“It’s in our DNA,” said Margie Sitton,
senior vice president of sales for the San
Diego Tourism Authority. “People live
outdoors here. They’re out bicycling or
jogging or on the water windsurfing or
paddleboarding or even doing yoga on a
paddleboard. People expect us to be one of
the healthiest communities and we like to
Downtown San Diego
The main meeting venue in the downtown
area is the San Diego Convention Center,
which features 2.6 million square feet of
space. Its location allows for easy access to
walking, jogging and biking trails or a quick
climb up the center’s exterior stairs for a
spectacular view of the water.
“Thanks to our great weather, our loca-
tion on the bay and having headquarter
hotels, restaurants, shopping, parks and
attractions within walking distance makes
it hard not to get out and stay active,” said
Barbara Moreno, executive director of
communications for the San Diego Con-
vention Center Corporation.
If it’s something desired by the group,
wellness options can also be incorporated into the meeting itself, something the
American Society of Hematology did when
the organization held a meeting at the
“They installed treadmills for their at-
tendees in our Sails Pavilion,” Moreno said.
“It was a way for their attendees to watch
training videos and keep moving.”
Moreno said that classes or breakout
sessions regarding life balance, mental
health and other wellness components are
“It’s about offering attendees opportunities to improve their overall quality of life,
which then leads to more productivity in
the workplace,” Moreno said.
The center also can create health-filled
menus, something it did for the American
Diabetes Association’s 77th Annual Scien-
tific Sessions, held June 9-13, 2017.
“Our in-house catering team, Center-plate, created specialized cuisine for the
event,” Moreno explained.
Daryl O’Donnell, executive chef at the
San Diego Convention Center, said that
he often works with planners on creating
healthy menus that have the added benefit
of helping to keep attendees alert.
“We can do juice shots or tasting spoons
with roasted beets and micro-greens for
breaks as opposed to chips and other food,”
said O’Donnell, who also noted that the
center partners with local farms and tries
to source as much as possible from within
Most of the downtown hotels are lo-
For many, San Diego conjures an image of sunny skies and a shimmering oceanfront. Included in that image are, of course, healthy people running, biking and boating, which helps make the area
a perfect fit for groups that want to add a wellness
component to their meetings.
YOGA ON THE BEACH,
HOTEL DEL CORONADO
San Diego’s sunny climes and natural assets make an
ideal backdrop for group wellness outings
BY ANN SHEPPHIRD
TORREY PINES STATE NATURAL PRESERVE, LA JOLLA