When you’re planning your trade show strategy and how big to go at each show, it’s wise to consider the show venue and city costs. In this post, we’ll compare two of the largest convention centers with which we have extensive experience. 

On the east coast is the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, home to InfoComm, GBTA, and the National Hardware Show. On the west coast is the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, home to Dreamforce, SEMICON West, and the RSA Conference. 

They’re both among the best convention centers out there, but does one come out on top? Here’s our take. 

Comparing The Costs 

In the matchup between these two venues, there’s one clear winner when it comes to cost-effectiveness: the Orange County Convention Center. While it’s a beautiful venue and city, exhibiting at the Moscone Center can cost a pretty penny and be a little more difficult logistically. Not only does it consistently charge higher labor rates and higher exhibiting costs, but travel expenses are also typically higher (thanks to San Francisco’s exorbitant cost of living). 

Which Is More Vendor-Friendly? 

When you look at both of these convention centers side by side, it’s also important to take into account how accommodating they are to vendors and their needs. Once again, the Orange County Convention Center takes the cake. Its exhibitor hall is set up far more efficiently for freight arrivals, electricity needs, parking, and it has significantly more space available. Moscone Center, on the flip side, is known for challenging freight arrivals and associated difficulties. 

Of course, you can’t always pick and choose trade shows based on the venue alone. So if you have a show at the Moscone Center, remember that it’s still a world-class venue; you just need to keep in mind that you’ll likely pay more than you might elsewhere and run into a few more frustrations. 

Planning & Logistics 

Here are a few more details to help you plan out logistics if you have upcoming events at either of these convention centers:

Orange County Convention Center
9800 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

OCCC Exhibitor Guidelines

  • Hotels near OCCC:
  • Best Restaurants near Orange County Convention Center:
The Moscone Center
747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Moscone Center Exhibitor Guidelines

  • Hotels near Moscone Center:
  • Top Restaurants nearby:
  • Charging Stations near Moscone Center 
    • ChargePoint Charging Station – 255 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107
    • ChargePoint Charging Station – 360 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Curious about the ins and outs of other convention centers? Give us a call to get help from an experienced partner.