How Medical Meetings Benefit the San Diego Life Sciences Industry

How Medical Meetings Benefit the San Diego Life Sciences Industry

San Diego is home to one of the fastest-growing life science clusters in the world. Your San Diego Convention Center contributes to the growing life sciences community by bringing a substantial variety of medical and scientific conventions to our city.

Our purpose is to serve as the region's premier gathering place, hosting conventions, meetings and events that generate economic impact for the San Diego region. Medical meetings are one of the top events we host. In fact, by the end of this current Fiscal Year (which ends on June 30, 2019), the San Diego Convention Center will have hosted had a record-breaking 22 medical meetings. 

We have a symbiotic relationship with the more than 1,200 life science companies located in San Diego. Having so many companies nearby encourages associations to bring their events here, and having so many awesome events brings many opportunities to those local companies.

Those opportunities include:

  • Networking and Relationship Building
  • Product Announcements
  • Media/Press Coverage
  • Educational Courses
  • Talent Acquisition

In these instances, your San Diego Convention Center becomes a "living lab" and "traveling university," allowing for our guests to innovate, test theories and unveil life-changing breakthroughs in research.

Let's take a closer look at one example.


It is a great opportunity to showcase our hometown, and the burgeoning San Diego life sciences sector that now call this home," said Illumina's spokesperson.
The benefits of Medical Meetings


Illumina is a worldwide genomics company headquartered in San Diego where they employ about 7,000 people and they are renowned for their gene sequencing technology.

Genomics? Well it is a good thing we had the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in our building just a few months ago! (If you didn't know, genetics is the study of the structure, function, evolution, mapping and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.)

Illumina had a massive presence at the ASHG annual conference. They had an 800 sq. ft. booth on the exhibit floor and were a major conference sponsor. Illumina held preshow activities at many locations in the downtown area and held workshops, posters, seminars, and executed a social media campaign over the course of the event.

"It is a great opportunity to showcase our hometown, and the burgeoning San Diego life sciences sector that now call this home," said Illumina's spokesperson. "Being that San Diego is a desirable location to visit, we not only feel that the conferences here have a higher attendance rate, but leave people loving San Diego and harboring good will toward Illumina in their wake."

Illumina also had a presence at two other medical events this year, the annual conferences for the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH). They had a booth at Neuroscience and various employees attended ASH18.

That is three major conventions within a three-month period, all taking place in San Diego's Convention Center. Having these events locally is a huge benefit for Illumina's employees; it allows them to attend without the financial and time costs of extended business travel.

Another advantage of having conventions locally is that Illumina is able to invite various business partners who are in town for an event to their headquarters. This allows them to showcase their labs and facilities in-person to customers, suppliers, vendors, etc.

What many local companies tell us is that exposure to San Diego can motivate other companies to make San Diego its headquarters, which helps grow the industry. We bring all of these benefits to life science companies all over San Diego every time we host a medical convention in our building. Some other medical events that we hosted in just the past six months include:

  • The Cardiovascular Research Foundation's Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) – September 2018
  • American College of Emergency Physicians' Annual Meeting – October 2018
  • American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week – October 2018
  • American Society of Cell Biology's Annual Meeting – December 2018

In our last fiscal year, medical meetings accounted for nearly 18 percent of the year's overall attendance at 38 percent of the total regional impact.

We look forward to more amazing events that put our life sciences community in the global meetings spotlight.

Authored by Alec Church

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