Signature Boston Blog

Investing in the Hynes: Introducing our Newly Renovated, State-Of-The-Art Kitchen

Posted by Molly Dunn on Jul 29, 2015 3:28:00 PM

The Hynes Convention Center is the best-located convention facility in the United States, positioned right in the heart of Boston’s bustling Back Bay neighborhood. In order to capitalize on this, we have been working on a strategic repositioning of the Hynes, which includes forward-thinking initiatives to take advantage of the rich history, ideal location, and distinctiveness of the facility. These repositioning efforts will include physical improvements to the Hynes spaces, focusing on international appeal and customizable public spaces, as well as upgraded state-of-the-art technology

In order to kick-off these efforts, we started with a $12 million, four-phase kitchen modernization and expansion project, which is just about complete. In fact, Levy Restaurants, our award-winning food services provider, was recently able to occupy the new kitchen and they couldn’t be happier with their improved cooking space!

The redeveloped kitchen includes a 1,000 square-foot expansion, doubling our cold storage capacity, a new beverage cooling storage system, and new high capacity coffee and hot water production stations, among other improvements. The renovation will allow us to serve our guests more efficiently while also improving upon our already fantastic quality of food. We can now offer an even better experience to clients, not to mention the expansion will give our hard-working chefs a bit of extra breathing room and prep space!

There was one particularly challenging aspect to the kitchen renovation project - we still had many events to host (and feed) at the Hynes as this major construction project was taking place, and we had no intention of delivering anything less than the award-winning food services we are known for, despite the renovation. Fennick McCredie Architecture along with Crabtree & McGrath food service consultants assessed our current use of kitchen space and developed a plan to renovate and redesign it for increased productivity and better quality. They also assisted Levy in keeping the kitchen running full steam throughout construction.

With a lot of hard work put in over the last two years of this project, we are all very excited to begin using our new Hynes kitchen to better serve our guests. 

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Topics: Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Catering & Restaurants

More Mid-priced Hotels Near the BCEC!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Jul 23, 2015 1:02:51 PM

Yotel is announcing plans to operate a new 326-room hotel in Boston’s Innovation District, in close proximity to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Construction is expected to begin next month and the opening is set for 2017.

Yotel, a British hotel chain with properties in London, Amsterdam and New York, specializes in small, low-cost rooms called “cabins”. The rooms will range from 160 to 200 square feet, which is approximately half of the size of a standard room. Yotel simplifies the hotel experience and offers smart spaces. The hotel chain developed a “SmartBed” that folds up into a couch at the touch of a button and have computer cables and international power outlets built into its frames. Yotel is a model for efficiency with no space wasted!

The ground level will feature a reception area that will enable travelers to check-in, receive their keycard, and drop off their luggage in as little as five minutes, either through the self-serve kiosk or help from an employee. Guests will enjoy access to extensive public spaces including an indoor-outdoor roof deck providing a flexible environment, which will encourage co-working, casual meetings and social gatherings.

Yotel Boston will be a good option for budget-conscious business travelers and will join the mid-priced hotels currently in development around the BCEC. Among them are the Aloft Boston Seaport and the Element Boston Waterfront. Yotel is also planning on new properties in San Francisco, Miami, and Brooklyn.

Learn about more new hotels and hotel renovations by visiting the Hotels section of our blog and visit our website to use our Hotel Finder, a helpful interactive tool for your hotel search in Boston.

 20141126_Final_YotelALOW  Rendering of Yotel Boston

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Topics: Hotels

New Exciting Tech Upgrades at the BCEC and Hynes!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Jul 16, 2015 11:35:15 AM

Technology is an ever changing, always evolving thing and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is continuously striving to stay at the forefront of new meeting technologies.

The MCCA has led the convention industry with technology ever since it first offered free and reliable Wi-Fi in every area of its facilities. Our Boston convention centers are the most technologically advanced in the world and our staff can handle the most unusual demands. Our mission is to remain the leader. We are thinking about technology that attendees will be asking for not just in 2016, but five or ten years from now.

Below is a recap of the latest technological upgrades we are working on at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and Hynes Convention Center.

Visit the Technology section of our Signature Boston blog for more information on some of these. The Wireless upgrade and digital Navigation have been fully deployed and we will keep you informed on the development of the other enhancements. Find more information on technology on our website

The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center and the Hynes Convention Center

MCCA_Spring_InfographicLOW

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Topics: Technology

Boston: A Different Kind of Summer Paradise

Posted by Melanie Miksis on Jul 9, 2015 10:53:52 AM

Sunscreen? Check. Camera? Check. Red Sox cap? Double-check.

Aside from this overly-simplified checklist, what else will you need before planning your visit to the historic, internationally renowned city of Boston? Better yet, what will you need to know? Complete with amusing excursions, momentous landmarks, delicious eats, trendy shops and more— you’ll be wishing I had told you sooner.  Being the proud and hospitable Bostonian that I am, I find it my duty to point out and brag about Boston’s qualities that may have gone otherwise unnoticed.

Were American history courses your forte in school? If you nodded your head vigorously, a visit to Boston will definitely be your cup of duty-free tea. It’s time to dust off the cob webs and reflect back to the colonial past once again— and I don’t mean via textbooks or your 11th grade teacher’s lectures.  An opportunity for you to learn and experience directly, this city is home to a variety of historical sites such as the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, USS Constitution, Old State House and Bunker Hill Monument. Just the thought of hosting a convention in a city that played a critical role in history has me wishing Paul Revere was around to direct me toward the “2 if by Sea…PORT”, the district where you’ll find the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Boston in the summer is constantly bustling with things to see and do. Being entertained here doesn’t come at a hefty price, or any price at all for that matter. If you’re like me and don’t like watching your bank account shrink before your eyes, take down some notes. First off, the Freedom Trail, stating its price in the name, is a 2.5 mile walking trail to a number of historical museums, churches, ships, meeting houses and burying grounds that will widen your eyes to the American Revolution. The Museum of Fine Arts, containing over 450,000 works of art, has free admission on Wednesday evenings after 4pm. Tours of sites such as the Boston Public Library and the Massachusetts State House are open to the public so they can explore the buildings and appreciate the art, architecture and history that come along with them. A scenic stroll down Newbury Street—a block away from the Hynes Convention Center-- is also free of charge, although the delicious restaurants and cafés, high-end boutiques and affordable shops are not. If you like the idea of going to a movie screening on the waterfront, the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Movies by Moonlight will keep you busy every Friday night throughout the summer. So tuck the wallet away for now, you won’t be needing it.

Are you one that winces at the thought of sitting in never-ending traffic? You and me both. Here is yet another reason why Boston is the ideal place to visit in the summer months. Nicknamed America’s Walking City, Boston’s compacted layout allows tourists and commuters to walk throughout the city easily and effectively. Also, with options such as the T (the first subway system in the country), Hubway, Trolley Tours, Duck Tours and Pedicabs, you’re bound to have an active, entertaining, or eco-friendly mode of transportation.  Whether you bike, quack or walk, infinite breaths of fresh air are guaranteed. 

If you’ve read this article in its entirety, taking notes as I’ve suggested, you are undoubtedly ready to make the most of your stay in Boston!

Melanie Miksis is a junior at UMass Amherst. She is a Boston native and intern with the BCMC and enjoyed giving us her check-list of must-see attractions in Boston this summer.

Boston Freedom Trail
 The Freedom Trail
ducktourlow
  Duck Tours
TeaPartym
  Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Museum of Fine Art
  The Museum of Fine Art
Faneuil Hall
  Faneuil Hall
ussconstitution
  USS Constitution
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Eataly Is Coming To Boston!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Jun 25, 2015 1:26:00 PM

Eataly is coming to Boston and will be located next to the Hynes Convention Center and within walking distance of convention hotels in the Back Bay neighborhood to delight your attendees!

Eataly is an entire Italian marketplace, a retail and restaurant hybrid that features fresh produce, grocery aisles, food counters, and dining all in one convenient location. The first U.S. location opened in New York in 2010 and attracts approximately 10,000 visitors daily. The second one opened in Chicago in 2013, and a third one is scheduled to open at the World Trade Center in New York in early 2016. Eataly Boston will be the fourth U.S. location. Founded in Italy in 2007 by businessman Oscar Farinetti, there are 27 Eataly locations worldwide including Italy, Japan, Dubai, Brazil and Istanbul. Eataly Boston will be modeled after the original Eataly located in Turin, Italy. Construction will start at the end of the month and the Italian emporium is tentatively scheduled to open in late 2016.

The projected Eataly space will span three different floors and over 45,000 square feet with six restaurants, a café, a rooftop grill, a brewery with a retractable ceiling and patio, and food markets offering over 15,000 products. Each restaurant will feature a retail outlet. A fish stand, for example, will be set in front of a seafood restaurant and a butcher shop in front of a meat-centric eatery.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali is part of the team bringing Eataly to Boston, which will be his second foray into the local food scene. He opened Babbo Pizzeria in the Seaport District this past April.

Eataly Boston will be located in The Shops at Prudential Center which is part of the 3-2-1 Connect complex located in the heart of Boston’s beautiful and historic Back Bay neighborhood. When holding your event at the Hynes, you are connected to THREE Convention hotels: the Sheraton Boston Hotel, the Boston Marriott Copley Place, and the Westin Copley Place Boston; TWO shopping galleries: The Shops at Prudential Center and the Copley Place Shopping Galleries; and ONE Hynes Convention Center. All are connected through pedestrian walkways within an all-weather facility. Your attendees don’t have to step outside to experience hundreds of great retailers and the city’s hottest dining spots!

Find out more about the 3-2-1 Connect complex by visiting the 3-2-1 Connect section of our website.

Eataly-Chicago
 Eataly Chicago

Eataly-New-York
  Eataly New York

Mario
  Mario Batali

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Topics: Catering & Restaurants

Browse Through Photos of Our Recent Boston Events!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Jun 11, 2015 1:20:00 PM

Our extensive photo library has over 19,000 photos! They are neatly organized by collections and tags for your convenience and can be found in our Flickr library.

These collections include photos of our two facilities, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center. We have numerous photos of events that have taken place in both convention centers, ranging from large association meetings and trade shows to sporting events and more. Browsing through them will give you ideas for how different spaces can be used! We also have a comprehensive selection of destination photos of Boston.

Click on the photos below to visit the event photo sets:

  Events at the Hynes:

  Events at the BCEC:

AASLD-2014
  AASLD - The Liver Meeting Meeting 2014
Sibos-2014
  Sibos 2014
 How-Design-2014
  How Design 2014
 Inbound-2014
  HubSpot - Inbound 2013
 PCMA-2014
  PCMA Convening Leaders 2014
 AWWA-2014
  AWWA Annual Conference 2014
 ICMA-2013
  ICMA Annual Conference 2013
 Pax-East-2014
  PAX East 2014

See all events at the BCEC and Hynes >>

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Topics: Events at our Facilities

40th Yankee Dental Congress Goes “Beyond Expectations”

Posted by Claire Dollander on May 28, 2015 2:23:00 PM

This year marked the 40th anniversary of an annual event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC): the Yankee Dental Congress, New England’s largest dental meeting and the fifth largest dental meeting in the country. The event was first held in Boston at the Hynes Convention center in 1985, The event eventually outgrew the Hynes and transitionned to the BCEC in 2008. This means that 2015 also marked the 30th anniversary of Yankee Dental beeing held in Boston!

This year, Yankee Dental brought more than 27,000 dental professionals across the U.S. to Boston. Narrowly dodging a major blizzard – over three feet of snow hit the area two days prior to the event’s start date – attendees gathered for an exhibit hall featuring the latest products and technologies from over 450 organizations, such as Colgate, Vitamix and Philips Sonicare, over 300 continuing education courses and events taught by leading dentistry experts.

To commemorate this anniversary, Yankee Dental’s theme this year was “Beyond Expectations,” to signify how far the event had come in its 40-year history. The Yankee Dental Congress is committed to holding its event in Boston through 2030, proving Boston is a true hub of medical innovation and technology.

For more information, visit yankeedental.com and to find out about more successful events held at our Boston convention centers, visit the Events section of our Signature Boston blog.

Originally published in the MCCA Front and Center newsletter

YankeeDental

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Topics: Events at our Facilities

Give Your Attendees a Historic Experience on Boston’s Waterfront!

Posted by Claire Dollander on May 7, 2015 12:36:00 PM

When holding your event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) or Hynes Convention Center, you may also consider other venues for off-site entertainment. Fortunately, Boston offers a variety of cultural venues that will add a spark to your event! Here are 3 examples of historic venues located on the waterfront with unique event space and scenic views of Boston Harbor:

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
The Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate recently opened its door to the public! It’s dedicated to educate the public about the important role of the Senate in our government. The EMK institute features a full-scale representation of the U.S. Senate Chamber, interactive exhibits, and a reproduction of Senator Kennedy’s Washington D.C. office. This elegant and visionary space combines the soaring history of the U.S. Senate with a modern, sleek design by architect Rafael Vinoly, who also designed the BCEC. The venue can accommodate up to 800 people. Find more information on planning an event at the institute >>

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The JFK Presidential Library and Museum is the nation’s memorial to the 35th President. The museum portrays the life, leadership and legacy of President Kennedy. Visitors can experience JFK’s 1000 days in office though re-mastered films of his iconic speeches, high-definition projections and interactive displays alongside original artifacts. The Kennedys always entertained with warmth, hospitality and grace and that spirit lives on today with their legacy. The venue can accommodate up to 600 guests. Find more information on planning an event at the library >>

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum commemorates Boston’s best-known act of rebellion—the dumping of chests of British tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 to protest taxation without representation. The attraction features two authentic replicas of the ships that carried the tea, a museum with exhibits that include one of the historic tea chests, and Abigail’s Tea Room, an event space with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor. The venue can accommodate up to 200 people. Find more information on planning an event at the museum >>

In addition to more event venues, the waterfront offers a growing number of restaurants and has great appeal to conference attendees! The city and ocean views are spectacular and the atmosphere is at the same time peaceful and energetic with a wide range of activities. Watch a short video that will give you a feel for the new and exciting Seaport District and use our Venue Finder to browse our Boston venues. There are over 350 cultural sites in Greater Boston, many with unique facilities that will work great for your event!

teaparty1-1
 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

JFK_library
The JFK Presidential Library and Museum
www.kennedyinstitute.com
The Edward M. Kennedy Institure for the U.S. Senate
Teaparty
 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
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Topics: Info & Tips, Boston, Entertainment

Boston Logan, Among the Most Stress-free Airports in the Country!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Apr 30, 2015 11:31:00 AM

What causes travelers the most stress? I am sure you have your own idea but here is an interesting study:

According to GroundLink, who surveyed more than 5,000 customers from across the U.S. to determine what causes them the most stress while traveling, being late for a flight was the number one most stressful pre-travel activity followed by getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport.

Of the nation’s airports, New York airports rank as the most stressful according to those surveyed. LaGuardia is the number one stress-inducing airport according to 20 percent of respondents, followed by John F. Kennedy at 17 percent and Newark at 14 percent. Chicago O’Hare comes in as the fourth most stressful airport (8 percent) followed by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (5 percent).

I am not surprised that Boston Logan didn’t make GroundLink’s list as no other major city in the U.S. delivers a faster travel time than Boston between its airport and its convention centers! Using the Silver Line, a free shuttle, you can be at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in 10 minutes and using the Back Bay Logan Express, you can be at the Hynes Convention Center in 15 minutes.

Boston Logan International Airport offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 44 international destinations. Over the past decade, the airport has spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, and self-service kiosks reducing processing time for travelers arriving from foreign destinations among other services.

Find out more about transportation and nonstop service to Boston Logan by visiting the Transportation section of our Signature Boston blog.

 bostonlogan3

 

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Topics: Transportation

BCEC Introduces its New “Indoor GPS” to Allow for Easy Trade Show Navigation!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Apr 16, 2015 2:41:00 PM

We all know how tiring it can get to look for a booth at a trade show or look for a meeting room at a conference when we don’t know our way around!

We have good news for you! The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) recently launched its new digital navigation system called ActivLocator. It’s a geolocation tool developed by Sherpa Solutions that allows attendees to use turn-by-turn navigation to find their way to a meeting room, exhibit hall, and even specific exhibit booths from anywhere in the facility.

Attendees use a mobile app to access the tool, and once downloaded, the app doesn’t need a cellular or internet connection. See how it looks like in this 40 seconds video taken last month during Seafood Expo North America:

 

“It will be a tremendous value-add for our customers because we will be able to map their entire show floors, booth by booth, and customize information such as shuttle drop-off and pickup locations,” Steve Snyder, CIO and CTO at Massachusetts Convention Center Authorities (MCCA), said in a statement. The system will rely on 270 Bluetooth low-energy beacon transmitters to be installed throughout the center that will be accurate to within six feet of where the user is standing—more accurate than a standard car GPS.

“We have never been reserved about our mission to remain the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world,” MCCA Executive Director James E. Rooney said in the statement. “We are thinking about technology that meeting attendees will be asking for not just in 2015, but five and 10 years from now. Real-time location services are just one of the technology initiatives we are focused on right now to better serve our customers and their attendees.”

The MCCA’s venue-wide indoor navigation system is the first of its kind to be used by a convention center. The MCCA that owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center and the Hynes Convention Center, has led the convention industry with technology ever since it first offered free and reliable Wi-Fi in every area of its facilities. Find out more about our technology by visiting the Technology section of our Signature Boston blog and the Technology section of our Signature Boston website.

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Topics: Technology, Videos

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