Large conventions and conferences have slowed down a bit in San Francisco since the pandemic, but projections for 2024 are bleak.
According to San Francisco’s Travel Association, the Moscone Center, the largest convention venue in the city, is only booked to host 21 events next year.
That’s just 40% of the events happening this year, and about half as many as 2018 and 2019 — the last two years before the pandemic.
San Francisco’s Travel Association president and CEO, Joe D’Alessandro, attributes that to 2024 being an off year for rotating events, the high costs of these events, and cancellations.
“Sometimes they don’t even have the convention anymore, or a business cycle or maybe a merger within companies,” said D’Alessandro.
He also says this year turned out better than predicted, despite the negative perception of the city.
Rufus Jeffris from the Bay Area Council says there is an overall confusion over some of the reasons for event cancellations.
“We can’t downplay or dismiss the concerns about, you know, crime and public safety, drug dealing and homelessness. But at the same time, we have to recognize that the whole city isn’t painted by the same brush,” said Jeffris.
He says some companies are just deciding to do things differently, and the events that are taking place are a testament of their confidence in the city.
“APEC made a choice that San Francisco was ready, is going to be ready and is a world class city that is deserving of convening 23 heads of state and the thousands, if not tens of thousands of diplomats, business leaders and others who will be swarming to San Francisco,” said Jeffris.
Source: NBC Bay Area