2017 Convention Center Forecast Projects Record Medical Meetings, $1.1 B in Regional Impact

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation is forecasting a record-breaking calendar year in 2017 for medical meetings.

A total of 21 medical events, including BIO 2017, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Association of Diabetes, will hold their annual events in San Diego over the next 12 months: that's the highest number of medical meetings ever in a calendar year.

The economic benefits from the medical meetings alone are estimated to account for 53 percent of the convention center's estimated $1.1 billion in regional impact that will be generated between January and December of 2017. Here's a fun fact: The forecasted attendance of 219,275 for 2017 medical meetings is more than the populations of Escondido and Encinitas combined.

"The upcoming year will be one of our strongest ever for medical meetings," said Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe CFE, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. "Medical meetings are key to San Diego's success as a premiere meeting and convention destination. Our region is a hotspot for research, education and the biotech industry. In calendar year 2017, medical meetings account for 27 percent of total attendance and 53 percent of our regional impact."

This calendar year, a total of 62 citywide conventions will take place. The City of San Diego benefits from each event, because the hotel and sales tax revenue that results form these conventions goes directly to the city's general fund. In 2017, that number will be an estimated $24.4 million.

Convention attendees are projected to generate approximately $653.5 million in direct attendee spending.

Currently, center events are projected to account for 769,282 hotel room nights in 2017. Here is a look at the overall economic forecast for 2017.

In addition to the citywide conventions, the convention center will host 47 secondary consumer and community events that will attract 208,850 local and regional attendees. (The convention center continues to pursue additional bookings throughout the year, so overall numbers are expected to increase as the year progresses.)

Events are broken down into two categories, primary and secondary. Primary events bring San Diego greater benefits as they consist of out-of-town attendees here for conventions, tradeshows and corporate events that require overnight stays. Secondary events are those that do not require overnight stays such as local community and consumer events.

Here's a look at the events that are forecast to be our top economic generators.

As for building occupancy, the facility will hit a record high of 74 percent occupancy. This will occur even with the Sails Pavilion being unavailable due to capital project work taking place for most of the calendar year.

The industry average for occupancy is 50 percent, and at levels above 60 percent, a center is operating close to full capacity and may begin to turn away significant amounts of business.

The convention center continues to pursue additional bookings throughout the year, so overall numbers are expected to increase as the year progresses.

San Diego remains a top meeting and convention destination because it offers a world-class facility surrounded by nearly 13,000 high-quality hotel rooms within the downtown area. The Gaslamp Quarter provides attendees a meeting destination that is walkable and offers a wide assortment of restaurants, nightlife and shops to visit following their meetings. The convention center’s close proximity to the San Diego International Airport and wide assortment of family-friendly attractions are also a draw for many visitors considering attending an event in San Diego.

Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on January 11, 2017
Events, Experience San Diego, Meeting Planners

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