My Annual BlogHer Logistics Post – #BlogHer14

As I have said before, “Prepare now so you can seem effortlessly organized later.”  The secret to success seems to lie in being organized enough to take advantage of what the moment offers. At a conference, such as BlogHer, this means knowing where everything is.  No, not knowing where all the junk you brought and don’t need is, but rather knowing the space you are in and knowing where to purchase or find what you might need should your light and easy packing have overlooked something you really need. So, herewith, a former museum security and facility manager’s:

Guide to #BlogHer14 Logistics

There are two parts to this Guide:  Info about the Convention Center which is primarily abridged information from the facility guide available at the Convention Center site, and  Nearby Stores and Stuff  (further down the page.) You probably know the BlogHer’s 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California.  You may also see references to Team San Jose, who manages the venue,  and the official name of the center:  San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

 Info about the Convention Center (150 W. San Carlos St., San Jose, CA) 
The area of San Jose directly surrounding the San Jose Convention Center.  Click to download Facilities PDF
The area of San Jose directly surrounding the San Jose Convention Center. Click image to download Facilities PDF

The full PDF is scores of pages long, so I have copied some common information needs below, for your convenience.  I edited, cut and rephrased bits and pieces, but the information is theirs and I make no warranties as to its accuracy.

For your convenience:


The Convention Center has three onsite ATM machines. Two are located on the first level and one is located on the second level.


The garage attached to the Convention Center provides 500 spaces for general use. 22 spaces are available for persons with disabilities and there are 8 electric car charging stations.

The Market Street entrance/Exit is open 24 hours. Almaden Blvd entrance/exit is open: Monday-Friday: Opens 6am, Saturday and Sunday: Opens 7am, Closing times vary based on event schedule

Current rates are $1 per 20 minutes with a $20 daily maximum. Rates are in effect seven days a week.


Once onsite, attendees may take advantage of a SJCC restaurant and citywide information desk in the main lobby of the Convention Center. Based upon event demands these Concierge specialists can provide the following: complimentary restaurant reservations, complimentary San Jose guides and brochures,restaurant menus available for review,discount coupons, arts and cultural information

For your safety and security:


The San Jose Convention Center requests that should an accident occur, that you report it immediately to Public Safety at Extension 3500 on any House Phone.

Or call Public Safety from your cellphone at  408-277-3500.

Licensed First Aid staffing is required and will be onsite during event hours.


General Facility Security

Team San Jose (aka the Convention Center) is not responsible for the property of clients, exhibitors and guests. Our 24 hour security staff is responsible for safety and security in the public areas of the building. Call Public Safety from your cellphone at  408-277-3500 or report your concern via any House Phone at Extension 3500.


By state law, and in the interest of public health, the Convention Center has adopted a non-smoking policy. Smoking outside of the facility is only permitted at a distance of 25 ft. from the building.


Detailed procedures are outlined in the TSJ Emergency Evacuation Procedures PDF   The most common question people ask about emergencies when they travel to California may well be, “What do I do if there is an earthquake?”   I have taken the following from the emergency guide:


    • Take shelter under desk, table, work surface or other stable object.
    • Face away from windows and chemical storage containers.
    • Remain where you are until the shaking stops.
    • After the earthquake subsides stay where you are (shelter-in-place) unless it is unsafe or you are told to evacuate the building by the ERT. Then proceed to the nearest exit.
    • Do not use elevators.
    • Proceed to designated area of safe refuge. (See Evacuation Map)
    • Do not return to the building until told to do so by the ERT representative or Security.
Nearby Stores and Stuff 

DRUG STORES Nail polish, aspirin, etc., etc., etc.   Sometimes you just need stuff!.

SJ drugstore
Drugstores near the Convention Center

GROCERIES Grocery stores are handy to know about if you want to buy more reasonably priced drinks, food stuffs, and forgotten personal items than what is usually available in hotels affiliated with the event or conference location.  
Groceries near the convention center
Grocery Stores near the Convention Center

What is listed as The Market Safeway on the map is probably the closest full grocery to the Convention Centers.

100 S Second St
San Jose, CA 95113
Open 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
(408) 292-4010
However, Grocery Outlet, tempts me because I am addicted to bargain/discount shopping and have been missing my local Grocery Outlet since it closed for unknown reasons this past year.
Grocery Outlet
272 E Santa Clara St San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 477-8350
7 a.m – 10 pm
Yes, there are a thousand other potential places that you might want to visit, like museums, campuses, and other cultural centers, I recommend checking out  or the San Jose gov site and perusing venues and happenings.
Basic Shopping Places
Basic Shopping Places
But a couple more places you might really want to know the whereabouts of is a discount department store place to get a replacement belt or the flip-flops or sneakers you wish you had packed instead of 3 pairs of stilettos, that extra suitcase you find you need after the conference, and of course a ubiquitous mailing, copy & print place,
Ross Dress for Less
27 S 1st St
San Jose, CA 95113
9:30 am – 10:00 pm
(408) 278-1320
93 E San Carlos St
San Jose, CA 95112
7:30 am – 9:00 pm
(408) 295-4336

For anything else you might want to find out, try out a local news app which you can find at: No time for all this?  Don’t worry, be happy.  Just get to the conference and have fun!

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  1. Downtown’s not that riveting. Get in the car and go to Santana Row if you have time. Great restaurants and window shopping (a lot of high end stores). It’s a unique little place. Standard mall shopping across the street at Westfield Valley Fair. If you really have time, zoom to downtown Los Gatos. Cute and fun, shopping we can afford, good restaurants, though pricey. But everything’s pricey here. Welcome to San Jose, the largest city in the Bay area and still a suburb of San Francisco.

    1. Thanks Carol for the great tips from a true Insider, local, and generally wonderful information-rich woman!

      1. Will contact you directly, m’dear. Have volunteer training ’til 5. Then I am so THERE! You had me at cocktails…. – Aside: volunteering allows one to meet so many wonderful people!

      2. Thanks Nancy – this is great. And Carol is right – the downtown area – the part comfortably within walking distance – is not very exciting. If you are into the arts, the museum it’s small but well-curated, and I always enjoy it. If you want to get around town I recommend trying Uber cab – you can download the app, pay through your smart phone, and you can track the progress of your driver. It feels quite safe. Santana Row has great shops, restaurants, and a lovely outdoor atmosphere. There’s a Starbucks in the lobby at the Marriott, by the way. Looking forward to meeting you all there!

        1. Maggie, I am so glad you and Carol and other locally familiar bloggers are actively commenting around the BlogHer-o-sphere about things that we all want to know about local bests and necessities. I am a museum junkie but will not have enough blocks of free-time to take advantage of them. 🙁 I may try to zip through the “small but well curated museum” – You say so much with these few words! – And if time permits, I will check out Santana Row. Not for shopping as I am an avid up and re-cycler, and the shops are probably out of my league, but for the aesthetic pulse of the area… my anthropologist slip is showing here.

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