10 events that every San Francisco/Oakland area small business needs to know about in 2021

In this 5-minute read:

  • 10 events for San Francisco and Oakland area businesses to add to their calendars

Attending business events with your team and participating in local celebrations is a great way to help your employees develop and grow your customer base. 

Attract new customers and keep them loyal with reputation management software. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

Be on the watch for events that will benefit your business, whether from a development standpoint or brand awareness. Sign up for a business conference, put up a booth at a fair, create themed discounts around local holidays… get creative! 

We’ll help you get started with this list of ten events that businesses in the San Francisco and Oakland area can benefit from.

PLEASE NOTE: We have made every attempt to be accurate in our information but as you can imagine during the COVID-19 pandemic, everything is still in flux. Please consult the websites for the individual events and confirm the status of the events you wish to attend.

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

When: Postponed

The 2020 festivities were postponed/canceled. Watch for updates at stpatricksday-sf.com.

The United Irish Societies of San Francisco host the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations each year. It starts with 9 am mass then moves into the parade at 11:30 am. Then the party continues with a festival until the evening. Fun, games, vendors, and more await all the attendees of this cultural celebration. 

Businesses can get their name out there by becoming sponsors of the event or by joining in on the St. Patty’s Day fun with themed offerings and discounts. Maybe give a special something to everyone that walks into your store wearing green!  

Learn more about how to become a sponsor at stpatricksday-sf.com

Future Festival

When: Postponed

Future Festival San Francisco has been postponed until further notice to help control the spread of COVID-19. For more information and updates, check futurefestival.com.

Future Festival is a national innovation conference. This conference takes place in major cities across the country and one of their stops is in San Francisco. 

Join top innovators and learn more about how you can grow your business through creative thinking and incoming technologies. This one-day event provides individual assessments for your business, one-on-one advisor time, inspirational keynote speakers, actionable workshops, and much more. 

Sign your team up now at futurefestival.com.

Think 2021

When: May 11-12, 2021

Think is going digital this year. IBM holds an annual business and technology conference that helps businesses like yours get a head start on the latest and greatest in the tech industry. From hybrid multicloud technology to data and AI, get a virtual experience and learn what solutions can help you take your business to the next level. 

Sign up for updates at www.ibm.com.


When: TBD

Watch for updates at www.clocate.com.

DataX is another opportunity for out-of-the-box thinking and unlimited networking. This data-driven conference helps you find real-world solutions through the everyday metrics you gather in your business. 

Speakers from Ebay, Reddit, and Mastercard are ready to help you improve your business with topics around AI, structured data, data visualization, customer and marketing analytics, robotics, and more. 

Alameda County Fair

When: TBD

The 2020 fair was canceled due to COVID-19. Watch for updates about a 2021 fair at alamedacountyfair.com.

Business events aren’t the only happenings you should be on the lookout for. Sometimes people just need a few days to kick back and have fun. Take advantage of that by participating in the Alameda County Fair. 

Become a vendor or exhibitor to share your offerings with people from all over the San Francisco and Oakland area. Have your team take turns manning the booth and exploring the fair. Network with potential customers and other business owners. 

Learn more about becoming a vendor at alamedacountyfair.com.

kettle corn for san francisco area business events

Outside Lands Music Festival

When: August 6-8, 2021

One of the nation’s largest music festivals takes place right in San Francisco every year. This festival shows off everything that people love about San Francisco, from the food and wine to the musicians and mind-bending speakers. 

Become a vendor or sponsor of the festival or get involved from your own office by creating themed offerings and discounts leading up to the event. 

Stay up to date by checking back at sfoutsidelands.com frequently. 

Water Lantern Festival

When: TBD

Sign up to receive updates on the 2021 Water Lantern Festival at waterlanternfestival.com. 

The Water Lantern Festival in San Francisco is a fun, peaceful, and memorable event that brings in people from all over. This magical experience shows the beauty of thousands of lights on the waterfront.

Your business can get involved with this festival by becoming a vendor or a sponsor of the event. The Water Lantern Festival loves helping businesses create awareness for themselves and having more people participate in the fun. 

Find more information at waterlanternfestival.com.

water lanterns at the san francisco festival for small business events

Wharf Fest

When: October 2021, Exact date TBD

Every year, Fisherman’s Wharf holds a Wharf Fest that includes events like a music festival, chowder competition, beer and wine tasting, a street fair, and more. 

Become a sponsor of the event, see what it takes to add your booth to the list of vendors, or enter your own chowder into the competition (if your business is a restaurant with chowder on the menu). 

Learn more about participation at fwcbd.com.

Small Business Expo San Francisco

When: September 9, 2021

San Francisco is one of the largest technology hubs and hotspots for startups in the world. That’s why Small Business Expo wants to make an appearance to help businesses in this area improve and grow. 

The Small Business Expo is a national event that helps businesses like yours find the inspiration to improve through new technology, connections, and valuable insights. Attend a meet and greet with the speakers, network with other businesses, and participate in workshops with your team. 

Attend the event for free or become an exhibitor to offer your services to the attendees. Learn more at thesmallbusinessexpo.com.

Dickens Fair

November-December 2021

The 2020 event was postponed, but event staff are hopeful to return to the historic Cow Palace in 2021.

The Dickens Fair is a Christmas celebration in Victorian fashion that takes place over five weekends in November and December each year. Cow Palace holds the event and re-creates 19th century London as it was during Charles Dickens’ time. 

Vendors, food, costumes, and historic activities await the festival attendees. Vendors are required to wear approved Victorian costumes to keep the magic alive. 

Participate in this event by becoming a vendor or sponsor, or hold your own Charles-Dickens-themed offerings throughout the holiday season. 

Find out more information about getting involved at dickensfair.com.

carolers at the san francisco dickens fair

Enhance your marketing strategy with reputation management software

Getting involved in local events and attending business expos are just a couple of ways to give your business the extra edge it needs to take off above the competition. 

As you are attending these events and growing your customer base, you should have a strategy in place that allows your new and current customers to help your business grow even further. 

A solution like reputation management software can help. Womply’s software allows you read and respond to all your online reviews in one place with one login. 

You can also get a complete list of your customers, revenue history, business insights, send reminders and customized marketing emails, and much more. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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