Come for Work, but Stay and Play in San Jose
San Jose, CA — Some cities have a hard time luring people to conferences: after the seminars, what’s to do but go back to the hotel for mediocre food and pay-per-view? San Jose offers an exciting alternative to the conference cattle call, making a stay in town easy to enjoy for visitors, and seamless to organize for conference managers.
The San Jose “Campus”
San Jose has been described as having a “campus feel,” since attendees can easily walk to seminars, hotels, restaurants, and attractions including museums and performing arts venues; or in five minutes, they can ride to great shopping at upscale boutiques on Santana Row or Valley Fair mega mall. With so much going on, it’s easy to extend a business stay to take in local wineries, theme parks, or a quick trip to the coast.
But what makes San Jose feel like the whole city is pulling together for your conference is Team San Jose, Inc. (a community-driven partnership which manages and operates the San Jose Convention Center, convention and visitors bureau and cultural facilities in downtown). Team San Jose works together with hoteliers, local arts, and organized labor to support successful meetings and conferences in the city. This business model is the only one of its kind, offering one empowered team for all event needs. Rather than hand planners over to multiple organizations as in most cities, once the meeting is booked in San Jose, they are each assigned an Event Services Manager to facilitate venue logistics, housing, special permits—even customized menus for events.
Start the ball rolling on your next conference at http://www.teamsanjose.com/plan-a-meeting-event/home by submitting an RFP online http://www.sanjose.org/plan-a-meeting-event/submit-rfp. Get a taste of unconventionally fabulous cuisine for your event by perusing some available menus for attendees http://www.sanjose.org/content/catering-menus. If you don’t see what you want, just ask our in-house culinary team, which uses the best locally and regionally sourced ingredients and creates customized menus for events of all sizes.
Team San Jose’s partnership with entertainment giant Nederlander Organization gives planners more entertainment options, such as Broadway San Jose at the Center for the Performing Arts and headliner concerts at the City National Civic. With enough notice, Team San Jose and Nederlander Concerts can even customize concerts for groups.
And Team San Jose does all this responsibly, offering many eco-friendly options for planners, mirroring the City of San Jose’s commitment to green living. Team San Jose offers everything from organic meals to composting, and the airport and many hotels offer green services and practices.
It’s this integrated, above-and-beyond-the-norm service that has 98 percent of surveyed customers saying they would host another event in San Jose. Bill Sherry, Team San Jose's former CEO, puts it this way: “We offer service no one else can because of Team San Jose’s community stakeholders – all at the table ensuring a seamless experience for meeting planners. We also go the extra mile, brainstorming with clients on how we can assist them as strategic partners so they can better achieve their overall goals for the meeting, such as boosting attendance.”
A Wealth of Meeting Spaces
No doubt the centerpiece of meeting spaces in San Jose is the Convention Center, which completed a $130 million renovation and expansion in October 2013. Reflective of the destination’s innovative spirit, the project added 169,957 square feet of total new meeting space bringing the total to 550,000 square feet of total usable space for meetings, conventions and events with the latest technology and comprehensive green services.
One of the advantages of meeting in San Jose is that so many venues are within a short walk from the convention center. One of these is the City National Civic, where Team San Jose can offer groups customizable concerts. The historic theater recently completed a $15 million dramatic makeover to improve the patron experience to attract concerts and special events. Built in 1936, the Spanish Mission-style, dual-level auditorium is ideal for general sessions up to 3,036 attendees. Other venues include Parkside Hall, adjacent to the City National Civic, with 30,000 square feet of exhibit and general assembly space; South Hall, adjacent to the Convention Center, with 80,000 square feet of column-free space for general sessions, consumer shows, sporting events, or banquets; the 2,677-seat Center for Performing Arts, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and home to Broadway San Jose and Ballet San Jose; California Theatre, built in 1927 this historic and lavish house is home to Opera San Jose and Symphony Silicon Valley, seating 1,122 and perfect for showing films to delegates; and the Montgomery Theater, built circa 1936, is a 475 seat theater that is home to CMT SAn Jose.
San Jose Hotels and Team San Jose: Joined by a Purpose and a Network
Recognizing the integral part they play in housing and hosting conferences and meetings, the hotels of San Jose work together with Team San Jose and its award-winning Event Services Department to assist groups with registration, housing, off-site event coordinating, marketing, and transportation. Conference managers can quickly check facility information and hotel availability online at www.sanjose.org for grand hotels like The Fairmont San Jose, Hilton San Jose, San Jose Marriott, Hyatt Place San Jose Downtown, or the historic Sainte Claire Hotel; boutique hotels like the Renaissance Revival Four Points by Sheraton San Jose Downtown; convenient airport hotels such as the DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose, Holiday Inn San Jose Airport, The Radisson Hotel San Jose Airport, Silicon Valley Hotel San Jose Airport, La Quinta Inn San Jose Airport, Ramada San Jose Convention Center and Fairfield Inn & Suites San Jose Airport.
Standing slightly further afield is the Dolce Hayes Mansion, a former private estate built in 1905 in Mediterranean Revival-style. The 214-room resort hotel is an oasis for meetings, training programs, teambuilding, and special events. Dolce Hayes Mansion offers more than 33,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space with 22 specially designed and equipped conference rooms, two restaurants, and two lounges for dining and socializing. And San Jose guests needn’t fend for themselves when it comes to figuring out entertainment options: San Jose Visitor Information and Concierge Services, located inside the Convention Center, provide delegates information about the city, and act as a ticket agent for theatre, sporting events and local attractions.
Wreathed by Interstate Highways 280 and 101, and sitting astride State Highways 85 and 87, San Jose is easy to get to from the North, South, and the coastal areas. Both Amtrak and Caltrain make stops in San Jose, and the city is serviced by the VTA light rail that supplements busses. Travelers love the convenience of Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, for easy access to San Jose as well as the rest of Silicon Valley and the Coast. Faster to get in and out of than other metro airports, SJC is five minutes from downtown San Jose, with an average “baggage claim-to-cab” time of just five minutes! Since its $1.3 billion modernization a few years ago, the airport became even more convenient with new concessions and services, state-of-the-art high-speed baggage handling, and a convenient consolidated rental car garage for leisure and business travel. The airport boasts 13 airlines with more than 900 flights each week.
A special place to meet, as well as stay for a visit, San Jose is many things: a global gateway, a creative community, an entrepreneurial environment, a tech-savvy city, a place of opportunity, and one of America’s Most Livable Large Cities for three years running. Come see San Jose for yourself.
For more information go to www.sanjose.org.
Team San Jose (TSJ)
Team San Jose, Inc. is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Our company manages the San Jose Convention Center and Arts and Entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall, City National Civic and South Hall. For more information about San Jose and Team San Jose, please visit the new www.sanjose.org.