Centerpieces don’t get any more sustainable than the Garden-in-a-Can from the Oakland-based company Back to the Roots. The cans or mason jars of flowering basil, dill, sage and cilantro were used as table decorations at a San Francisco entrepreneur summit sponsored by Inc. Magazine, at a forum of the nonprofit Social Venture Network held in a San Diego hotel ballroom and, not coincidentally, at the wedding of the brother of the company’s co-founder Nikhil Arora. “I think of it as edible live art,” Arora says of the unlikely adornments. Guests can take home the portable gardens—they will thrive on a windowsill—but to make sure fights don’t break out, it’s wise to have a supply of start-up kits as parting gifts. Also, give the seeds a month’s growing time to reach centerpiece-worthy heights. Another food-friendly way to bring life to a banquet table is Back to the Root’s mushroom farms. Home Depot displayed these crops in the entranceway to the banquet hall at a recent leadership event held in San Diego.

Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Sustainable Convention Travel Program allows planners to provide eco-friendly travel options for San Francisco conventions and meetings. The program establishes a platform that facilitates the use of SFO transfers by convention staffs and attendees; the program can also help reduce staff travel costs. Most downtown San Francisco hotels are located within six blocks of a BART station (Civic Center, Powell Street, Montgomery Street and Embarcadero).


PartyWith is a new kind of group experience that’s described as a “walkable photo shoot” and “Instagram feed IRL.” Visitors to the pop-up at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia can interact with 15 different installations or “dream spaces” featuring illuminated disco balls, an infinity rainbow, giant peaches and eggplants, neon, chrome and more.