Large in-person conference returns to San Mateo

Bay Area

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KRON) – Thousands are expected to attend the SaaStr Conference — The three-day software event in San Mateo is expected to bring scores of people to local businesses.

The conference was canceled last year because of COVID. Attendees from all over the U.S. are expected to be here next week and businesses downtown are bracing for more customers. 

Abraham Ocampo is excited about the upcoming big tech conference at the San Mateo County Event Center starting Monday.

About 5,000 people signed up for the three-day conference.

Ocampo is a server at Dahlia on B Street. He hopes the conference crowd will make their way to local businesses.

“Looking forward to it, then we can get more, busy and then eventually more people will know about our restaurant and people will come, we’ll get there,” Ocampo said. 

Down the street, plans are in place for more customers at the Barrel Bistro and Wine Bar.

“We’re very excited, we already prepared everything, we’re just waiting for everybody to come right here to the Barrel,” Cleuma Guilhem, bartender at the Barrel, said.

The conference was canceled last year due to the pandemic and it’s the first large in-person conference to return to the Bay Area. It will be held outdoors.

Proof of vaccination is required or a recent negative COVID test before entry.

“It’s really nice to be able to safely host an event and be able to host an event for 5,000 of our community members. I know a lot of people coming to the event haven’t seen each other in a really long time,” Amelia Ibarra, SaaStr Senior Vice President and General Manager, said.

Back in Downtown San Mateo, Diane Eberle says it’s been a really long time since the neighborhood was bustling.

“The city needs it. We need to get the restaurants to get more business, see things going again and I think we’re ready,” Eberle said.

“It’s going to be good for all the businesses around here in San Mateo, Burlingame, San Francisco, that’s a lot of people,” Ocampo said. 

Organizers of the conference tell KRON4 that hotels are fully booked.

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