Conventions Generate $1.1B to San Diego Regional Economy in FY18

Conventions Generate $1.1B to San Diego Regional Economy in FY18

A total of $1.1 billion in regional impact was generated into the San Diego economy as a direct result of conventions, meeting and events held at your San Diego Convention Center from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

The Convention Center's Fiscal Year 2018 annual report is out, and shows that the venue is delivering on its purpose: to serve as the region's premier gathering place, hosting conventions, trade shows and community events that economically benefit the City of San Diego and advances our convention and tourism industry.

A total of 785,460 attendees contributed $651 million in direct spending as a result of the 133 events that were held at the Convention Center. A total of $24.7 million in hotel and sales tax revenues were generated directly benefitting the City of San Diego's general fund.

Convention Center's FY18 Performance Summary Economic Impact Graphic

Of the total 133 events, 13 were medical meetings, the core business of the Convention Center. Seven of those meetings landed in the year's top 10 economic generators. Comic-Con International sits at the top of the list, contributing $147 million alone over the four days it was hosted during FY18.

San Diego Convention Center Citywides Top 10 EconomicGenerators graphic

"Your San Diego Convention Center helps drive business to local retailers, attractions, restaurants, hotels and special event venues," said San Diego Convention Center President & CEO Rip Rippetoe. "Our job is to host events and bring people to San Diego, events that produce a ripple effect into the economy that reaches across the county. Our promise is to provide outstanding customer service, exceeding expectations, so that our customers will want to come back over and over again, further investing in San Diego."

Rippetoe likes to say that each week we build - or help facilitate the building of - "small cities" for the most important week of our customer's year. Visitors come to our destination to learn, connect and create, then they take their tourism dollars out into the destination.

"The more tourists we have in San Diego, the more sales tax and tourism occupancy tax dollars are generated, which benefit our city and our region," said Rippetoe.

San Diego Convention Center FY18 Average Attendee Spending graphic

Medical meetings continue to drive economic impact, with an all-time record spend per medical meeting attendee being achieved: $1,759 per attendee. The average attendee spend for a non-medical event is $1,167 over their visit.

In FY18, 13 medical meetings accounted for 18 percent of your Convention Center's overall attendance and 38 percent of total regional impact.

San Diego Convention Center FY18 Average Medical Attendee Spending Graphic

"Nearly every week of the year, we have people in our building," said Board Chairman Gil Cabrera. "And each guest is contributing to our overall return on investment. For every dollar the city invested in our facility, we returned $1.47 in Fiscal Year 18."

This fiscal year, the Convention Center also invested into the building, including the replacement of the iconic Sails Pavilion and the addition of the LED Sails Pavilion lights.

In addition, the Convention Center earned several awards, recognizing its achievements in sustainability as well as leadership. The facility was the proud recipient of the IAVM Venue Excellence award as well as being designated among the Best Convention Centers in California by California Meetings + Events Magazine.

This is your Convention Center. We invite you to read the annual report.

Authored by Barbara Moreno

San Diego Convention Center Logo Sails Elements Without Text

  • San Diego Convention Center
    111 W Harbor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 619.525.5000