You will find more than 100 conferences in San Francisco every year. Topics include everything from yoga to writing to software development.
Some of the biggest conventions are WWDC (Apple Developers Conference), DreamForce, and the San Francisco Writers Conference. Many are held at the Moscone Center in downtown SF.
Below is the list of some of the top annual conventions and tradeshows in SF.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
The San Francisco Writers Conference is the place for writers to learn and expand their businesses. It features four days of workshops that cover topics such as tips for writers to improve their craft, how to manage the business side of writing, and ways to market yourself. It includes more than 100 speakers that are well known authors, publishers, etc. It's the perfect way to brush up on your skills as well as network with others in the industry.
Learn More: Visit the February Calendar for More Details
The Game Developers Conference is the world largest, professionals only game industry event. This 5-day event is the perfect setting for programmers, artists, producers, game designers, and others in the industry to learn and exchange ideas. It features more than 400 panels, workshops, presentations, and round table discussions. It's held at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown SF.
Google I/O is a two-day developers conference in San Francisco. It's held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and offers a chance to learn more about the latest in technology, mobile, and beyond. It features inspirational talks, hands-on workshops, and an opportunity to learn more about the future of Google's products. It's also the perfect place to network with others in the industry.
Learn More: Visit the May Calendar for this Year's Details
This conference is the place where Apple developers can learn more about the future of iOS and OS X. It offers more than 100 sessions over five days. You will want to apply early for the chance to take part in this event. For those unable to attend, they also offer streaming video online for some of their sessions.
It takes place in San Jose.
Learn More: Visit the June Calendar for More Details
This three-day event is all about start-ups. At this event, you will learn about game-changing technology, hear from top leaders in the industry, and hear what is top of mind for key industry innovators. It's the perfect place for entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and other technology fans.
Learn More: Visit the September Calendar for More Details
DreamForce is the annual conference hosted by SalesForce. It offers four days of sessions, workshops, panel discussions, and other important business presentations in its more than 1,500 sessions. You will hear from leaders in the industry on how they use SalesForce to build their business. It's also a great place to network with other SalesForce users and developers.
The best places to stay for conferences in San Francisco is in either Union Square or the SOMA (South of Market) Districts. Both are close to the major hotels and convention centers including Moscone.
Click the links below to start your research. Each link will take you to the deals page on the travel website, so you can find out how to save money on your stay.
VRBO: In addition to hotels, you'll also find some great places to stay locally through VRBO. Book an apartment or a room and feel more like a local. Find some great places to stay on VRBO here.
Alcatraz: If this is your first visit to San Francisco, I highly recommend taking the time to head out to Alcatraz during your stay. This former maximum-security prison is only a 20 minute ferry ride away from SF. On your tour, you will learn more about the history of the island, its infamous prisoners, and more. Click here to learn more.
Alcatraz & City Tour Combo: If you have a full day to check out SF, then you might want to consider this Alcatraz & City Tour Combo package. In one day, you will visit Alcatraz Island and explore SF on a guided bus tour. It's a fun way to spend the day and the perfect way to see it all in just a few short hours. Click here to visit GetYourGuide to check for ticketing details and availability.
One Day in SF: Do you love to explore on your own? If so, then this is the perfect option for you! I created this one-day self-guided tour to help you see as much as possible in just one day. You will visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz Island. Click here for the full itinerary.
SF Theater Calendar: One of the best nightlife options in San Francisco is the theater. You will find performances almost every night of the year. They range from award winning productions of shows such as The Lion King and Wicked to small, local productions. Click here to see what is showing during your visit.
Best Happy Hour Spots: Step away from the conference and check out some of SF's top happy hours spots. On this list, you will find the best deals at top bars all around SF. Some are located in the heart of the city, while others are tucked away in gorgeous local districts. Click here to find a list of my 10 favorite happy hour spots.
Comedy Shows in SF: Another great nightlife option is a comedy show. You will find a show almost every night of the week. SF draws in top name comedians, local stars, and up-and-coming favorites. Click here for the calendar of shows during your stay.