also find plenty on offer in South San Francisco. High-end restaurants serving gourmet dishes from Mexico to the Middle East are easily accessible to anyone visiting the conference centre. In fact, the site boasts its own onsite catering facilities, which provide some of the finest dishes to be found in the city.

Conference planners prepare individual menus for each event, including refreshments during breaks and hors d’oeuvres for more casual occasions. At the South San Francisco Conference Centre, the city’s excellent culinary reputation is in safe hands.

Investing in the future
The South San Francisco Conference Centre has been on a long journey to become the world-class facility that it is today. Left empty after previously being used as a warehouse and then a photo-processing laboratory, it was eventually repurposed as a conference facility in 1993.

Since that date, the venue has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to sustainability, enhancing its environmental credentials by claiming the 2015 Gold LEED certification from the US Green Building Council.

In addition to the efforts of the centre itself, the local business climate has embraced the same spirit of environmentalism. In particular, the South San Francisco area has embraced biotechnology on a huge scale. The wider Bay Area accounts for 40 percent of the global biotech sector, with one third of this figure concentrated to South San Francisco itself.

The city of South San Francisco has invested more than $250m to create an environment that is conducive to hi-tech entrepreneurialism. Back in 1976, industry-leading biotech firm Genentech launched in the South San Francisco area with just four employees, but today boasts more than 15,000.

For companies looking to start in the area, there are many other organisations to look up to. With more than 8.5 million sq ft of laboratory, office and manufacturing space currently in use, the city really is a hotbed of business success.

Companies are attracted to the area by a rich supply of talented employees, many of them graduates from nearby world-class institutions like Stanford University, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. This has created an environment of innovation in the area, which the South San Francisco Conference Centre is proud to have played a part in. Its events enable businesses and individuals to connect with the area’s unparalleled intellectual capital.

Despite its achievements, the city is not resting on its laurels. A three million square foot development, which will boost life-science research, is due for completion in the next decade, while a number of public works projects are set to boost the quality of life in the area for all residents. A new water-quality control plan, improvements to the city’s sewerage system and a raft of transport developments are also currently in progress.

And as the city continues on its upward trajectory, the South San Francisco Conference Centre will be with it every step of the way. As part of its 25-year celebrations, the centre will be launching its Next 25 programme, which will focus on its plans for the future. As a member of the Green Meetings Industry Council, its commitment to sustainability will no doubt be a major focus.

Over the years, the centre has been instrumental in pushing a number of green initiatives: it boasts a food composting programme that captures all organic material from its food service operation, it has had a partnership in place with recycling firm ReCork since 2007, and it encourages visitors to use public transport wherever possible. However, it realises that more work needs to be done.

As the centre looks ahead to its next 25 years in operation, it will continue to use its platform as one of the world’s best conference centres to improve awareness of green issues and sustainability. It is one of the venue’s proudest legacies and will continue to be a focus for the foreseeable future.

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