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Conventions expected to generate billions for San Diego area in 2014

Forecasted to generate significant benefits to its region in 2014 is the San Diego Convention Center Corp., manager and operator of the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC).

The economic impact from events held in the San Diego Convention Center is expected to reach $1.4 billion, with $606.7 million in direct attendee spending and total tax revenues nearing $20.6 million.

There are 111 events forecasted to be held in SDCC with many more expected to book in upcoming months. Of these events, 70 are primary events and are expected to attract over half a million out-of-town attendees. Total expected attendance is estimated at 858,115 with current figures expected to increase over the year. This marks the convention center’s highest attendance since 2008 when its doors welcomed 951,618 attendees.

Fifteen medical meetings are forecasted to generate $425.9 million in regional economic impact in 2014. Over 121,000 people will attend medical meetings at SDCC and will provide $6.3 million in tax revenues for the San Diego region. Some of the major medical shows convening at the convention center in 2014 include the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Thoracic Society, Experimental Biology and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Throughout the convention and meetings industry, it is anticipated that event attendance will continue to grow moderately. Meeting planners’ top criteria when selecting a host city and venue is convention center and exhibition hall size and quality, along with hotel room availability and capacity, according to a recent study.

Efforts to expand the current convention center continue to make progress, and when completed, it will create the largest contiguous exhibit hall on the West Coast. In October, the expansion cleared a major hurdle when it received the unanimous support of the California Coastal Commission. The City of San Diego and Port of San Diego have begun the next steps necessary to ensure the expansion project breaks ground in early 2015. The expansion will help retain events that are outgrowing the current building, create space to attract new events and accommodate events that have been unable to fit into the current facility due to a lack of adequate exhibit space.

For more information on the expansion project, visit conventioncenterexpansion.com.

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