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
- Hotels near OCCC:
- Closest Home Depot: 7423 Southland Blvd (12 min drive)
- Closest FedEx Office Print & Ship Center: 6001 Destination Pkwy (4 min drive)
- Best Restaurants near Orange County Convention Center:
- Charging stations nearby:
- ChargePoint Charging Station – 9899 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
- ChargePoint Charging Station – 1115 Exhibit Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
The Moscone Center
747 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Moscone Center Exhibitor Guidelines
- Hotels near Moscone Center:
- Closest Home Depot: 3838 Hollis St (16 min drive)
- Closest FedEx Office
- FedEx Ship Center: 1155 Harrison St (6 min drive)
- FedEx Office Print & Ship: 303 2nd St (5 min drive)
- 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.