Since the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center led the industry and were the first convention centers to offer free wireless in 2005, we made sure we remained at the forefront of technology and have replaced our wireless infrastructure four times. We are currently in the process of a 2.5 million replacement that will be our fifth. Our goal is to stay the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world and exceed the demand of our clients.
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes.
So what makes us stand out from other convention facilities when it comes to providing a wireless infrastructure?
1) We built a 10 gigabit fiber network. The MCCA recently completed building a 10-gigabit dark fiber ring around Boston connecting the BCEC and the Hynes with our Internet colocation hotel (bandwidth provider). This may be the largest dedicated bandwidth capability a convention center in the U.S. owns.
2) Unparalleled flexibility. The ability to dedicate as much bandwidth as needed for an event. The bandwidth can be increased or decreased in real time according to the client’s usage. The MCCA owns the fiber infrastructure so it does not have to wait the usual six weeks for new circuits to be built or pre-order capacity for big events.
3) Full coverage. Free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 throughout our entire facilities, from meeting rooms to loading docks.
4) More access points. The BCEC has currently 113 access points and the Hynes 47. By mid-2015, we will have 700 access points, which will provide the best Wi-Fi service in the industry. With attendees using an average of 2.5 devices, we are moving from a coverage-based methodology to a capacity-based methodology. In other words, we don’t only provide a signal to your mobile device, we provide the appropriate upstream bandwidth.
5) Business to business service. The ability to extend an exhibitor’s business network from its corporate office directly into our facilities. This can be done without building a Virtual Private Network (VPN) into our network.
6) No power outage. Our network infrastructure runs on its own dedicated power supply, which is connected to a backup generator. Additionally, the redundant pathways consisting of multiple fiber entry points into the facilities prevent a single break. Since the BCEC opened in 2004, there has not been one network outage that impacted show performance.
7) High security. The network is monitored continuously for suspicious activity by our Network Operation Center (NOC). Anything unusual is immediately brought to the attention of your MCCA Event Manager. By actively monitoring our networks, we mitigate the need for crisis management.
8) Undisturbed connection. The MCCA implemented a wireless policy designed to mitigate the impact of rogue wireless access points. This policy ensures the best service to all users of the MCCA’s wireless systems. As rogue access points are found, they are shut down.
9) Consistent and adjustable speed. The bandwidth provides the same upload and download speed. It can be increased or decreased on-site and in real time.
10) Perfect cell phone coverage. To prevent poor phone signal and saturation of the local network, we built a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in our facilities to pick up cell signal and send it out to the carriers over their own fiber.
For the fourth year running, the Lonely Planet’s travel experts have scoured the States to help their readers pick the best destinations. Boston was rated as one of the top 10 places in the U.S. that should be on travelers’ radars this year!
Lonely Planet is one of the largest travel guide book publishers in the world with over 100 million books printed in nine different languages. Lonely Planet enables curious travelers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place. It has offices in Melbourne, London and Oakland, with over 450 employees and over 200 authors.
Here is a sample of what Lonely Planet suggests when visiting Boston: “Year-round, the past is very much alive here, follow in America’s revolutionary founders’ footsteps on the Freedom Trail, stopping to imbibe a bit of history at the Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in the USA. Once summer hits, the city’s usual festivities are in full swing: all sorts of festivals abound, beer gardens and restaurant patios overflow, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene keep Bostonians content as the humidity yields to stunning, vibrantly colored autumn. A favorite place to stay is the Omni Parker House, a historic hotel overlooking the Freedom Trail that has employed Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, and accommodated Charles Dickens and JFK.”
Boston is indeed America's most historic and storied city in the U.S. It offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment and sports, which has a huge appeal. It’s also an outstanding destination for your events as it attracts more attendees and provides them with more compelling things to see and do. Boston is easy to access, can accommodate any size event, offers impeccable services and gives you the flexibility to do your event your way!
Find out why Boston is the perfect fit for your event by visiting the Boston section of our website >>
Next month, Emirates airline will begin new international flights to Boston’s Logan International Airport from the Middle East. Emirates is one of the fastest growing and well respected airlines in the world. The Boston non-stop daily flight will go to Dubai where the airline has service to 135 destinations.
Boston is becoming a gateway to the world! Following successful launches of flights to Japan (Tokyo) and Panama City in the last two years, Logan will add flights on Turkish Airlines to Turkey (Istanbul) and Hainan Airlines to China (Beijing) this spring and summer.
In the past, overseas routes out of Logan have been leisure-oriented, concentrated in the Caribbean and Europe. The new flights focus on the needs of businesses, from major financial institutions to small technology firms, which increasingly work with customers and suppliers around the globe.
In all, Boston Logan has 36 international destinations, up from 26 a decade ago and the number of international travelers using Logan has increased about 20% during that time. The next overseas flight on airport executives’ radar is Tel Aviv.
In light of the increase, the airport is making several changes at Terminal E, which is the international terminal. A corridor under construction between Terminals E and C will make for a quicker trip across the airport for people connecting to a domestic flight, and new passport-scanning kiosks will speed up the process for arriving passengers.
In addition to being more accessible to international travelers, Boston Logan is a five minute drive from downtown Boston and no city in the U.S. delivers faster travel times between the airport and its convention centers!
Boston has great appeal for international conference attendees. They enjoy wandering around Beacon Hill to time travel back in history, shopping on Newbury Street or attending a Red Sox game. No matter how you slice it, Boston offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment, and sports. Learn about our international clients and why they come to Boston by visiting the International Meetings section of our website >>
How we execute events can have a serious impact on our environment and communities. Corporate Social Responsibility is fundamental to our culture and core values. Our commitment drives us to perform to the highest standards of good governance and ethics and provide meaningful support to our communities.
Our Boston Convention Centers—The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center--make it a priority through a number of initiatives to support local businesses and partner with local non-profit organizations. In fact, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), which owns and operates the two convention centers, and its dining and hospitality partner Levy Restaurants recently announced that they purchased a record 74% of total food and beverage with local businesses in 2013!
This means that by buying from local vendors we lower our carbon footprint, which is good for the environment. It also means that we delight your attendees with products that are fresher and with delicious classic New England cuisine. Think lobster and clam chowder! Everyone benefits, especially the consumer, when local vendors are selected over larger national brands.
In addition to reducing carbon footprint, our convention centers have implemented initiatives designated to conserve energy, protect vital resources and promote ecologically-efficient policies and procedures.
During the BCEC’s design and construction from 1999 through 2004, the MCCA took extra measures to ensure that the building would not have a negative impact on the environment. Though the Hynes was built in 1988, significant environmentally friendly updates were later made for the building’s lighting, insulation, air, and water systems.
Our convention facilities save energy by reducing the use of lights, escalators and HVAC systems during move-in and move-out days. Low-flow toilets and water-saving devices are installed throughout the BCEC restrooms. Since 2008, we have reduced our annual water consumption by 23%.
We are also committed to using green products. From our daily disinfectants to our vacuum cleaners, more than 80% of our cleaning products for kitchens, bathrooms, carpets and floors are environmentally responsible.
We have recycling programs that are designed to reduce waste both inside the organization and out. At the BCEC and Hynes, event planners and exhibitors are encouraged to recycle and donate through our Conventions C.A.R.E. program.
Feel good about holding your Boston event at some of the most environmentally conscious convention centers in the country and enjoy the benefits!
Visit the Social Responsibility section of our website to find out more about our green practices and community outreach.
Levy Restaurants catering at the BCEC
The Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2014 that took place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston January 12-15 was a tremendous success. With over 4,000 attendees for the first time, it had the highest attendance of any event in its history!
Relive the best moments of the conference or see what you missed by watching our slideshow!
The event kicked off with a spectacular opening reception held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which featured three levels of entertainment including an ice figure skating show, dance performances, and the world famous Earth Harp. Other highlights included the opening general session where the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts took the stage and the networking reception at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which featured outstanding live music, over 35 food vendors serving local specialties and 30 pushcarts offering Boston souvenirs.
Watch the slideshow (adjust slideshow speed using the top navigation):
Created with flickr slideshow.
From January 12-15, more than four thousand attendees flocked to the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2014 annual meeting at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, making it the highest attended event in the organization’s history!
A total of 4,072 meeting professionals attended the conference. This year broke the two previous years’ records held by Orlando and San Diego, which both had 3,751 attendees.
Beside the onsite attendees, there were also close to 1,000 registered for PCMA’s digital hybrid event, which featured 21 hours of streamed content.
This year’s conference in Boston had the highest attendance of any event in its history! The conference carried the themes “Revolution” and “What Happens in Boston Changes the World” because of the city’s track-record of making history being home to innovators and revolutionary thinkers.
The event kicked off with a spectacular opening reception held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which featured three levels of entertainment including an ice figure skating show on the lower level, dance performances on the second level, and on the third level, the world famous Earth Harp that received a standing ovation on America’s Got Talent. Attendees were also delighted by the classic and innovative New England cuisine offered by our chefs from Levy Restaurants. They experienced a convention center as they have never seen one before with new sights, sounds, tastes and technologies.
Other highlights were the opening general session where the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts took the stage and the last networking reception at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which featured outstanding live music and over 35 food vendors serving everything from clam chowder and lobster rolls to sushi and gelato. Attendees were also able to shop from over 30 pushcarts and experience the legendary Cheers and its authentic replica of the TV show set.
Boston makes the perfect setting for your conferences! Visit the Record Breakers page of our website and find out what other organizations have achieved record-breaking attendance when they held their events at a Boston convention center.
Stay tuned for more photos of the conference to relive it!
Entrance of the Hynes Convention Center
Earth Harp at the opening reception at the BCEC
Ice figure skating show at the opening ceremony
Governor Patrick speaking at the general session
We want your Boston event to be as successful as it can possibly be! That’s why the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has expanded your event team of experts to include a Venue Products Manager (VPM) that will be your guide to the MCCA’s integrated portfolio of industry-leading products and services.
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center.
Your new Venue Product Manager will work collaboratively with your current Event Manager, who will remain your dedicated primary event partner, working with you to ensure flawless execution of every detail and overall event success. Your Event Manager will continue to oversee the logistics for securing traditional building related event services such as electrical, phone and internet for you.
The role of Venue Products Manager is an industry first. Your VPM will assist you with specific products, services and capabilities including digital displays, security and transportation services. Your assigned VPM will introduce you to our product palette so you won’t have to deal with multiple service departments.
“It’s our commitment to put the client at the center of everything we do. This starts with our existing team of Event Managers but we wanted a new approach to how event relationships are managed in Boston, “said James E Rooney, Executive Director of the MCCA. “We are constantly seeking to improve the way we partner with our clients and the creation of Venue Product Managers is one solution. Dealing with multiple service departments and vendors can be complicated for meeting planners, and the creation of this focused position was our way of creating a new, integrated approach to delivering our industry-leading products and services.”
This expansion of our event team will make it easier for you to increase your revenue, save money and craft extraordinary events for your audiences.
Visit the Event Management page of our website for more information >>
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is predicted to break two major records in 2014, hosting events generating more hotel room nights and more economic impact than ever before in the city’s history, according to MCCA Executive Director James E. Rooney. The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
More than 750,000 attendees at roughly 250 events at the BCEC and Hynes are projected to spend 629,000 nights in hotels and drum up $680 million in economic activity, breaking the 2006 record of 616,000 room nights and the 2012 record of $656 million.
“Breaking these records in 2014 is more proof that Boston has arrived as a premiere convention destination in the world,” said Rooney.
Among the biggest events for next year: the American College of Rheumatology’s November convention with 38,358 room nights, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s April gathering with 35,475 room nights, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans with 33,450 rooms nights.
The year kicks off with a skating rink built at the BCEC for the Prudential US Figure Skating Championships followed by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Jan. 12-15, a group representing more than 6,000 meeting industry leaders and decision makers from around the world. In addition, 2014 marks the debut of two Boston events that will be co-owned by the MCCA—the Culinary Intelligence Summit and the Advanced Audio & Applications Exchange.
Annual events in Boston continue to thrive in 2014, including the amazing gaming conference PAX East, which sold out in November. Other annual events include Yankee Dental Congress, the International Boston Seafood Show, Anime Boston, and New England Grows.
Continuing our effort to attract multicultural conventions, Boston will also see a significant number of diversity-based events in 2014, including Sigma Pi Phi Beat Boule, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Eastern Regional Conference.
International rotating events coming to Boston this year include the World Congress on Biomechanics, The World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunications and the International Society for Computational Biology. These knowledge-based events bring thought leaders and scientists from around the world in Boston.
“The record 2014 for hotel room nights in Boston and all of our other robust activity points to the growing need to expand our capacity in the meetings and convention industry and secure our future role.“ said Michelle A. Shell, chair of the MCCA Board of Directors. “With the hopeful passage of legislation next year to expand the BCEC and the push to build more hotel space around the BCEC, we are on firm ground to break even more records in the coming years.”
Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansion Plan page of our website.
Earlier this month, it was reported that attendees from two fall conventions held in Boston—The American Public Health Association and the American Society of Human Genetics--were victims of credit card fraud.
Last week, it was confirmed by law enforcement officials that the thefts did not take place in any of our convention centers—the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
We were distressed to hear just how many attendees were impacted by these thefts, and expressed how deeply sorry we were that guests of Boston fell victim to this crime while they were in town for a convention at one of our facilities. We also learned that some of our own employees were also victims.
The thefts occurred at a local restaurant chain: The Briar Group. The group confirmed last Friday that its computer systems were breached, putting the credit card information of thousands of customers at risk. The Briar Group owns 10 restaurants and bars in Boston, including two at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel connected to the BCEC. The group has installed additional security to its systems since late November and company officials believe that they have closed the entry point that thieves used to access the data. It remains unclear who engineered the theft. Boston Police and U.S. Secret Services are still investigating.
Though the credit card thefts occurred outside of our buildings and outside of our control, we would like to assure our future clients and attendees that when they do business with our convention centers, their personal information is guarded by the most state-of-the-art security systems available and that our staff follows strict internal control when it comes to performing financial transactions.
Even though our systems have not been compromised, this data theft has heightened awareness about the risks to customer information. The convention centers will hire a contractor to review its security systems, since it accepts credit cards at its food and parking facilities.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your future visit to our convention centers or contact The Briar Group if you think your credit card data may have been stolen.
Last week, officials from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), CV Properties and Starwood Hotels joined Mayor Thomas Menino and Mayor‐elect Marty Walsh for a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of a 330‐room Aloft Hotel and a 180‐room extended stay Element Hotel on D Street in the South Boston Waterfront, directly across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).
“When we made the decision to enter the international meetings and convention industry with a state‐of‐the‐art facility back in the 90s, we knew Boston would shine,” Mayor Menino said. “Today, the BCEC and the work of Jim Rooney have helped put Boston on the global stage. With the groundbreaking for these two new hotels, and the convention center’s future expansion, the sky truly is the limit."
These two new hotels will provide a lower‐priced alternative to the existing hotels near the BCEC, which are all higher‐priced “four‐star” hotels. They will combine a total of 510 rooms and are expected to open in 2015.
“These hotels will provide much‐needed mid‐priced hotel rooms not only to the South Boston Waterfront but to Boston as a whole,” said James Rooney, MCCA Executive Director. “This is the first of several groundbreakings we hope take place as we push Boston and Massachusetts towards being among the top meeting and convention destinations in the world.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Starwood Hotels and Ares Management to create an exciting new destination for travelers to Boston. This further strengthens our commitment to the Innovation District and the South Boston community,” said Richard Galvin, President of CV Properties.
“Starwood has a long and successful history in Boston and we’re excited to build upon that foundation to welcome guests to this emerging and vibrant community,” stated Allison Reid, Senior Vice President, Starwood Hotels North America Development. “Given their dynamic positioning and global appeal, the Aloft and Element brands are especially well suited for Boston and the Innovation District.”
With the expansion of both the BCEC and the hotel inventory, Boston is on its way to be in the top 5 convention destinations in the U.S.! Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansion Plan page of our website. Learn about more new hotels and hotel renovations by visiting the Hotels section of our blog.
Renderings of Aloft (left) and Element (right)
Rendering of Aloft Streetscape
Rendering of Element Streetscape