The San Diego Convention Center will host the 68th ASHG Annual Meeting. The Convention Center is located at 111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101. Telephone: (619) 525-5000.
San Diego offers unique experiences for every visitor to ensure an unforgettable trip. Whether that means lounging on the beach, visiting the zoo, or exploring the city's countless other attractions, a San Diego getaway is whatever you want it to be. Learn more about the city on the San Diego Tourism Authority Official Website.
October Weather in San Diego: 75°F average high, 61°F average low.
Currency: U.S. dollar, credit cards, and travelers checks are widely accepted. See Currency Converter for details on current exchange rates.
Taxes: Sales Tax=7.75%, Hotel Tax=12.5%. The accommodation tax includes hotel transient tax of 10.5% and city hotel district assessment tax of 2.0%.
Time Zone: U.S. Pacific/Western Time is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-8).Looking for a place to eat? Check out our list of restaurants within one mile of the convention center!
Transportation and Parking
Getting to San Diego
San Diego is the hub for a wide array of national and international transportation options, ranging from major airline routes to intercity buses and train services. The San Diego Convention Center is located on the San Diego Bay near the Gaslamp Quarter of Downtown San Diego, making it well connected to a variety of transportation options.
San Diego International Airport (SAN) is located 15 minutes from the Convention Center. Learn more about airlines, flights, airport services, and security wait times by visiting the website at www.san.org.
To get from SAN to the Convention Center:
- Taxis, which operate around the clock, are available in the Transportation Plazas across from Terminals 1 and 2. It's a 15 minute taxi ride to the Convention Center (up to $20).
- Ride-sharing services, like UberX and Lyft, can pick up at both terminals.
- Hotel shuttles to select hotels are located on the transit islands between Terminals 1 and 2.
- Shuttle service by off-airport companies is available at the Transportation Plazas across from Terminals 1 and 2.
- MTS' City Bus is part of San Diego's public transportation system and runs from the airport, making many connections with the Trolley stations that go directly to the Convention Center. See the map and schedules for details.
Intercity buses and trains are another way to get to San Diego:
- Amtrak stations in the San Diego area include Downtown (SAN) and Old Town (OLT).
- Greyhound offers bus service from cities in California and surrounding states.
The San Diego Convention Center has compiled information on directions and parking.
Getting Around San Diego
The Convention Center is located on on the water in Downtown San Deigo, close to ample shopping and restaurants within walking distance. Taxis, ride-sharing services, and the MTS bus system operate extensively throughout the region.
San Diego Trolley: The San Diego Trolley provides convenient service from the San Diego Convention Center to various points downtown and to Old Town and Mission Valley.
Coronado Ferry/Water Taxis: A passenger ferry runs across the bay. Attendees can board from behind the Convention Center. Water Taxis are also available along the Bay.Downtown San Diego Map (PDF)
Visa and Passports
Your abstract submission and meeting registration confirmations will include links to generate a customized letter of invitation. See the Letters of Invitation section below for details.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States without a visa, under the Visa Waiver Program. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form you usually complete en route to the U.S. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin travel plans. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Unsure if you need to apply? See frequently asked questions for guidance.
ASHG 2018 attendees are encouraged to apply for visas as early as possible – at least 4 to 6 months before the visa is needed. Do not wait until your abstract is accepted to apply. Please check with your local U.S. consulate or embassy to find out the earliest that you may apply for a visa. For further information, visit the State Department website.
A Note to Our International Colleagues
Restrictions announced in 2017 about travel to the U.S. threaten to have a serious impact on scientific research by blocking the free flow of ideas, collaboration, and findings. ASHG opposes policies that unduly hinder our community in crossing borders, and we believe our meeting and others are critical in moving global research forward and proving the value of an international scientific community. Although the current policies may change, we encourage our non-U.S. attendees to submit an abstract, obtain a letter of invitation, and apply for a visa as soon as possible to ensure the best possible chances of being able to attend.
Visa Application Tips
- Start early: Register for ASHG 2018 as soon as possible so that your customized letter of invitation can be generated.
- Apply for your visa four (4) to six (6) months before traveling. You should provide your entire trip itinerary, including travel to any countries other than the United States, at the time of visa application.
- If completing your travel plans is contingent upon early approval of the visa application, specify this at the time of the application.
- Provide proof of scientific status (e.g., proof that you submitted an abstract for the meeting). Do not wait until you receive notification that your abstract submission has been accepted before applying for a visa. It is rare that ASHG denies an abstract. If your abstract presents new information and follows the rules and guidelines, it will most likely be accepted and programmed.
- Bring your English-language resume or CV with a list of published articles and research topics to the U.S. consulate/embassy interview.
- Provide evidence that you intend to return to your country of residence. This includes such information as:
- family ties in current country of residence
- property ownership
- bank account
- employment contract or statement from an employer showing that your position will continue after the dates of travel
- Requirements vary by passport-issuing country and citizenship (not merely residency). Some consulates may have backlogs in scheduling visa interviews, so you should first contact your local consulate to determine what the wait times are for visa interviews. Check the current list of visa interview and processing wait times by country.
If your visa has not received approval at least two weeks prior to the start date of the Annual Meeting, you should complete the Visa online questionnaire. Eligibility requirements are listed before you begin. Please note that individuals who have applied for dependent visas (such as F2 and J2) should not complete this questionnaire.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Some foreign meeting participants may not need visas if they are citizens of any of the 38 countries on the Visa Waiver Program. As of April 1, 2016, you must have an e-Passport to use the VWP. Without an e-Passport, you will be required to apply for a visa. All foreign visitors (including VWP travelers) will be fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival in the U.S.
For Visa Purposes
Customized letters of invitation can only be issued to individuals who have submitted an abstract or to confirmed registrants (those who have paid the meeting registration fees).
- When you submit an abstract, your on-screen submission confirmation will include a link to automatically generate a customized letter of invitation.
- When you register for the meeting, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to automatically generate a customized letter of invitation.
You will need this letter when applying for a visa. All attendees are urged to apply for a visa as soon as possible. Waiting until you receive your abstract confirmation (which is not available until August) will delay your visa process and may result in your visa being denied.
For security purposes, letters of invitation cannot be sent to people who have not submitted an abstract or registered. If you have questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the phrase “Letter of Invitation” in the subject line.