As 9,000-plus executives descended on San Francisco last week for the annual festival of finance known as the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, things got intense.
The city, famously an expensive place to live, was a pricey place for the gathering. Hotel rooms near the conference site, the Westin St. Francis Hotel, were $1,000-plus. It's a situation one healthcare company used as a marketing opportunity; a Twitter user noted Color Genomics' billboard near the confab read: “Making healthcare decisions should be easier than booking a hotel for JPM.”
Eating and drinking weren't cheap either. STAT found a gallon of coffee off the Parc 55's catering menu was $170 (apparently the hotel's standard price), which works out to just over $21 per 16 ounces. Another tweeter, @DrAsifQasim, noted the JW Marriott was charging a $50 per hour table fee (plus 18% gratuity) in one lounge.
Given the city's homeless problem, some attendees felt moved to give back, raising over $12,000 via GoFundMe for Lava Mae, which provides mobile showers and bathrooms and hygiene products to the homeless.
Outliers will leave the last word to @geoffclapp, who bemoaned buzzwordery: “After hearing 'We use AI' 4,345,812 times at #jpm19, I just got told by a company 'oh no we're not just another AI company … we use neural learning' and my eyes rolled so far back in my head they popped out the back and rolled down market street. If seen please return them to me.”