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The Best Large Event Venues in San Diego

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Big corporate events have an even bigger impact in San Diego. If your organization is gearing up for a large-scale event, San Diego is the place to host it. From its gorgeous coast to its lively downtown, you will have no issue drawing your clients, customers, or business associates to Southern California for your event. Whether you are booking an off-site, product launch, annual meeting, conference, convention, trade show, or company retreat, your special event will get the attention it deserves in San Diego.

The Vendry can help you land on a large event venue in San Diego. Compile a list of your “must-haves” and dive into 12 of the most versatile and hardworking event venues in this sunny SoCal town.

1. Petco Park

Neighborhood: Petco Park
Capacity: 42,445 standing

Petco Park is a large event venue that truly has it all. From conventions to concerts to serving as home field for the San Diego Padres, this multi-level, multi-functional space has no shortage of offerings. Popular Gallagher Square is an outdoor expanse just beyond the outfield fence and is ideal for group picnics and general sessions. The Auditorium is a multi-purpose room with views of the playing field and East Village District, includes a private outdoor terrace with private entry, and thanks to audio/visual capabilities, is ideal for a corporate meeting, guest speaker, or panel discussion. Petco Park offers up several sports-themed bars, club-like restaurants, and of course, there’s the playing field. The Padres Foundation held their second annual “Dinner on the Diamond” fundraiser right there on the grass last spring, to much acclaim.

2. San Diego Convention Center

Neighborhood: Marina
Capacity: 20,000

Convention planners the world over look toward the San Diego Convention Center to see how it’s done. This enormous event venue is home to some of the biggest and brightest conventions and trade shows in the United States, including fan favorite Comic Con 2022.  Choose from the whopping 135 spaces at the SDCC, from exhibit halls to meeting rooms, from ballrooms to several outdoor terraces. This entire 2.6 million square-foot space is designed to make meeting, conference, convention, and trade show preparation easy on the event planner. Food and beverage, digital signage, audio/visual, and tech needs are all met and then some. Most stunning is the SDCC’s wide offering of outdoor spaces – the organizers know your company came to San Diego to enjoy some time in the sun.


3. The Lane

Neighborhood: Core-Columbia
Capacity: 450 standing, 300 seated

Situated on historic land that originally housed Lane Field, the first home of the Padres, The Lane boasts 12,000 square feet of large, versatile event space. Your team will feel at ease the moment they step foot in this stunning space that has remarkable views of San Diego Bay. A true turn-key venue, The Lane offers many options for your corporate meeting, product launch, or off-site. The large space offers 3,700 square feet of versatile space, including a 20-foot sliding glass door that leads out onto the 3,500-square foot terrace. There’s also a 1,500-square foot interior space with anchor points for hanging installs, as well as a fully furnished private suite for breakout sessions. Famed Moniker Events is your partner every step of the way when you book your meeting or event here, so look forward to seamless coordination in your planning. Sendlane was so taken with The Lane that they held their two-day tech summit Commerce Roundtable here in September 2023.

A well-lit room with overlooking view from the outside through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Lane

4. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Neighborhood: Torrey Pines
Capacity: 700 standing, 766 seated

If you have been tasked with finding an event space that can both accommodate a large group and encapsulates the Southern California vibe, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is just the place. There’s 47,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space at this sophisticated, Spanish tile-roofed, palm-tree dotted hotel on the shores of the Pacific in tony Torrey Pines. Choose from ballrooms, theaters, and boardrooms, all perfectly capturing that coastal feeling. Most impressive and unique is The Woodlands, which is its own retreat within a retreat, offering over a dozen venues spanning over 12,000 square feet. The Woodlands is perfect for lectures, mid-size groups, breakout sessions, and board gatherings. Up-to-the-minute tech and out-of-this-world catering makes Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa a top choice in the San Diego area. Take a look at the TEDx San Diego Women “Bold + Brilliant” event, a day filled with engaging talks and wellness activities.  

5. Pendry San Diego

Neighborhood: Gaslamp
Capacity: 750 standing, 700 seated

The beloved and historic Gaslamp Quarter is home to Pendry San Diego, a glamorous hotel that’s just a 5-minute walk to the San Diego Convention Center. Placing your right in the middle of San Diego’s heart, Pendry offers a sense of style and sophistication to your large corporate gathering, with an attention to detail that is unmatched. There are Parlours, Salons, and Ballrooms, all with the ability to be configured to your event’s desires. Pendry caters to all your technology and audio/visual needs, and their catering packages are top-notch. Once your meeting or panel discussion has concluded, invite your 500 guests up to the third floor Pool Deck for cocktails. Pendry is classic and elegant, and well suited for your next large corporate gathering.

6. Rancho Bernardo Inn

Neighborhood: Rancho Bernardo
Capacity: 1110 standing, 1000 seated

California cool meets flexibility at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, a peaceful resort to hold your next big corporate meeting, conference, or panel discussion. With its 51 spaces from which to choose, Rancho Bernardo Inn reigns supreme when it comes to planning a large productive gathering. The Aragon Ballroom and Lawn are particularly breathtaking. Serving as a backdrop for a keynote speaker, product launch, or even a trade show, this space is ready for lighting and set-ups, all amongst the white rose bushes that outline the lawn. No matter what space you land on, the Zen-like grounds of this resort sets the stage, and even provides you with a dedicated event organizer throughout your planning process. The knowledgeable staff will not only help you with all the technical aspects of your meeting, but they will guide you in adding a little leisure to your associates’ business activities. From team building exercises to spirited tastings for partners or spouses, Rancho Bernardo Inn can put it all on your event’s agenda.

7. BRICK

Neighborhood: Midway District
Capacity: 400 standing, 220 seated

If you are looking for a venue that’s big, but has the feel of something more intimate, BRICK San Diego might just be your spot. Software company Cordial hosted their annual user conference here, aptly named “Bespoke”. And that is the type of treatment you’ll receive at BRICK, offering a pleasant, totally customized take on your special event. Formerly the Naval Training Center, there’s one large space here, which is overtaken by exposed red brick walls and ample natural light. BRICK is a perfect spot for a networking event or workshop, so put your trust in their long list of vendors when it comes to catering and audio/visual rentals.

8. SeaWorld San Diego

Neighborhood: Mission Bay Park
Capacity: 1500 Standing, 800 seated

There’s unique, then there’s SeaWorld unique. This main attraction in San Diego also serves as a terrific venue to host your large corporate crowd, complete with a little animal interaction. Utilize the Mission Bay Theater, complete with state-of-the-art visuals and audio for your award presentation or new product training. Dine With Orcas is one of SeaWorld’s restaurants – serving delicious fare adjacent to the tank with the killer whales – that can be rented out for your team. There’s partial or full buy-outs of all the major attractions here, each complete with animal encounters or guided tours. As they say, the options for your corporate event at SeaWorld are as big as the sea itself.

9. Belmont Park

Neighborhood: Mission Beach
Capacity: 1200 standing

Hosting a networking event? Belmont Park has you covered. This legendary SoCal amusement park with indoor/outdoor functionality will make you feel certain you’ve picked the right place. There are four, harmonious spaces here. Draft is a private indoor lounge that overlooks the beach and it’s amazing sunsets. Cannonball is the largest oceanfront rooftop in San Diego, where the sushi is fresh, the drinks are cold, and the firepits roar once the sun goes down. Beach House Grill is the largest of Belmont Park’s offerings, complete with an oceanfront stage for an unforgettable presentation or awards show. Lastly, just steps away from the historic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster is the Coaster Room & Terrace, an indoor space with the ability to accommodate 300 guests. The thrills of this seaside spot will be a corporate gathering your team won’t soon forget.

An outdoor space with overlooking view of the ocean, and colorful tables and chairs scattered throughout the space.

Belmont Park

10. LUCE KETTNER

Neighborhood: Harborview
Capacity: 400 standing, 300 seated

Deep on Kettner Boulevard on the charming streets of San Diego’s Little Italy is LUCE KETTNER, a renovated warehouse picture-perfect for your annual meeting, off-site, or conference. Rental times begin here at 9 a.m., so all-day meetings are a reality here. LUCE KETTNER can provide you with a list of trusted vendors, as well as hotels close by for your associates to stay. They provide two furnished suites perfect for breakout sessions, as well as a prep kitchen for your caterers. Or get your team outdoors for a session break, as there’s a perfect little nook in the parking lot for a food truck.  

11. Tower Beach Club & Showroom

Neighborhood: Mission Beach
Capacity: 200 standing

Off-site. Product training. Corporate retreat. Conference. Company picnic. Strategy session. Team meeting…you name the corporate event and Tower Beach Club & Showroom will host it. This place is so SoCal it’s almost unbelievable. It is a stylishly designed, 4,300-square foot indoor/outdoor facility with panoramic views of Mission Bay. There’s a wrap-around deck, two mobile bars, audio/visual capabilities, outdoor lawn furniture, and fire tables. There’s even an adjacent 10,000 square foot lawn right on the water. Add on watersports as an activity, booked  through Mission Bay Sports Center. This is a place that needs to be seen to be believed.  

12. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Neighborhood: Marina
Capacity: 10,000

Plan a presentation to end all presentations at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. Cutting edge sounds and lighting systems enhance this already massively impressive venue and concert space, which sits right in the Marina. The Rady Shell provides ample back-of-house space with six private dressing rooms and a green room. Once your presentation or keynote speaker has concluded, retire to one of the many ancillary spaces for a reception. Catering is a (sea)breeze as there’s an exclusive partnership with local restaurants and celebrity chefs for concessions or meals. Your clients, customers, and associates will be blown away in every sense of the phrase with the acoustics at this gem along the water.

Planning an Event for a Large Group

Mobilizing a large group of business cohorts isn’t always easy. But when your company announces your corporate event will be in San Diego, likely a lot of hands will be raised. Planning for a corporate event for a large group in an experienced city like San Diego can be simple if you have a few items on your list checked off first. Before you begin to call on places, consider the following:

·  Master plan. What is the reason for your group getting together?

·  Goals and objectives. In addition to the reason, figure out what you want your group to accomplish while assembled.

·  Date. When it comes to planning in sunny San Diego, there really isn’t a bad time of year, so the date selected should matter more to your corporate calendar.  

·  Budget. This is a no brainer, but will save a lot of headaches if everyone signs off.

·  Type of additional events. The plan might be to come to San Diego for product training, but you might have to set up private dinners or other entertainment.

·  Number of guests. This will not only determine your location, but how you will move such a large group of people from point A to point B.  

·  Vendor coordination. Will you need outside rentals, audio/visual, or tech? Luckily so many large venues come well equipped with such items.

·  Accessibility and comfort. Once you have a headcount, get into specifics of what your associates will need, including special accommodations or dietary restrictions.

Finding the Best Large Event Venues in San Diego

Locating the best large event venue in San Diego for your big group can be easy if you begin with The Vendry. Search large event venues by neighborhood, by venue type, and by capacity to kickstart your hunt. Click to request proposals right from your findings. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

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The Best Private Dining Rooms in Los Angeles

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