Weigh in: Are the days of J.P. Morgan in San Francisco gone forever?

San Francisco and Oakland Bay Bridge
Has San Francisco hosted its last J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference?(bluejayphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

We're coming up on a new kind of J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference next week, and as we do, some people—including us—are wondering whether the goodbye we’ve said to the old kind of J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is only temporary.  

Let's be honest: Even pre-pandemic, J.P. Morgan was approaching a breaking point in San Francisco from a cost perspective. It’s one thing to pony up a thousand dollars per night for a hotel room, which in itself is a not-so-insignificant investment for all but the largest companies. But when hotels are charging $300 to sit at a lobby table for a meeting, that’s an issue—and one that did not sit well with many attendees, particularly against a backdrop of homelessness in host neighborhood Union Square. (See the #MoveJPM hashtag for proof.) 

And then there’s the Westin St. Francis—oh, the Westin St. Francis. The crowds inside that building were already thick enough to make even the least anxious among us contemplate what would happen in an emergency exit situation. But the COVID-19 pandemic really added an extra layer of terror to the thought of cramming into those second- and third-floor hallways like sardines.

Or did it? This past year has also seen people around the world longing to “go back to normal,” and in the biopharma world, there’s nothing more normal than queuing for an hour to get your badge, meeting under the Westin’s clock, or wedging yourself into the Borgia Room come January. This meeting holds a ton of nostalgia for its longtime attendees—if it didn’t, wouldn’t it have already moved it to a size-appropriate building in a less expensive city by now?

So we’re asking you: After next week’s virtual confab, will J.P. Morgan return to its previous form? Vote here or by clicking on the image below, and we’ll share the results. And don’t forget to tell us why you selected the answer you did. Personal anecdotes encouraged!

 

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