LOS ANGELES Although the entertainment industry's glitzy bashes—like the Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes—are undoubtedly the first events that came to mind when considering Southern California's most influential events, the region is also home to numerous annual expos, sports competitions, fund-raisers, and festivals that command attention year after year. And there's plenty of change too: This year saw the sold-out debut of the Code Conference, the tech gathering from the duo behind the D: All Things Digital conference; last December, the Los Angeles Auto Show organizers revamped the 116-year-old expo by introducing more interactive events and parties; and in March the ever-growing PaleyFest moved to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
From established affairs like L.A. Pride and the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, to newcomers like the U.S. Open of Surfing and FYF Fest rising in prominence, here are our picks for the events that annually draw the biggest buzz, crowds, media and donor attention, and important players in their respective fields.
To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.