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Bay of business

Easily accessed, environmentally aware, and surrounded by buzzing industry and a thriving cultural metropolis, South San Francisco Conference Centre is sure to impress planners and delegates alike

The Bay Bridge, San Francisco. 

Visible from highway 101, the South San Francisco Conference Center boasts an enviable trio of great location, green credentials and fresh business technology. Located in the birthplace of the Biotech Bay region, the facility fulfils every conceivable need for a successful meeting or conference, while staff provide delegates with incomparable local knowledge. It has thoroughly earned the title of Business Destinations’ Best Meetings and Conference Centre, North America, 2013.

Bridge to success
Just north of the San Francisco International Airport and 15 minutes away from both downtown San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the conference centre is perfectly placed for business. Enhancing this proximity to major transport hubs, the conference centre offers complimentary parking for all events, as well as a free shuttle service to and from the South San Francisco Bart station and CalTrain station on weekdays, during commuter hours, to give attendees alternative options when planning their arrival.

Napa Valley, Monterey and other Californian attractions are within easy driving distance

Those travelling from beyond California will find accommodation in South San Francisco to meet all tastes, budgets and party sizes. The motels and hotels surrounding the centre provide 3,000 guest rooms – ideal for larger conferences – and staff are happy to help coordinate group bookings. The professional staff also provide support for all conference needs, while attentive event coordinators can assist with crucial practical details – from set-ups and technical services to customised requests. The centre offers highly competitive rates for top-quality service in a venue designed exclusively to host meetings and events.

Napa Valley, Monterey and other northern Californian attractions are within easy driving distance and with the centre of San Francisco a mere 15 minutes away, visitors to the conference centre will look forward to any downtime. The city is famed for its inclusivity, diversity and culture; from colourful carnaval celebrations and the Pride Parade, to al fresco concerts in the Golden Gate Park and countless museums and galleries, entertainment is always available. World-class shopping, sports, arts, theatres, botanical gardens, multicultural neighbourhoods, as well as the amazing dining scene of San Francisco, complete the experience.

Recently voted one of the top five American cities in which to indulge oneself, San Francisco’s culinary offerings are wide-ranging and extremely impressive. With a keen awareness of the reputation that precedes it, the conference centre pays special attention to its own catering options. All foods are prepared on site with full service kitchen facilities. This allows the venue to present guests with the freshest, highest quality, organic food service. Conference planners have the pleasure of choosing from a raft of menus for every mealtime, including numerous break services and hors d’oeuvres for more casual occasions. Formal dining options range from crab-filled sole to filet mignon and stuffed Portobello mushrooms, with cheesecake popsicles and chocolate fountains among the tempting dessert options.

Green legacy
In November 2011, the South San Francisco Convention Centre became the first business in the region to earn The Bay Area Green Business Certification. From the beginning, the conference centre has incorporated sound environmental practice, being conceived in 1989 as a re-use project. Initially a warehouse constructed in 1956, the centre was used as a photo-processing lab until the mid-1980s, when it closed down and became an empty, fenced-in eyesore at one of the major entryways to San Francisco. This building was repurposed as a gleaming, full-service conference facility and opened to its first clients in 1993.

Since opening, the conference centre has continued its commitment to being an environmentally-friendly operation. Such dedication has steadily gained in popularity among meeting planners, allowing the venue to pursue its goals with the support of its clients. The 2011 certification is a qualified way to let the centre’s clients and meeting planners know exactly what has been done to earn its environmental credentials.

Fresh tech
As well as environmental peace of mind, South San Francisco Conference Centre provides an extraordinary diversity of space, filled with essential technologies for a successful meeting or conference: an impressive total of 20,500sq ft of flexible meeting space is available. The centre has a dramatic, glass-encased atrium lobby with a four-story high vivid free-form ceiling, providing a beautiful pre-function space, flooded with light. A further 3,600sq ft of pre-function space wraps around the ballroom. The Grand Ballroom can be divided into as many as 10 meeting rooms, while the Baden Room can be halved or expanded with the addition of the Oyster Point Room.

All meeting rooms are sound insulated with no visual obstructions or columns. Meeting and event planners can take advantage of a private event office for on-site administration or use as a dressing room for speakers. A ground-level entrance located at the rear of the facility provides access to all meeting rooms through the service corridor. Vehicles can even enter the ballroom, creating the potential for motor shows and other corporate displays.

Delegates will never have to mourn the death of vital electronic devices, as power sockets are frequent features on the walls and floors of every meeting space. Additionally, a sophisticated lighting system includes dimmable LEDs allowing planners to engineer ambient lighting suited to their event. Professional lighting design services are available on site through the conference centre staff.

The completely carpeted and smoke-free facility features wireless access throughout. The South San Francisco Conference Centre’s fibre-optic connectivity supports the most demanding wired or wireless internet service requirements clients may have. Telephone and data connections extend to any location in the facility and the in-house technical staff can coordinate telecommunication requests.

Projection Presentation Technology has been the preferred in-house audio-visual provider for the South San Francisco Conference Centre since it opened in 1993. Projection is just one part of the team of departments that has led the South San Francisco Conference Centre to win Meeting News’ Planners’ Choice Award and Successful Meetings’ Pinnacle Award nine years in a row. Audio systems for single speakers, panels, musicians, videos and teleconferencing are all available, as well as atmospheric staging and professional theatrical lighting. Offering computers, custom stage designs, production management and digital signage, Projection’s qualified staff and technicians are available to help and advise at every step of production.

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