Record Year for Medical Meetings at the San Diego Convention Center

The San Diego Convention Center is in the middle of a record-breaking year for hosting medical meetings, with 21 being the highest number of medical events contracted in a calendar year. These events account for 53 percent of the convention center's estimated $1.1 billion regional impact for 2017.

Medical meetings are a core component of the San Diego Convention Center's business model, as highlighted in this infographic.

You might wonder why the medical meeting planners choose to have their event in San Diego. We asked them.

APA 2017 Annual Meeting

The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) 2017 Annual Meeting was held at the end of May. The event was focused on education, with over 450 educational sessions and approximately 11,000 attendees.

Like many medical meetings, APA has an annual rotation where they cycle through different regions for their annual meeting. They were last in our building in 2007, and APA's Director of Meetings & Conventions Cathy Nash, CMP, says the additional hotel rooms in close proximity encouraged them to come back.

"Our attendees like places where they can walk, so San Diego fits," said Nash. "And in terms of the closeness of the hotels to the center, we are able to do a much smaller shuttle bus route than we do in other cities, so that's very attractive. And our attendees like to go out to nice restaurants for dinner, which you have plenty, and again so many in walking distance."

The Aesthetic Meeting

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) held their annual meeting at the end of April. For the meeting planners and their estimated 3,000 attendees, this was an extra special year as it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Aesthetic Society.

This was primarily an educational event for cosmetic surgeons, but includes networking opportunities and other activities. Sue Dykema, CAE, Executive Director of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, explained that it was the outstanding customer service that distinguishes our building.

"[These doctors] are selling surgery; they are not healing people in the sense that someone is sick," said Dykema. "It's a different place in medicine to be, and because they provide the utmost quality in patient care and customer service, they expect the same when they are traveling. They have great attention to detail and look for the extra special touches."

69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

The American Academy of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) had their annual meeting from July 30 to August 3. With a record-breaking 21,300 medical professionals in attendance, it was a massive event that showcased the cutting-edge advancements in laboratory medicine.

At this year's event, AACC revamped their programming and were able to book speakers in the region. Kareem Jenkins, Director of Meetings for AACC, explained that the building layout and geographic location helped them bring in exhibitors.

"One infrastructure item that is a great appeal to us is the amount of contiguous space at this convention center," said Jenkins. "In addition, the state of California is a great hub of innovation and invigoration, and another key driver for companies that present and exhibit at our show."

Doctors Welcome Here

San Diego is an ideal city for medical meetings because we have growing industries in research, biotech and education as well as a destination that offers sunny weather, nearby attractions, and 13,000 downtown hotel rooms.

We are proud to host events for doctors, researchers, scientists and all kinds of members of medical industries. Here's a graphic showing the full list of medical meetings we'll have had in the convention center by the end of the year.

Looking forward to the rest of 2017, we anticipate welcoming another estimated 57,000 attendees during the following medical meetings:

  • American Society For Radiology Oncology, Sept. 24-27
  • American Association of Blood Banks, Oct. 7-10
  • American College of Surgeons, Oct. 22-26
  • American College of Rheumatology, Nov. 5-7
  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, Nov. 13-15
Posted by Alec Church, on August 3, 2017
Events, Meeting Planners

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