Your group may already be classy, or they may aspire to classiness, or at least want to give the appearance of it… but for whatever reason, when it comes to an event, Museums should always be in your consideration set (and once again I commend myself for using the phrase “consideration set” in a sentence).
My loyal reader(s) know that I am continually striving to add “good stuff” to the All Things Meetings Resource Library in keeping with our Mission Statement (of sharing good stuff). So… here are some more very cool venues to consider (in San Francisco). And remember to tell all of your colleagues to bookmark allthingsmeetings.com and to keep checking it out when it comes time to plan something (or anything), and to click on everything and then if they want, to recommend stuff I should add to the library or write about… and so on. But for now… some Museum Event Venues…
As their web site says… “The Exploratorium isn't just a museum; it's an ongoing exploration of science, art and human perception—a vast collection of online experiences that feed your curiosity.” Another key word that keeps showing up… “interactive”. Put another way… it’s a museum where everyone can be a kid and that is a good thing.
The museum is BIG (as in 100,000 square feet)… so if you have a BIG group (max seated is 1100, max standing is 3500) it can accommodate pretty much anything, but it is also divided into galleries that can be rented separately for smaller events. Many of the galleries (and combinations thereof) have great views of both the city and the Bay, plus your group can play with all of the contraptions the museum is famous for.
Note… it is a museum and so there are always some restrictions, some timing issues, and a lot of other fine print… but if you can work with that, everyone loves the place.
SFMOMA (as in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
This masterpiece of a museum re-opened in 2016 after a three-year expansion… and is now, at 460,000 square feet (!) is the Bay Area’s largest. There are all sorts of rental possibilities and combinations… from “soaring cathedral ceilings to open-air sculpture gardens…and twinkling cityscapes” (I lifted that from their web site), so what I mean to say is… it’s cool.
As web sites like to say, they are “situated in the heart of San Francisco”. And they are.
The Museum of the African Diaspora
As part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Complex, and connected to the St. Regis Hotel, the MOAD also has the Location thing going for it. As museums go, it’s relatively new (opened in 2005), and in 2014 it was named a Smithsonian Affiliate (in the Museum Universe that is very impressive). The museum is not huge by museum standards, but has four event spaces suitable for groups, the largest can do about 250 for a standing reception. And… as I seem to be fond of saying… check it out. https://www.moadsf.org/
De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park
Some cultural institution facts: The de Young is the most visited art museum west of the Mississippi, the sixth most visited in North America and the 35th most visited in the world. So… there must be something to it. :)
You can rent the whole place (for as group up to around 2000+) or just some of the individual spaces… and other than the usual museum restrictions (like you can’t bring F&B into the galleries), you can eat, drink, dance… and get some private tours of the art stuff… and just feel classy in general. https://deyoung.famsf.org/
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
Besides it’s great art collections and beautiful event spaces, it also has the Location Thing down. It’s just around the corner from Moscone Center and many of the city’s largest hotels, so is perfect for any convention-related event. The 63,000 square foot facility is a combo of historical and contemporary architecture, and can accommodate groups in four separate spaces (or you can rent the whole place). Check it out. https://www.thecjm.org/
The Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park
The first thing you notice when you walk up to the museum… one of the original casts of Rodan’s, The Thinker. (and by Rodan I mean the famous French sculptor, not the giant bird-like creature that terrorized Japan when I was a kid).So you know it’s classy.
The museum features lots of European paintings, sculpture and decorative art… and between the various event spaces and galleries can accommodate anything from a private Board Dinner to a reception for 1,000. Note… the grounds of the museum have great views of the Golden Gate and the Pacific Ocean… but it is “way out there” at the edge of the continent… so depending on where your group is coming from and how they are arriving… you have to want to be there. But once there… it’s cool.
OK. That’s all for now, but I will keep adding to all of the Resource Library categories so you, dear readers, can easily connect with all it. More later. :)