I have always had a special place in my heart for the academics and philosophers of the 18th Century French Enlightenment called the Encyclopedists. Led by Denis Diderot, their intention was to provide a complete alphabetical treatment of the whole field of human knowledge. Although there may be some serious flaws in that approach, I definitely give them an “A” for effort.
When it comes to modern life, and all of the info and resources now available, even just for meeting planners… well, forget it. There is just way too much information. Googling something and have it appear on Page 1 doesn’t make it the best (or even true).
So… in the Enlightenment tradition of trying to create at least some minimal order out of chaos, we at All Things Meetings are slowly trying to build a meeting resource library based on our own experience… or the experiences of our trusted colleagues. With that in mind… let’s build a Very Cool Venue Library. We’ll start in San Francisco, expand to the Bay Area in general… then the world. When we finish the Earth, we’ll tackle the Solar System and so on.
We’ve already written about quite a few, and here are a few more for now (it will keep growing). This way, when you need a venue you can bookmark this and start your search. We’ll keep the copy at a minimum for each, but you can always click through to their web site for their sales/marketing blah-blah, and contact info. Hope it helps.
More San Francisco Venues
Julia Morgan Ballroom (http://juliamorganballroom.com)
Julia Morgan (the brilliant architect who, among other things, designed Hearst Castle), was cool. The Beaux-Arts Ballroom she designed at the Merchants Exchange in SF’s Financial District is very cool. The ballroom itself offers more than 4,300 square feet of unobstructed exhibit and event space, and its five accompanying breakout rooms, bar and lounge make the venue flexible enough to handle a variety of events.
Lucky Strike (http://bowlluckystrike.com)
Yes, Bowling. If you can’t remember when was the last time you bowled, it’s time to try it again. Why? It’s fun. And they take groups too, of course. (The Team-Building competitive throwing a ball while drinking and laughing thing).
They have a venue in San Francisco (12 lanes plus a private two-lane suite, a lounge, a forty-foot bar, and Superior Bowling Alley Cuisine J ). as well as venues in 18 other cities around the USA. Check out their web site for details on each.
City Club (http://cityclubsf.com)
I discovered late in life that I am an Art Deco guy and The San Francisco City Club is perfect for Art Deco guys like me. Originally built in 1930 adjacent to then then San Francisco Stock exchange, and famous for its Diego Rivera frescoes, it is now a Private Club (but you can rent it too).
The venue has ten meeting/event rooms on four floors, but it’s the dramatic eleventh floor Main Dining Room (220 seated guests), the 10th Floor Grand Café (also seats 220 guests) and the more recent addition of the Grand Salon (130 seated guests) that you should check out if you want a truly elegant setting.
Bentley Reserve (http://bentlyreserve.com)
They knew how to build stuff back then. Originally built in 1924, the old San Francisco Federal Reserve Building was renovated in 2005 and while the upper floors are leased to some prominent businesses, the 8,045 square foot ground floor Banking Hall is available for private events.
City View at Metreon (www.cityviewmetreon.com)
Need a big, cool space, close to the Moscone Center and downtown SF? Then you kind of have to consider City View. It has a 14,500 square foot main room, a 3500 square foot lobby and…. Drum roll please… a 12,000 square foot terrace with an exceptional view of the city. They are just undergoing (spring 2017) a major renovation, but when they re-open (soon)…. It just has to be in your consideration set (ooh, I got to use the phrase “consideration set”). Check it out.