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Conventional Wisdom
San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center is infused with the kind of cutting-edge thinking that makes San Jose, CA, the epicenter of innovation. The Idea Tree, an interactive, sculptural canopy at the main entrance, records words of inspiration from passersby and digitally remixes them into haikus whispered to visitors who pass beneath it. Versatile air walls, exceptional recharging and networking capabilities, and free Wi-Fi throughout are just a few of the 550,000-square-foot center's hallmarks. A $130 million renovation and expansion project created a 35,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom as well as expanded meeting space and patios for outdoor gatherings.
Where to Sleep
The Hilton San Jose and the San Jose Marriott, with 860 rooms between them, are connected to the SJMCC. Five additional business-class hotels are within walking distance of the venue, though dozens of hotels at all price points are a short taxi ride away. For economical yet stylish lodging alternatives, head to nearby suburbs such as Santa Clara or Campbell.
What to Eat
Grab lunch with the locals at Specialty's Bakery & Café, an eatery known for its casual ambiance and cookies, situated a block from the convention center. Treat clients to sophisticated Mediterranean fare at the acclaimed Nemea Greek Taverna, or host a group gathering at Arcadia, a steakhouse with an upscale vibe and private dining for up to 32 people.
How to Get There
The SJMCC is four miles from the Mineta San Jose International Airport (www.flysanjose.com), with taxi service available for roughly $18 each way. Hotel courtesy shuttles are common, as are independent shuttle services that offer transportation to and from the airport. The venue has an attached parking ramp, and San Jose has several public transportation options, including a free downtown shuttle (www.sanjoseca.gov).
Full-time employees of an exhibiting company may hand carry materials so long as they do not access the loading dock or use freight-moving equipment. Exhibitors are limited to one occurrence of an individual person hand carrying materials per booth. The facility has seven unions that must be used to complete functions such as freight handling, sign hanging, food or beverage service, rigging, computer and audiovisual setup, and display installation and dismantle.
Team San Jose, which manages the SJMCC, has exclusive rights for all food and beverage service. Exhibitors may only display a one-day supply of literature, and reserve collateral must be stored in closed containers.
The entire venue has free Wi-Fi, though exhibitors can order enhanced technology services for a fee.
All table coverings, fabric walls, paper, and all decorative material must have a California flameproof certificate or tag. The glass-domed City Hall Rotunda, the chic Club Auto Sport with its collection of rare cars, and the swanky Silicon Valley Capital Club with its 360-degree view of the city are popular choices for memorable client functions.
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