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San Francisco wins “Best of the Industry” Awards by Convene magazine

The San Francisco Travel Association has been honored as “Best Place for Small Meetings” and “Best Destination Video” by Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), in its first "Best of the Industry" Awards.


August 7, 2012 — The San Francisco Travel Association has been honored as “Best Place for Small Meetings” and “Best Destination Video” by Convene,the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA),in its first "Best of the Industry" Awards.

“San Francisco is a phenomenal place to host a small meeting for many of the same reasons that bigger groups enjoy coming here,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “Regardless of the size or the budget, the benefits of holding a meeting here don’t change. And they contribute to record-breaking attendance for meetings held in San Francisco.”

Convene editors who researched the nominations provided by meeting planners noted the thousands of hotel rooms located within walking distance of the Moscone Center, the proximity of world-class restaurants and cultural attractions, easy access from and to San Francisco International Airport, renowned icons and scenery, plus the high level of service that befits one of the most popular visitor destinations in the world.

Examples of small meetings that have thrived in San Francisco include:

  • Benefit Cosmetics selected the Fairmont San Francisco for their recent meeting. They had one of their most successful meetings ever, based on the positive feedback from attendees and planners alike. “They were so happy with the way the January meeting turned out they booked another meeting shortly after for May,” said Tom Klein, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts’ regional vice president – California/general manager.
  • OSI’s meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square started out with 500 people and has grown every year to more than 1,000 attendees coming from across the country. “They love being in the city and also tell us what great service they get here,” reports Michael Dunne, general manager.
  • AT&T also held a small meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. They had been meeting previously in San Jose and were worried that San Francisco would be too expensive. Instead, their meeting had record turnout. “The meeting planner said it was the best program they’d ever had,” Dunne said. “We received tons of thank you notes and praise from her attendees.” AT&T has asked the hotel to check dates for another meeting next year.
  • Gould’s Distributor's Worldwide Group came to the Westin St. Francis in November 2011. They had 87 rooms on peak night, picked up rooms beyond their contracted block and almost doubled their food and beverage spending. “They had a great time,” said Jon Kimball, area vice president and general manager, Westin St. Francis/Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
  • NCIEA has booked and confirmed the Tuscan Inn in Fisherman’s Wharf every March for the past three years for their annual meeting. Jan Misch, general manager of the Best Western Tuscan Inn, received feedback from the meeting planner saying, “San Francisco is a city where everyone wants to go and visit. So easy to work with and book our rooms and meeting space. Perfect place and convenient location, and has all our needs. Service is excellent and affordable for both NICEA as well as our attendees.”

San Francisco was also honored for its new video, “A Day in the Life: San Francisco,” which was named one of five “Best Destination Videos.” This 3:21 minute production takes the viewer through a day and night in the city by the bay, from the Golden Gate Bridge emerging out of the famous fog to an evening of performing arts and wild nightlife. It includes the core themes that make San Francisco unique – diverse neighborhoods, a rich and ever-evolving food and wine experience, a kaleidoscopic arts and culture scene, commitment to sustainability, festivals and annual events throughout the city and a welcoming atmosphere to all.

Since its debut on YouTube in January 2012, it has been downloaded more than 159,000 times.

“To win not one but two awards in the competition’s first year is thrilling,” D’Alessandro said. “Convene’s readers and editors know their industry so it’s exciting to be recognized by this community of experts.”

Convene's editorial staff considered only those destinations, venues, and tools nominated by the industry in each of 10 categories. The winners are featured in the magazine's inaugural August issue.

Convene now reaches 32,900 qualified industry meeting professional readers 12 times per year. By popular demand, the magazine has added an August edition to its schedule.

"The 'Best of the Industry' recognizes and highlights what our industry has to offer and serves as a resource for meeting professionals as they plan their events throughout the coming year," said Convene Editor in Chief Michelle Russell. "By combining reader input with the unbiased research of our staff, this is a 'must-read' feature of our first-ever August issue."

PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,300 members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization's face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, visit the PCMA Web site at

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. Their professional team stands ready to assist meeting professionals with their next open meeting dates. To begin, visit or contact Lysa Lewin at or 415-227-2616.

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Note to editors: Photos and press releases are available at