December 11, 2018

Event Strategies

Where to Host Your Next California Event by Region


Corrine Stratton

Looking for an event venue in California? This location guide has a venue for every type of B2B event and audience.


North to south, the great state of California stretches a whopping 1040 miles! That’s a lot of area to consider for your next field marketing event. From forested mountains to iconic deserts like the Mojave, the state breaks into three distinct regions, each with its own signature highlights and bustling urban centers. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with too many options, we’ve got you. Here’s a regional overview of where to host your next event in the Golden State.

Event Planning Workbook - How to Run an Event That Isn’t Terrible

Southern California

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a hotbed of flourishing industry, but none more iconic than entertainment— which explains its abundance of glamorous, set-worthy venues. So when choosing an event location in L.A., the hardest decision will likely be where within the city’s many distinct neighborhoods to have it. Luckily, every unique area of the vast city is connected by major arterial highways, and Angelenos are used to driving.

Unless you’re looking for a massive space like the Los Angeles Convention Center (whose West Hall alone seats 15,000 guests!) your best bet is to go with a Westside location—West Hollywood, Santa Monica, or Culver City. For an event of up to 1000 guests, UCLA’s Luskin Conference Center is offers a versatile space in pristine Westwood. For an upscale yet inviting dinner event, Craft LA and Hinoki and the Bird both offer multiple spaces for parties ranging from small dinners to 200+-person cocktail parties.

San Diego

San Diego has a lot to brag about. The weather is ideal pretty much always. The attractions are many, from gorgeous beaches and gardens to grand fun parks. And local industry is thriving, thanks in part to San Diego’s draw as a top vacation spot. All this makes ‘America’s Finest City’ a natural choice for a field marketing event.

With tourism driving San Diego’s economy, event venues are plentiful. Boasting a nostalgic 50’s Californian exterior, the Town and Country San Diego gives attendees an atmospheric experience. This high-end hotel offers an array of meeting rooms for events of up to 2600 guests.

For something smaller, Searsucker San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter offers a rustic and elegant setting for private parties of up to 350 guests, while the New Children’s Museum is a feel-good option for a mid-size event, with all proceeds going to support art programming. And for a more outside-of-the-box venue, Hornblower Cruises have select packages available for memorable corporate events on the harbor.

Central California


With so many amazing cities to see in California, Sacramento is often overlooked. But with one of the world's best climates, an atmospheric Old Town for evening entertaining, a walkable city center, and modern corporate facilities, Sactown is a perfect location for B2B functions. As the city’s tourism site boasts, the Sacramento Convention Center—a massive and versatile event space—sits a mere 145 feet from the Hyatt and Sheraton. If you’re looking for modern mid-size venues, Beatnik Studios hosts stunning events in its brick-and-glass warehous. For more options, Venue Vixens has a comprehensive list of event spaces from Old Sacramento to the surrounding regions, including Napa.

Northern California

San Francisco and Oakland

It feels almost blasphemous to combine these two very different cities into one highlight, but with San Franciscans flooding to Oakland in search of (slightly less) insane living costs, business is headed that way as well. So while San Francisco continues to offer diverse locations for meetings, Oakland is hot on its tails with vibrant food and event venues popping up all the time. Great news for event marketers with varying budgets and clients across the Bay Bridge.

If your business is decidedly centered in San Francisco, you benefit from being in a petri dish of experimental space design. For large events, Bespoke in the Westfield San Francisco Centre is a sleek and versatile option, customizing meeting spaces for crowds of 30 to 1,200, and The Nourse offers a gorgeous setting for lecture-style events in its 1687-seat theater. For something more intimate, take your pick of the eye candy available on Peerspace (just try not to go down the rabbit hole!).

If Oakland makes more sense for your event location, Impact Hub Oakland offers a co-working space that supports events of 40-300 guests. Our top choices for large venues are the Oakland Scottish Rite Center for groups of up to 1500 and the Oakland Convention Center, ideal for exhibition-style events.

We’ve only cracked the surface of the great venue options in these top regional cities. Do you have a fantastic meeting space to add? Let us know!

Event Planning Workbook - How to Run an Event That Isn’t Terrible
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