San Diego Convention Center Wins Best in the West

San Diego Convention Center Wins Best in the West

For nearly 30 years, the San Diego Convention Center has been at the forefront of the meetings industry. That is why we are proud to share that we have won the Gold Award for Best Convention Center in the Western United States by the 2018 Prevue Visionary Awards.

This is the first time the Prevue Visionary Awards has included a category for convention centers, specifically recognizing venues that are forward-thinking and innovative.

The annual awards acknowledge destinations, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, convention and visitors bureaus, convention centers and airlines of the industry. Prevue’s meeting and incentive planner audience and esteemed Advisory Board voted for winners in 30 categories.

San Diego Convention Center Corporation President & CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe and Vice President of Sales and Services Andy Mikschl were presented the Gold Award at the IMEX America Exhibition in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 16. IMEX is America's worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.

"We are grateful to be recognized by those who nominated our venue and those who voted for us in this award category," said Rippetoe.


"We are grateful to be recognized by those who nominated our venue and those who voted for us in this award category," said Rippetoe. "Our purpose is to be the region's premier gathering place. And since we are in the experience business, we are always looking to the future and how we will create new and better experiences for our customers."

Earlier this year, we completed our Sails Pavilion renovation, which includes the new addition of colored LED lights. This allows our customers and community partners to create vibrant, expressive displays, not only to illuminate the interior of the Pavilion, but the surrounding cityscape as well.

The Sails Pavilion is lit up in an
The Sails Pavilion is lit up in an "Orange Gold" in this photo. The LED lights can appear in any customized color.

Our food and beverage partner Centerplate has been crucial to creating remarkable new experiences for our attendees. At one event, our teams created a dining space that was complementary to the exhibit hall, allowing attendees to seamlessly move to and from their lunch breaks. During another event, our team catered seven massive meals in the Sails Pavilion over four days, all while creating over 7,000 custom meals that ranged from Halal to kosher, gluten-free and more.

Sustainability in meetings is another important goal of ours. When one of our long-time customers Esri User Conference began their "zero plastics" efforts, we swapped out all plastic water bottles for boxed waters, ordered canned juices instead of bottled and used plates and cutlery made of compostable materials. In 2019, California law will prohibit plastic straws, but the San Diego Convention Center is already ahead of the game, cutting out plastics as much as possible from its catering protocol.

Attendees getting refreshments

We have also been investing in our facility. Since securing funding from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) in mid-2016, our building has been in a constant state of improvement. The last two years have had the largest series of upgrades in our building's history, including:

  • Renovated 8 escalators and 9 elevators
  • Upgraded three bathrooms
  • Converting 1,208 light fixtures in the exhibit hall to LEDs

Additionally, the Corporation's Board of Directors approved the recent purchase of 10,000 new folding chairs and another 12,000 stacking chairs for guest's comfort.

We thank the readers of Prevue magazine along with their advisory board for selecting the San Diego Convention Center for this inaugural award!

Authored by Alec Church

San Diego Convention Center Logo Sails Elements Without Text

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