Saturday, September 30, 2023
Home Production Best of Awards S. California Meetings + Events' Readers' Choice Best Of Awards

S. California Meetings + Events’ Readers’ Choice Best Of Awards

By Sarah Osman

Congratulations to all our winners!

>>Best Audio-Visual Presentation Provider
 PSAV Presentation Services
Supporting 1,000 events every day, PSAV Presentation Services provides superb creative services, audio-visuals, interactive services design and staging services. A few of PSAV’s specialties include image magnification, which allows everyone to see a presenter, no matter how far away they are, set design and production including eye-catching backdrops and a large assortment of physical and stretch-fabric structure sets and powerful virtual event technology, which allows clients to have face-to-face meetings all over the world without ever setting foot on a plane. 

RUNNERS UP: Swank Audio Visuals, All Star Sound

>>Best Boats,Cruises, Charters
 Hornblower Cruises & Events
For more than 30 years, Hornblower Cruises & Events has remained the premiere dining cruise and charter yacht company on the West Coast. This environmentally friendly organization sails to seven different destinations off the coast of California, including: Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, Berkeley and Old Sacramento. There are 35 distinct vessels one can choose from-ranging from cozy and quaint catamarans to the three largest dining yachts on the West Coast. Hornblower welcomes guests for classic sightseeing and dinner cruises, weddings, corporate events, special events, environmental tours and film shoots. 

RUNNERS UP: Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises

>>Best Casino with Event Space
 Pechanga Resort and Casino
Home to a resort, casino, entertainment venues, a spa, eight restaurants, six bars and lounges, championship golf courses and event spaces, Pechanga Resort and Casino has it all. The resort is home to two beautiful ballrooms: the Eagle’s View Ballroom sits atop the 14 story hotel with sweeping views of the resort, and the 22,000-square-foot magnificent Grand Ballroom can seat up to 1,800. The 118- seat Hummingbird Hall teleconference center has state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, and the Pechanga Theater has stadium seating for 1,200. The AAA Four Diamond Resort is about an hour’s drive from San Diego and Los Angeles, and the luxury suites provide a great backdrop for pre-function cocktail parties and small gatherings. 

RUNNERS UP: Barona Valley Resort & Casino, Viejas Casino

>>Best Caterer
 Crown Point Catering
Established in the heart of San Diego, Crown Point Catering has gained its reputation as a full-service catering company dedicated to creating extravagant custom menus incorporating the freshest local fruits and vegetables, finest meats and farm-fresh dairy products. This exquisite service is available to cater weddings, corporate events, themed events and private parties. In addition to providing delicious gourmet meals, Crown Point Catering is available to coordinate equipment rental, entertainment, valet service, beverage service and event design for gatherings of all sizes.

RUNNERS UP: Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Kensington Caterers

>>Best Convention Center
 San Diego Convention Center
Located in San Diego’s vibrant downtown, the San Diego Convention Center is a fun flexible space for major conventions, trade shows, meetings and events. 2.6 million square feet, 615,701 square feet of total exhibit space and 204,114 square feet of total meeting space, make up the Center, which is surrounded by the beautiful San Diego Bay. The Center is also known for its green meetings, and has received nearly half a dozen state and city awards for their recycling and conservation efforts. Surrounding the Center are some of San Diego’s finest hotels and restaurants, including the Omni San Diego Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel.

RUNNERS UP: Anaheim Convention Center, Palm Springs Convention Center

>>Best Destination Marketing Organization (town/area 100,000+ in population)
 Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Now it’s easier than ever to plan an event in Long Beach thanks to the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. The CVB offers help in setting up a micro website to welcome your group to Long Beach, selecting the perfect meeting space, finding the right caterers, hotels and activities to entertain your group and assistance with conventions. Long Beach is also known for its eco-friendly practices, and many of Long Beach’s hotels, attractions, activities and its convention center participate in helping the green effort. The Long Beach Convention Center is the CVB’s crowning jewel; this 400,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space is within walking distance of Long Beach’s entertainment and dining district. 

RUNNERS UP: Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau

>>Best Destination Marketing Organization (town/area less than 100,000 in population)
 Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau prides itself on being a full-service corporate travel planner. The CVB provides exclusive, personalized meeting planners, hotel suggestions, and suggestions for group dining, team-building event planning and assistance in picking opening reception sites, off-site meeting and event venues, and transportation. Santa Monica is home to three large meeting venues (The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Barker Hangar and the Broad Stage) 400 different restaurants, numerous luxurious golf courses and the infamous Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. 

RUNNERS UP: Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau, Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau

>>Best Entertainment (talent or talent agency)
 OnStage Talent Group/Matt Barnett
OnStage Talent Group is an entertainment company that hires entertainers, keynote speakers, variety acts and sports personalities to appear at private events in California. President and CEO Matt Barnett has been in the entertainment industry for twenty years and is regarded as one of the top talent buyers nationwide. He is proud to have produced events with such great entertainment as Sheryl Crow, Jerry Seinfeld, Blue Man Group, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and the Dave Matthews Band. 

RUNNERS UP: Pacific Entertainment Productions, Epic Entertainment and Production Group

>>Best Event Décor/Florist
EventWorks is an award-winning, full-service event production company that never treats events as ‘jobs;’ rather they are investments in relationships. EventWorks can provide entertainment, business meetings, florals, event management, décor and design and technical production. For entertainment, clients can choose from beautiful background music for a classic dinner to a full-blown Broadway extravaganza. Above all else, EventWorks prides itself on its event management-they are able to effectively and efficiently handle every crisis from talent showing up late to power failures-even natural disasters. EventWorks florals are particularly dazzling-they range from upscale and elegant to classically retro.

RUNNERS UP: Pacific Event Productions, White Lotus Productions

>>Best Golf Venue
 Pelican Hill
Set among 504 acres, Pelican Hill is a luxury golf course and resort in southern California. 36 holes of Fazio golf, a five-star spa, stretches of beaches, glistening pool and al fresco dining make up this grand course, all nestled in the hills of Newport Coast. The architecture of Pelican Hill was inspired by 16th Century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, as well as the Mediterranean countryside. Pelican Hill is a gorgeous scenic spot to host weddings, meetings and private events. 

RUNNERS UP: La Quinta Resort & Club, The Torrey Pines

>>Best Historic Venue
 Mission San Juan Capistrano
This historic landmark was founded more than 200 years ago and is the seventh of 21 missions statewide. Today, the Mission continues to celebrate California’s multi-cultural history with a number of tours throughout the grounds, fun activities such as Koi Fish Feeding and educational exhibits such as the Mission Treasures Exhibit. Located conveniently between Los Angeles and San Diego, the gorgeous ten acres of the Mission, including lush gardens, lighted archways and original adobe buildings make the Mission an ideal place to host any event whether a small and intimate gathering, or a large reception accommodating up to 1,000 guests.

RUNNERS UP: The US Grant Hotel, Hotel Del Coronado

>>Best Hotel (more than 400 rooms)
 Terranea Resort
Poised on 102 acres, Terranea Resort is a gorgeous getaway located in Palos Verdes. Surrounded by breath-taking ocean front views on three sides, Terranea Resort is home to a nine-hole, three-par golf course, the spectacular Spa at Terranea, three ocean view pools and a collection of eight luxurious restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges. Terranea’s classic ambiance makes it the perfect setting for chic events, and with 135,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, Terranea is indeed a favorite among planners. Terranea has 33 different meeting rooms, many which offer stunning views of the ocean and outdoor terraces. Terranea’s crowning jewel is its 18,000-square-foot main ballroom, which can easily divide into four or eight smaller venues and includes a 24-foot-high ceiling for creative multi-media presentations.

RUNNERS UP: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, La Quinta Resort & Club

>>Best Hotel (less than 400 rooms)
 L’Auberge Del Mar
Located in scenic Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar offers spectacular views of the sea, a cheerful and cozy spa, luxurious accommodations, a private path to the beach and beautiful sunsets. After a $26 million renovation in 2008, L’Auberge Del Mar upgraded their service and amenities and transformed their ambiance. The renowned 120-room historic hotel has a total of 16,545 square feet of meeting spaces, which can accommodate up to 400 guests. Eight of the meeting spaces are outdoors and five offer sweeping views of the ocean. 

RUNNERS UP: Montage Laguna Beach, Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort

>>Best Mountain/Ski Resort
 Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
With over 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space, breathtaking mountains as far as the eye can see, and some of the best skiing/snowboarding in all of California, it is no wonder that Mammoth Mountain is one of the most popular destinations to hold meeting, events and retreats. Mammoth’s many different meeting spaces are equipped with top-of-the-line audio-visual equipment, and Mammoth Catering is on call to provide delicious food for any event. In addition, Mammoth’s extensive camps and retreats can add great fun to any corporate retreat, especially with activities like golf, skiing and hiking. 

RUNNERS UP: Big Bear Mountain Resort, Snow Valley Mountain Resort

>>Best Nightclub/Lounge
 FLUXX Nightclub
FLUXX, which opened in mid-March 2010, is one of the newest additions to San Diego’s urban and sophisticated nightlife. This ever-evolving venue truly locks into each one of your senses-from the touchable design textures, to the vibrant pops of color, to the energetic music pumping throughout the club. FLUXX’s one-of-a-kind organic design makes it an ideal pick for memorable meetings and events; the 11,000-square-foot space includes three gorgeous bars, a stage with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, an outdoor patio and plasma screen TVs and HD projection screens. The space can accommodate groups of 50-1000 guests and is in walking distance of the San Diego Convention Center and nearby hotels. 

RUNNERS UP: Ivy Nightclub, The Edison

>>Best Rental Service Provider (tables, linens, tents etc.)
Classic Party Rentals
With more than 25 years of experience, Classic Party Rentals is the premier full-service event rental company in Northern California. The company’s substantial inventory includes tents, canopies, linens, centerpieces, tables, dinnerware and more. Whether it’s a sophisticated soiree, beautiful wedding or executive luncheon, Classic Party Rentals is there to provide event consultation, staffers, location scouting and on-time delivery and pick-up. Ranked no. 1 by the esteemed Zagat Survey as the “highest rated of the major party rental sources” for best equipment and services, it’s no surprise that area planners call on Classic. 

RUNNERS UP: Signature Party Rentals, Town & Country Event Rentals

>>Best Restaurant with Private Dining
 Morgan’s in the Desert
Morgan’s in the Desert is a charming restaurant located in Palm Springs that is known for its elegant dining room and simple, yet sophisticated dishes. This beautiful restaurant is reminiscent of intimate family dinners and Executive Chef Jimmy Schmidt works to create ever-changing menus that delight every sense while reflecting the bounty of the Coachella Valley. Traditional cooking methods like slow-roasting, open grilling, pickling and curing are embraced at Morgan’s in the Desert, and dishes are frequently paired with wine as diners enjoy eating in a hacienda-inspired dining room or on the outside patio under the stars.

RUNNERS UP: Spago, Grant Grill 

>>Best Spa
 The Spa at Terranea
With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Palos Verdes coastline, the award-winning Spa at Terranea incorporates the beauty and energy of its scenic setting to invent a transformative experience for mind, body and soul. The 50,000-square-foot oceanfront Spa, Fitness and Wellness Center offers massages, facials, body treatments, manicures/pedicures, salon services, a glittering outdoor pool, an enormous gym, steam room, sauna, a cold plunge pool and whirlpools. Twenty-five treatment rooms and three VIP suites round out the space. Conference attendees can also take advantage of daily fitness classes offered on site. It’s the ideal location for a day of tranquility and relaxation after a long day of meetings. 

RUNNER UP: La Costa Resort and Spa

>>Best Teambuilding Facility/Organizer
 Where You Want to Be Tours
Discover San Diego, learn about yourself and your co-workers, and go on a scavenger hunt with Where You Want to Be Tours! This unique tour company, located in San Diego, takes a child-like ‘aloha’ approach to life and tours, as they set up adventures that are both historical and hysterical. Scavenger hunts focus on team bonding, problem solving and time management. Highlights of the scavenger hunt includes visiting spots that only locals are aware of in San Diego, a gentle walk around the city and keepsake photo albums. In addition, Where You Want to Be Tours also offers a number of other walking tours such as the La Jolla Shores Walking Tour and Downtown with a Difference Walking Tour. Other fun activities include wine tasting and food tours, kayaking, fun runs, hiking and limo tours. 

RUNNERS UP: Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, The Event Team

>>Best Waterfront Event Space
 Terranea Resort
Terranea Resort is the oceanfront resort in Los Angeles. Perched upon the edge of the Pacific Ocean on the Palos Verdes Peninsula; Terranea offers spectacular views of the ocean on three sides with picturesque Catalina Island across the channel. Terranea is home to a 582-room resort, an award winning nine-hole par-three golf course, a world class spa, three pools featuring breathtaking views of the ocean, eight distinctive restaurants, cafes and lounges and an incomparable indoor and outdoor meeting and event venues. Every meeting held at Terranea infuses views of the Pacific Ocean, as the resort can help accommodate every sort of meeting and event imaginable-from trade shows to executive board meetings, from fairy-tale weddings to multi-media presentations.

RUNNERS UP: Hotel del Coronado, Montage Laguna Beach

>>Best Winery with Event Space
 Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards
Deep in the heart of the Temecula Wine Country, Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards is a collaboration of inspirations from the estate wines, vineyards and Mount Palomar in the distance. The gigantic Event Center offers three different rooms to suit any size and any sort of gathering. Planners may choose from the Champagne Ballroom (5200 square feet, seats 300) the Barrel Room (1100 square feet, seats 75) and the Garden View Terrace Room (seats 50 with a dance floor, 70 without). For a lovely garden setting, the gardens and gazebos and the vineyard (April-October) provide an airy and open feel for guests. 

RUNNERS UP: Orfila Vineyards & Winery, Malibu Family Wines