Three chefs prep food at a restaurant in San Jose
Nearly a quarter of a million food items were served for lunches and receptions at NVIDIA GTC 2024 in San Jose. Photo courtesy of Team San Jose.

Team San Jose was proud to host NVIDIA GTC 2024 last month. We want to thank all the partners who made our city shine for the largest convention that San Jose has seen since the pandemic and, quite possibly, the most important tech event yet. For reference, it was on par or bigger than any of the global conferences that we hosted prior to the COVID shutdown.

It was a great success for the entire city. The direct revenue generated through the San Jose McEnery Convention Center alone is estimated to be close to $10 million. Of note, and as you’ve heard me mention before, this is most relevant because this revenue goes to the city and helps reduce the tax burden on residents. Meetings and conventions continue to be big business and very good for San Jose.

Below are a few “fun facts” about this year’s event to show just how big a production it was.

  • Over 140 trucks of freight delivered product to the Convention Center for the event.
  • We booked 10,000 stagehand hours to rig 170 roof truss connections, for event lighting, sound, video and signage, safely above the heads of our attendees. This amounted to 350,000 pounds securely suspended overhead for the run of the show.
  • Almost a quarter of a million food items were served for lunches and receptions. There were 247,213 items, to be exact, all prepared by our team.
  • Event attendees enjoyed 60,000 cups of freshly brewed coffee from 115 coffee urns. They consumed nearly 15,000 tea bags, drank over 70,000 cups of water and downed 3,500 glasses of iced tea.
  • In addition to the food service above, we contracted with local business Movable Feast to supply four food trucks to the event. The food trucks generated an additional 800 meals in just three days.
  • Our stewarding operations ran from 4 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily during the event, for a total 2,100 hours of service.
  • Two industrial dishwashers each ran 16 hours a day for five days straight to provide the needed clean place settings and serving items.
  • Over 3,000 sheet pans were active and in constant rotation — being used, cleaned, sanitized and back to use.
  • Over 140,000 attendees came through our doors over four days making an average of 35,000 entries per day, every day, Monday through Thursday.
  • In addition to the global media generated by the event, Visit San Jose used creative storytelling with a local small business to add an additional eleven press hits on ABC 7 that reached  2.2 million people, for an estimated advertising values of $153 million.
  • Citywide, we orchestrated the “greening” of 11 iconic San Jose locations. During the run of the event, these buildings all turned themselves NVIDIA green with lighting to welcome attendees. Green locations included: San Jose City Hall, San Pedro Square, the Adobe HQ Pedestrian Bridge, San Jose Civic, San Jose Mineta International Airport, Santana Row and Winchester Mystery House.
  • In partnership with the San Jose Downtown Association, we relaunched the “Show Your Badge” program so attendees could simply show their badges at local businesses for specials and deals. Twenty-five local businesses participated in the program.
  • San Jose hotels benefitted enormously. They reported an occupancy increase of 27% over last year, a rate increase of 35% year over year, and a 71% increase in revenue per available room over same time last year. We hadn’t seen numbers this strong since before the pandemic.

Competition for convention and meeting business is fierce because it is so beneficial to local economies. And these events do not just happen. Efforts to deliver this business often take years to bring to fruition. Providing jobs, lowering the tax burden for residents and welcoming traffic to San Jose businesses is the direct result of great work by many people, plus sustained investment in destination sales and marketing by the city. Again, business like this doesn’t just happen.

Thanks to all who recognize and support efforts to grow this important economic sector by investing in civic revenue generation that pay off for us all and that continues to deliver.

Thank you to NVIDIA for choosing San Jose for NVIDIA GTC 2024 and thank you to NVIDIA staff, city staff and partners who worked tirelessly to make every moment of this week a success.

San José Spotlight columnist John LaFortune is the president and CEO of Team San Jose, the nonprofit parent company of Visit San Jose, the city’s official destination marketing organization. Team San Jose also manages the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater and San Jose Civic. Contact John at [email protected].

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