Conferences in San Francisco: Top Conventions & Tradeshows Every Year in SF

Jill at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

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.

Microphone at a conference in San Francisco

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.

San Francisco Writers Conference

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 improving your craft, managing the business side of writing, and ways to market yourself.

With well-known authors and publishers among the more than 100 speakers, it's the perfect way to brush up on your skills as well as network with others in the industry.

The event is held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco and offers some public elements in addition to the main conference, including Master Classes, an exhibition hall, and a YA/children's session for students. 

Date: President's Day weekend in February

Learn More: Visit their website for additional details on this year's Writers Conference

Game Developers Conference

The Game Developers Conference is the world's largest professionals-only game industry event. This five-day conference 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, incorporating the latest tools and technology for game development. It's held at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown SF.

Date: March

Learn More: Visit the March Calendar for details for this year's event

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

This is a big conference for the healthcare industry. It's always in January in San Francisco.

It's a great place for industry leaders to connect, learn more about advanced in their industry, and showcase some of their upcoming releases.

It's the largest of its kind in the world.

Date: January

TechCrunch Disrupt

This three-day event is all about start-ups. At this conference, you will learn about game-changing technology, hear from top leaders in the industry, and find out what is top-of-mind for key industry innovators.

It's the perfect place for entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and other technology fans to get the latest on emerging tech companies. From industry rookies with big ideas to seasoned investors looking for what's about to take off, the conference fosters these important connections. 

Date: October


DreamForce is the annual conference hosted by SalesForce. It offers three days of keynotes, demos, 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.

This is another one of the conferences in San Francisco that takes place at the Moscone Center.

Date: September

Learn MoreSee more things to do in November in San Francisco

Places to Stay

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.

BookingFind great deals all around San Francisco for your upcoming stay

TripAdvisorWhat's the #1 hotel in San Francisco? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor!

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

Fun Things to See & Do During Your Stay

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.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

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