The Convention Center is ADA compliant. As new standards are introduced, it is our goal to implement those changes or upgrades in a timely manner.
In accordance with the ADA, we are responsible for permanent premises access accommodations, such as, but not limited to, wheelchair lifts, elevator standards, door width standards and restroom accessibility. The front drive has multiple ADA accessible drop-off ramps from Lobbies A-H.
It is the Licensee/Show Management’s responsibility to provide non-permanent accessibility requirements, such as, but not limited to, hearing-assisted or visually-assisted devices and temporary seating accessibility and/or interpreters.
Stage AccessThe Convention Center can make a wheelchair lift available for stages per Licensee/Show Management request. The Convention Center does not have access to wheelchair ramps but can assist in locating a local provider that does.
Air conditioning and/or heating are provided during published event hours. Requests for air conditioning and/or heating during non-event periods will be charged at the prevailing rate.
In the event that an alarm goes off, please know that Convention Center staff does not deactivate the alarm until the proper emergency response team is on-site, verifies the cause of the alarm and then deactivates the alarm. The Convention Center operates at a maximum safety level that helps to ensure life safety.
In case of an emergency following an alarm, staff will activate the Convention Center’s public address system and provide direction to everyone in the facility. When the public address system starts to operate, please listen and follow the directions. Doing anything else will increase the hazard and will put you and your attendees at risk.
With the exception of guide, signal or service animals, animals are not allowed in the facility without prior written approval. Approval is based on whether the animal is legitimately part of a show, exhibit or activity requiring the use of animals. If allowed, Licensee/Show Management is responsible for the liability and sanitary needs associated with the animals.
Helium balloons may not be distributed or sold inside the facility. With the prior approval of your Event Manager, helium balloons may be used when they are permanently affixed to authorized displays. If helium balloons are released for any reason within the facility, labor costs associated with the removal of the balloons will be charged to Licensee/Show Management at the prevailing rate. Helium balloons distributed outside the facility shall not be permitted inside the building. Additionally, helium balloons may not be released into the outside environment from the premises of the Convention Center.
Mylar balloons are prohibited.
Exhibitors are responsible for arranging the disposal of their booths through their show’s general service contractor. If arrangements are not made in advance and the booth is abandoned, the Convention Center will charge the Licensee/Show Management for labor and compactor pull for waste disposal.
Box offices may be available for limited use by clients. Please contact your Event Manager for more information.
Under the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC), no marijuana (means all parts of the Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, it seeds or resin) or marijuana products (means cannabis that has undergone a process whereby the plant material has been transformed into a concentrate, including but not limited to, concentrated cannabis, or an edible or topical product containing cannabis or concentrated cannabis and other ingredients) can be sold or distributed unless they are sold from a licensed marijuana outlet.
CBD oil is regulated under the SDMC because it is made from a portion of the cannabis plant. Sales and sampling are prohibited on-site at the venue.
Licensee/Show Management is responsible for all damage during an event. Licensee/Show Management will be responsible for cleaning costs associated with the removal of stains. If carpet/wall coverings cannot be sufficiently cleaned or if the damage is severe (cuts, rips or tears), Licensee/Show Management will be responsible for the replacement cost of the carpet or wall covering.
Exhibit Booth Carpeting
Exhibitors are responsible for providing or arranging for their own carpeting in the booth area. Tabletop displays may be allowed in a carpeted area without additional treatments. However, any carpeted area used for commercial exhibits or substantial displays must have additional protective carpet laid over the Convention Center’s carpet to protect it from inordinate wear and tear or damage. For further clarification, see your Event Manager.
The San Diego Convention Center is the exclusive in-house cleaning service for all events.
Exhibitors may complete online pre-order forms as directed in their advance show kits. A Convention Center employee will be available to take on-site booth cleaning orders and provide customer service to exhibitors.
As an exclusive service, this means exhibitor-affiliated contractors (EACs) may not provide any cleaning service to a booth. All cleaning must be requested through the Convention Center. EACs will be asked to leave the premises if found in violation of this exclusive provision.
The Convention Center provides a complimentary cleaning of all common areas not used for registration purposes.
The Convention Center delivers a broom clean floor. Licensee/Show Management is expected to deliver it back in the same condition. There will be an additional charge assessed for cleaning tape residue on the floor and for bulk trash removal at the conclusion of your event.
General Session, Sails Pavilion, Exhibit Hall & Ballrooms
The Convention Center provides a midday and overnight refresh for general session areas located in exhibit halls. Any additional cleaning service needs resulting from production or session activities shall be provided by the Convention Center and are billable at the prevailing rates.
Meeting rooms that are rekeyed by request of the client are not cleaned nor are deliveries made until Licensee/Show Management staff is in the room. Meeting rooms designated as general access are cleaned on our schedule and deliveries are made per Licensee/Show Management requests.
One midday and overnight room refresh is provided for each meeting room in use. The refresh includes trash disposal and replacement of the speaker’s water. Overnight refresh also includes straightening of tables and chairs. Additional charges may be assessed for excessive trash. If you have dedicated refresh schedule requirements beyond our usual midday refresh, appropriate labor charges will apply in relation to the scope of the work to be done. Your Event Manager can assist you with a room refresh schedule.
Licensee/Show Management must provide a list of contractors that will be used during the event at least 30 days prior to the first move-in day. The list assists the Convention Center with the pre-planning of services and security programs.
ASCAP, BMI, dramatist fees, copyright license fees, patent fees or any other fee or royalty attached to copyrighted or proprietary material are Licensee/Show Management’s responsibility. Please ensure that the appropriate reporting and payment of fees cover all presentations associated with an event. The Convention Center is not responsible for any violation for infringement rights of any owner or presented material.
Crate storage is allowed on the exhibit floors under the following conditions and with Fire Marshal approval:
- In areas no larger than 10' by 50' and no higher than eight feet
- 10' of clear aisle space must separate adjacent storage areas
- Areas must be within licensed space
- Provide paths of travel to common exits
- Marked exitways
- Separated from exhibit space by pipe and drape, or other traditional service contractor supplied materials
- Kept neat, clean and orderly throughout the course of your time in the facility
- Predefined on your floor plans
Limited storage of empties is available on the dock. All dock storage must be in compliance with the Convention Center’s ability to contain flame spread. Please check with your Event Manager for details.
All rampways and entrances must be kept clear at all times. The Convention Center reserves the right to define the number of docks available for storage of event equipment and empties.
The Convention Center’s storage program is defined by the availability of dock space, the capacity of its fire suppression system and response time of our nearby fire stations.
If a fire watch is required, any costs associated would be the responsibility of the licensee.
A dangerous weapon is any object or device designed or intended to be used to inflict serious injury upon persons or property. The possession of a dangerous weapon is prohibited in the Convention Center. All concealed weapons are strictly prohibited in the Convention Center.
Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to: firearms, explosives, stun guns, handcuffs, brass knuckles, sticks, clubs, batons, martial arts instruments, pepper spray, tear gas, knives, etc. Guests found in possession of the above mentioned items will be asked to remove the item from the Convention Center or dispose of it. Guests who refuse to comply will be removed from the building and may be subject to arrest.
Only active on-duty police officers may carry firearms within the Convention Center in accordance with their duties. All others are strictly prohibited regardless of license or status. If firearms are an integral part of an event, an exhibitor may display a firearm as part of its exhibit during an event subject to the following:
- Prior approval from the San Diego Convention Center
- The exhibitor must comply with all federal, state and local laws governing the possession and/or sale of firearms
- Firearms must be deactivated by removal of the firing pin, the bolt or otherwise altered so that they are incapable of being fired
- Firearms may not be loaded or fired in the Convention Center
- Exceptions may be granted, at the Convention Center’s sole discretion, for particularly rare antique firearms displayed in a locked case or otherwise made inaccessible
- Powder or primers and ammunition are prohibited in the Convention Center
- Any violation of this policy may result in immediate removal from the building
If Licensee/Show Management or exhibitors would like to donate leftover materials, please contact your Event Manager. The donor will be advised where to bring the items. Once accounted for, the Convention Center will tag the items as donated property and arrange for pick-up. Donations must be pre-arranged with your Event Manger to guarantee acceptance and/or placement.
Limited drone usage is permitted inside the Convention Center. Drones are not permitted to fly on the outside perimeter of the building without prior FAA authorization. For additional information, contact your Event Manager.
All show and exhibitor equipment must be UL approved. Extension cords shall be three-wire with ground and shall service one appliance or device. Multi-plug adapters must be UL approved and have an overload internal circuit breaker. Home-type “cube” taps are prohibited. Spliced wires are heat generators and are prohibited.
Cooking/warming devices shall be electric and shall be UL or FM approved. Cooking/warming devices and heated products need to be four feet away from the front of the display, or have a shield 18" high, 1/4" thick across the front and down the sides of the demonstration area. A 2A10BC fire extinguisher must be in the booth and readily available near the demonstration area.
Electrical equipment shall be installed, operated and maintained in a manner that does not create a hazard to life or property. Sufficient access and working space must be provided for all electrical equipment and must comply with current N.E.C. standards.
The Convention Center requires that all electrical work inside or attached to disconnect switches, panels, motor control centers, panel boards and other electrical equipment controlled by the Convention Center, be performed by Convention Center electrical staff or approved utility services contractors only.
The Convention Center provides no event electrical service. Contact your Event Manager for a list of approved contractors.
Please contact your electrical service contractor regarding the provision of and fees associated with 24-hour electrical service for event exhibit/ trade show areas.
The Convention Center’s equipment inventory is typically adequate to accommodate several simultaneous events. Current prices can be found in the Convention Center Pricing Guide. Please let your Event Manager know what your needs are as soon as possible.
When the inventory is exhausted, Licensee/Show Management must make arrangements for additional equipment at their own expense.
Please see your License Agreement for a list of those services. In addition, your Event Manager can provide a list of vendors for other services.
Special event permits are required for exhibits, tents, lasers, open flame, pyrotechnics or special requests.
For the permit application process and general information, please refer to the City of San Diego’s Special Event information page or contact the City of San Diego directly.
The use of welding equipment, open flames, decorative candles or smoke emitting devices or material is prohibited. Exceptions may be made with prior approval by the Fire Marshal.
All display materials must be flame retardant according to California fire codes. A fire retardant certificate of the display materials and the exhibitor booth construction must be posted or readily available within the exhibit. If smoke detectors are required for exhibit enclosures or for multi-level exhibit booths, or if the Fire Marshal deems necessary, special fire watch coverage will be in effect and billable when the exhibit or show is closed for business.
The use of burning fluids, oils, camphene, liquid oxygen, ethylene, kerosene, gasoline or anything else of like nature is discouraged in the facilities. If your event absolutely requires the use of hazardous materials, maximum limits and controls will be placed on use of such materials. Those maximum limits and controls include our reserved right to curtail the use of the materials. Fire Marshal approval is required.
Exits, entrances, air supply vents, ramps, sidewalks, hallways, stairways, elevators, escalators and aisleways must be kept clear at all times. Exit signs must be kept visible at all times. Fire extinguishers, fire protection valves and fire hose cabinets must be kept clear at all times.
Pyrotechnics, Lasers & Hazing
A special permit is required for the use of pyrotechnics and/or lasers. Each situation must be individually pre-approved by your Event Manager and the Fire Marshal. If approved, the use of pyrotechnics and/or lasers will be strictly controlled and continuously monitored. Standby fire personnel may be required. Licensee will be charged by the Convention Center for the cost of standby personnel.
Clients are no longer able to use hazing, mist or fog-producing machines or elements in the Sails Pavilion. With our LED lights and fire system, no particle components are allowed into the intake system.
It is Licensee/Show Management’s responsibility to make arrangements for first aid services for events at the Convention Center. Groups with over 2,500 people attending are required to provide onsite first aid for the event including move in, event days, and move out. If an event is has less than 2,500 people and the event demographics or numbers demonstrate the need for such coverage, the Convention Center reserves the right to require Licensee/Show Management to engage first aid services for that event. You may contact your Event Manager for a list of approved providers.
Outside Food & Beverage
Food and beverage items cannot be brought in from outside the building. The Convention Center has an exclusive agreement to provide all catering and concessions within the facility. If staff witness an individual bringing outside food into the Convention Center, they will be turned away. Our food and beverage division offers a wide range of food options and can help your team plan accordingly to ensure your catering and concessions needs are met.
Food and beverage product exhibitors who are germane to events and are lawful manufacturers or distributors of food and/or beverage products may distribute samples. Samples must be distributed from those specific exhibitor booth locations only. Samples may not exceed two ounces by weight of a solid product, and four ounces by volume of a non-alcoholic beverage product. All alcoholic beverage sampling must be serviced by the Convention Center’s Food and Beverage Department. Approval for distribution of samples must be obtained prior to an event.
Please contact the Catering Department at 619.525.5800, or your Event Manager for additional information prior to the event.
All gas cylinders must be securely fastened to a carriage or to a fixed location at all times, and may be subject to Fire Marshal review.
The Convention Center will not accept delivery of show materials or freight. Freight or shipping carriers must deliver freight to the attention of Licensee/Show Management’s official service contractor or Licensee/ Show Management during licensee’s contracted days.
If your event does not have an official service contractor and your shipment cannot be hand carried to your space, then you must use the docks and have appropriate union labor hired to accept and deliver to your space regardless of location.
Delivery address must reference the name of the event location (i.e. hall or meeting room), show contact name and must not arrive until the first contracted show day. Additional information will be provided by your Event Manager.
Guest Services are provided exclusively by the Convention Center for door persons and ticket takers.
The Convention Center provides a complimentary number of Guest Services staff for your event. Uniformed Guest Services Staff serve as greeters at the front door and as information and direction specialists in the lobbies.
Guest Services staff beyond the complimentary level are available at billable rates. There is a four-hour minimum for all Guest Services Staff. The overall hourly estimate will include one hour of staff briefing time (30 minutes before and after).
The San Diego Convention Center is the exclusive provider of hand sanitizer stations. Complimentary stations are available in lobbies; additional stations are available for a fee.See pricing guide for details.
The Convention Center does not allow any hard construction activities to be executed on the exhibit floor or within the building, such as, but not limited to, material sawing, painting, welding, soldering, etc. without prior written approval.
No spray paint, adhesives, cement and/or anchors are allowed on the premises.
The in-house sound system is managed exclusively by the Convention Center’s preferred in-house audio visual contractor. Any use of the house sound system should be arranged through them in conjunction with your Event Manager. The Convention Center does not allow outside equipment to be connected to or operated from the house sound system.
There are several incentives when utilizing our preferred in-house audio visual contractor as your provider. They can arrange for a complete variety of audio visual services, staging, production and sophisticated multi-media services. Their offices are in the Convention Center; they also maintain a local warehouse with an extensive inventory to provide for any audio visual needs. There is an additional fee for use of facility equipment or audio lines for broadcasts and recording.
Lost Keys or Key Cards
Please refer to the Convention Center Pricing Guide for information on rekeying and replacing lost keys.
The Convention Center’s License Agreement is the governing document for an event.
A 50 percent level of lighting is provided in all licensed spaces during move-in and move-out. One hour prior to the opening of an event, 100 percent lighting will be provided. At the close of an event day, 50 percent lighting level will be restored.
Sails Pavilion LED Colored Lights
Any client with a full-facility contract can select one color of their choice to light up the Sails each evening of the contracted event days. This is complimentary during any selected four-hour block of time (ending at midnight). Any client that contracts a portion of space can receive one color for a single contracted event day of their choosing for four hours (ending at midnight). This will be on a first-come, first-serve basis if the Sails Pavilion has not been contracted. Customized lighting options are available for a fee.
Please contact your Event Manager for more information.
The main exhibit floor load limit is 350 pounds per square foot distributed load. The lower, mezzanine and upper lobbies, ballrooms and Sails Pavilion are 150 pounds per square foot.
A lost and found location may be operated at Licensee/Show Management’s discretion. Guest Services operates a hotline for inquiries regarding lost and found items, which is available for your use.
Our staff makes every effort to ensure you are able to retrieve your lost items. SDCC has a 30-day retention period for holding found items.
Exhibition Material: We do not store exhibition material. If unclaimed items are determined to be exhibition material, these items may be disposed of after the event has moved out.
Lighting presets and changes should be discussed with your Event Manager.
Maximum occupancies are assigned for each of the meeting rooms by fire code. Please adhere to set limits.
To the extent of our inventory, a one-time set up within each of your licensed meeting rooms is provided. This includes a riser, head table, lectern, tables, chairs and one easel in the room. Changes to the one-time set up and additional room sets or changeovers will be charged to Licensee/Show Management accordingly.
We do not provide complimentary bulk water service in our meeting rooms; however, we do have bottle filling stations conveniently located throughout the public areas of the facility.
Per ADA compliance, those with accessibility needs will be accommodated. For safety reasons, motorized carts, including Segways, are not allowed in any public areas including the lobby. Wheel coverings are required on the tires when traveling in carpeted areas.
To reduce the risk of accidents, please exercise due caution when operating motorized carts in approved areas.
Hoverboards are not permitted.
Children under 18 years of age are not allowed on the show floor during move-in and move-out.
Closed toe shoes must be worn at all times in the exhibit halls and docks. No access will be granted to the exhibit halls or docks if the shoe policy is not followed. No open-toed footwear, sandals or flip flops allowed.
The Convention Center has operable walls in meeting rooms, ballrooms and exhibit halls. The walls separate leased spaces into a desired configuration. Once the walls are set per Licensee/Show Management’s specifications, a charge will be incurred for any additional wall movement. Please allow sufficient time to meet your needs. Please note: Halls B2 and G cannot stand alone.
Docks & Front Drive
On-site parking permits are restricted for personal vehicles. Please see your Event Manager for additional assistance with parking requirements or for special arrangements.
On-site private vehicle parking at the Convention Center is available in the underground 1,900-space garage through an outside parking management company, not controlled by the Convention Center. Daily rates apply. Note there is no overnight or 24-hour parking.
Off-site, private vehicle parking is also available at numerous parking lots located nearby.
The Convention Center provides a drop-off zone on the front drive for rideshare and cabs at Lobby A.
The Convention Center Pricing Guide is provided to assist with the preparation of your event. Pricing and information regarding ancillary services are included. Pricing is subject to change.
Dock & Front Drive Security
Security Services has responsibility for and control of the dock areas for all move ins/outs and the front drive, including ride share and 5th Ave crowd control. SDCC provides staffing at these locations. SDCC Security staffing is billable at the prevailing published hourly rate. Please work with your Event Manager on security needs and requirements.
Event Security Services
The Convention Center maintains an approved list of qualified and pre-approved event security providers. Only providers on this list are permitted to work in the building. Contact your Event Manager for security requirements.
Facility Public Safety
Security Services retains control of all common areas including lobbies, docks and all perimeter areas on a 24-hour basis. Basic services are provided for security. Any additional services that you request in our controlled areas are at additional cost to Licensee/Show Management at the current billable rates.
The Convention Center reserves the right to eject disorderly persons or any person who is causing disruption to an event and/or the conduct of business.
The Convention Center recycles paper, cardboard, plastic, wood pallets and more. Please contact your Event Manager for more details.
Only the in-house preferred audio visual services contractor and approved general services contractors who have a contract with the Convention Center to provide rigging services, are allowed to provide rigging services from the unistrut grid, identified structural steel grid and airwall track in the exhibit halls.
All rigging installations must be done under the supervision of a rigging supervisor who is certified through the Entertainment Services Technology Association’s (ESTA) Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP). The Convention Center rigging policy can be provided upon request.
- Production drape: When stage or back drape is not being hung from a truss, anything over 14' high or over 10' wide in continuous drape line must be tied off per seismic safety regulations.
- Decorator-provided drape or booth design elements: Tying off may be required depending on height, width and base. Please see your Event Manager for more detailed information.
Please see your License Agreement.
Graphic wall, door and window clings are allowed with prior approval by the Event Manager. All locations must be approved and plotted on a diagram prior to installation.
For carpet cling requests, please contact your Event Manager. Only certain materials are approved for usage.
Nothing may be taped, nailed, stapled, tacked or affixed to ceilings, walls, painted surfaces, fire sprinklers or fabric walls/air walls. It is the responsibility of Licensee/Show Management to inform your vendors, exhibitors, speakers and staff of the policy.
Check with your Event Manager for further information on appropriate displaying methods. Damages resulting from the improper use of these materials will be charged directly to Licensee/Show Management.
The desired use of any public, non-licensed area needs to be fully discussed with your Event Manager to determine the feasibility of the proposed use.
The areas adjacent to the escalators and common lobby/foyer/landing areas are not allocated to a particular event and are considered integral to maintaining the ingress/egress requirements necessary to facilitate overall building traffic. As a general rule, exits, restrooms, phones and other lobby specialty services, including amenities, can not be obstructed.
Options for registration and other common area uses should be explored with your Event Manager. Once space has been determined as appropriate and available, a floor plan outlining the proposed usage must be submitted for Fire Marshal approval at least six months in advance of load-in.
Digital Conventions offers several digital signage options, including permanent locations on the lobby level as well as mobile units that can be placed in various locations throughout the public areas of the facility
The permanent locations will include Convention Center messaging every ten rotations, while mobile units will only include such messaging when Licensee/Show Management does not utilize the units. Permanent locations may not be covered by clings, banners or other temporary structures.
Mobile units may only be used in the interior public areas of the facility, and placement of the units is subject to Event Manager and Fire Marshal approval. Please contact Digital Conventions at 877-359-3400.
The San Diego Convention Center has installed a new fire beam fire alarm system in Lobbies A, B and C as well as the Upper Level West Cityside and Upper Level East Cityside. The new system uses a beam emitter technology. Please contact your Event Manager for more information on the new requirements as they relate to hanging of signage or banners for your event.
Foam core is associated with a myriad of ecological hazards and is not biodegradable. Foam core signage made prior to 2020 that is reused annually is permitted; however, foam core may not be used for signage that will be disposed after an event.
Interior & Exterior Sign Sponsorship
The Convention Center offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities both internally and externally. All fees are run-of-show and apply to banners, signage wraps, digital displays and wall graphics. Contact your Event Manager for more information.
The Convention Center is a non-smoking facility. By state law, and in the interest of public health, the Convention Center has adopted a non-smoking policy. There are designated areas outside the building where smoking and vaping are permitted.
Ticketing sales should be arranged for directly by the Licensee/Show Management. You are welcome to use a vendor of your choice.
Ticket taker staff is provided exclusively by the Convention Center.
Truck marshalling is not available at the Convention Center site. Licensee/Show Management’s official service contractor makes all provisions for truck marshalling. Ask your Event Manager for additional information.
The Convention Center has a jurisdictional agreement with its union labor partners; Painters & Allied Trades, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to perform specific work at the Convention Center. This includes, but is not limited to, the activities of move-in, installation, show production, dismantling, and move-out of trade shows, convention exhibits, corporate events, and theatrical events.
Please note that this jurisdiction does not encompass work ordinarily performed by Convention Center employees or the Convention Center’s third party contractors. It also does not apply to work performed by Licensee/Show Management regular employees under their respective payroll who are specifically engaged to perform this work on a continuing basis for their organization. The local representatives from each of our Union Partners will work with you to determine final union requirements based on your specific event. Please contact your Event Manager for more details.
All vehicles must meet Fire Marshal approval for display and location. Vehicles on display must adhere to the following rules:
- No more than one-quarter tank of gas or five gallons, whichever is less
- A locking gas cap or tape over the gas cap
- A drip pan under the vehicle’s drive train (motor to differential)
- Vehicles shall not be moved during show hours
- Refueling is prohibited in the facility, on the docks and outside premises
- Floor plans must indicate where vehicles are to be located
- Batteries shall be disconnected in an approved manner
- Electric vehicles must have their battery disconnected once placed in position. If unable to disconnect the battery due to battery location, then the ignition fuse must be removed. Electric vehicles are at no time allowed to be turned on during event hours.
Licensee/Show Management is obligated to pay the cost of all trash hauls. Licensee/Show Management is responsible for proper and regulated disposal of any and all toxic, biohazard and e-waste goods, materials and substances, and must comply with all applicable laws. Please note that California has strict policies with regard to regulated waste disposal. If someone associated with your event ignores regulatory mandates, it becomes Licensee/Show Management’s responsibility. Please ask your Event Manager for the names of local providers who handle toxic, biohazardous and/or e-waste substances and materials.