It was hard to miss the Boston team last week at Springtime Expo! The new Boston pavilion drew a big crowd of attendees eager to meet representatives from our three partner organizations: The Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC), the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB).
All three organizations represent convention business ranging from small scale meetings to international conventions for tens of thousands of attendees from around the world with each partner organization focusing on a different segment of the market.
The BCMC is a joint effort of the GBCVB and the MCCA to market and sell the two Boston convention centers: The Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center. We focus on the large, long-term sales for the two facilities. We are your single point of contact for RFP submissions, building room block packages, and planning convention center, hotel and city site visits. Find out more about how we can help >>
The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes. The MCCA team is here to assist you with all your building requirements--from labor services, technology support to transportation and food services--with the event manager as your single point of contact. Find out more about what your MCCA Event Manager can do for you >>
The GBCVB is charged with the development of meetings, conventions and tourism-related business, and is focused on the single property sales. Your convention services manager is the single point-of-contact for your city requirements including assembling competitive rates and preferred services from over 1,200 member companies and facilities. Find out more about how your GBCVB Convention Services Manager can assist you >>
Our goal is to remove many of the traditional limitations meeting planners face when bringing an event to a major city. We know that it takes a team to make your event a success and we represent all of the people in Boston who are ready to help you.
Come visit our team and our new Boston booth at the next industry trade shows: AIBTM, ASEA, IMEX, Expo Expo, and Holiday Showcase!
Because we cater to a mobile industry, it was natural for Advantage BOSTON to optimize its website for mobile devices.
Meeting planners and show organizers do business away from their offices and from their large screen desktop on a regular basis. Recent data from MPI’s Future Watch Survey indicates that 80% of meeting professionals use smartphones and other mobile devices in their job.
To respond to a rapidly increasing mobile traffic, we converted our AdvantageBOSTON.com website to a responsive website that has a new interface for tablets and smart phones, making it a lot easier for mobile users to access the full website content. This intelligent site adapts the user interface to the device it’s viewed on. It reacts to the user’s screen size and automatically adjusts the display.
Its single column format for smaller screens makes it finger friendly and easy to read. There is no need to zoom in! The way we organized the different menus makes it very easy to navigate and the images and graphics resize nicely to fit the different screen sizes.
AdvantageBOSTON.com showcases Boston’s two convention centers--the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center--as well as Boston as a world-class convention destination. Our site offers practical information on our convention centers, a calendar of events, a media gallery, industry news, testimonials, floor plans, a new room finder, an easy way to submit your RFP, and more!
Check out AdvantageBOSTON.com on you tablet and smartphone now!
Last month, Boston reopened its Hubway bike-sharing program for the season! Hubway and the Boston Red Sox Foundation teamed up to commemorate the bike-sharing system’s opening day and gave away free Red Sox t-shirts.
The Hubway program started in 2011 with 60 stations and 600 bicycles throughout Boston. Hubway immediately surpassed expectations and within 10 weeks the bikes had logged more than 100,000 rides. This year, Hubway has increased its footprint to 112 stations and 1,100 bicycles and the system is now expanded to Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville. A trip to Harvard Square is only a couple of miles!
”We are thrilled to build on the dynamic success of New Balance Hubway and expand further into Boston’s neighborhoods. There is no better way to celebrate Opening Day than with two great Boston institutions: the Red Sox and New Balance Hubway.” says Mayor Menino’s Director of Bicycle Programs, Nicole Freedman.
The 112 docking stations across the city include locations such as the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes Convention Center and major convention hotels. Most docking stations are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are close to each other so users can easily drop off their bike at any other locations.
Boston--already known as “America’s Walking City”—is ideal for cycling and has 50 miles of bike lanes. It is a compact city with easy access to restaurants, shops and landmarks. There is a rich variety of things to do and see without having to travel great distances.
Hubway allows residents and tourists to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. In addition to annual memberships, the program offers casual 24-hour and 3-day memberships, which are perfect for visitors. Bikers can locate stations near them by visiting Hubway’s website. The interactive map tells them how many bikes are at a specific station and how many remain for use at any given time. A free Spotcycle mobile app that helps users navigate the system in real time is also available.
Promote the program to your attendees! They will enjoy the green and fun option of hopping on a bike after their conference to go back to their hotel or explore the historic districts of Boston.
When bringing your event to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) or Hynes Convention Center, your Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) Event Manager is your single point of contact to insure that all of your event requirements are met from pre-planning through move-out. The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and Hynes.
Because one of our MCCA Convention Services Managers won a “Convention Services Manager of the Year Award” sponsored by Successful Meetings magazine, I wanted to find out what makes our Event Managers stand out so I sat down with Diane DiAntonio, Director of Event Operations for the BCEC. She had an answer for me:
Your MCCA Event Manager is your biggest advocate!
The MCCA trains its Event Managers in a way that encourages them to think as though they are on the client’s team. They study their clients’ shows a year in advance by visiting them. For some of the local events they work on, they go to the client’s office and participate to their meetings. When they come back, they are on a mission to accommodate every client’s needs and they fight for them.
They are taught not to say “no” but to take the time to develop solutions. They find out first what the client wants to achieve and then see how they can work the MCCA’s policies as a whole. Another important factor is how the MCCA empowers its team of Event Managers to the client’s benefit. Because they feel they have ownership on all the shows they work on, they become like a client themselves.
MCCA Event Managers do much more than take orders. They get involved starting a year and a half prior to the show, which gives them ample time to direct the clients on how the show will be set up and make suggestions that will make it successful. They go above and beyond to ensure their clients and their attendees have the best experience possible.
Your MCCA Event Manager is also a wealth of knowledge. They can provide creative ideas because they have seen so many shows across different industries. They are familiar with many different ways of utilizing the show space. They are also a wealth of information on what to do and where to go in Boston.
Find out more about what your MCCA Event Manager can do for you by visiting our website >>
MCCA Senior Event Manager Kristen Hurley receives the prestigious
2010 Convention Services Manager of the Year Award
Yesterday, in a statement from James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the MCCA extended its sympathies to its neighbors in Boston and to the many victims and their families and offered its gratitude to the first responders, including members of their own public safety team, for their brave and professional response and for the actions they are taking to restore a sense of security.
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
We are reaching out to update you on how our facilities and our events have been impacted as well as how enhanced security procedures aimed at making our facilities and our customers secure have been implemented.
The Hynes was down the street from Monday’s bombings and was immediately evacuated and closed. It reopened yesterday for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Annual Meeting with 2,200 delegates that started as scheduled, thanks to the remarkable efforts of the Hynes staff and city and state officials. All hotels surrounding the Hynes were open yesterday. The Experimental Biology Annual Meeting is still scheduled to open this Saturday at the BCEC.
Additional security precautions will be taken at both the Hynes and BCEC:
- Access to the Hynes will be limited to the Prudential Center entrance during the time of the investigation.
- Both facilities were swept by K-9 units overnight. These sweeps, already a component of our security protocol, will be conducted more frequently on an unannounced basis in the coming months.
- All employees, contractors, exhibitors and attendees will be asked to properly display their badges at all times.
- All those entering the facilities without a valid ID will be approached regarding their purpose in the facility.
- All visitors entering the Hynes will be subject to bag searches.
- Vehicles entering the loading docks at both facilities will be subject to search.
At the MCCA, our 155 full-time and part-time safety officers are trained to respond to various emergency procedures under the National Incident Management System. Our facilities have 400 digital cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we use Department of Homeland Security freight-screening equipment. We also have a close, working relationship with the Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police, and a host of other state and federal agencies.
“The safety of our facilities and the well-being of our events and our clients are paramount and will remain so. Nothing today or in the future is more important to us” said Rooney. Find out more about our security services and leading-edge technologies by visiting our website >>
For a Trade Show Executive article, “Is the Model Broken,” Danica Tormohlen interviewed the new strategy and product development team of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) to understand what convention centers are doing to change the traditional model. The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center.
The model was created during the second half of the 20th century when trade shows expanded dramatically in the U.S. Destinations considered that all the economic impact generated by events was reward enough for building, maintaining and upgrading facilities. It was acceptable for convention centers to operate as loss leaders. Many of these centers were built as economic generators, not net revenue generators.
However, between the economic downturn and a saturation of new buildings, the model was called into question. It has become harder to justify the value and tougher to sustain subsidies and maintain top-notch facilities with slower trade show growth rates.
To address this critical issue, convention centers are looking to maximize their space and increase their revenues. They are getting creative!
That’s where the new strategy and product development team at the MCCA comes into play, to explore new revenue streams.
“The creation of this new team and the work they will do is instrumental to the future of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive director. “We also view this effort as a bellwether moment for the meeting and convention industry. For all of us to continue to do the important work we do, we must begin to change the way we operate.”
The team, led by Johanna Storella, started by taking a deeper look at the performance of their current products and services to understand the value to the customer, and to centralize sales and marketing of those services. They are also currently evaluating the event management system that they developed in-house to see how they can sell the software to other convention centers.
The team has developed an evaluation metric to determine if new ideas are a good fit for the MCCA and to analyze the revenue potential. For example, the group is looking at how they might be able to help smaller events with registration, without competing with other registration suppliers that assist with the larger events.
In an effort to better maximize its physical assets, the MCCA repurposed 20,000 square feet of underutilized meeting space at the Hynes and converted it to restaurant space. They are also increasing advertising and sponsorship revenues with plasma monitors, a new HD 159’ x 12’ video wall and a brand new HD 78’ tall media tower, the first one in the convention industry!
The MCCA is also looking at some European convention centers that have been successfully producing their own events. They are considering developing events that don’t compete with existing clients such as Art Basel in Miami, which has grown to become one of the largest international art shows in the world. “I can see the MCCA launching a regional art show,” said Rooney.
Read the entire Trade Show Executive article >>
Find out more about our two Boston convention centers >>
The Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin chose Boston to host the 43th World Irish Dancing Championships!
“We’re so pleased to be bringing this unique event to Boston,” said James Rooney, head of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. Rooney said the agency won the event “based on our award-winning facilities, our top-tier service and – we admit it – being the most Irish city in America.”
Last week, the rapid-fire foot tapping of Irish dancing filled our Hynes Convention Center. The young dancers, hoping to impress the judges, were dressed up in full Irish dancing regalia, including big curly wigs and beautiful costumes covered with sparkles.
20,000 dancers and spectators from Ireland and elsewhere worldwide descended on Boston to compete in the eight-day long competition previously held only once outside of Ireland or Scotland.
“This event is the “Super Bowl” of the dance world and what better city to stage this in 2013 than Boston, with its world-renowned Irish culture,” Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau chief Patrick Moscaritolo said.
The competition is held under the auspices of the Commission for Irish Dancing, created as an authority in 1930 to promote and foster all forms of Irish dance. In the decades since then, the commission has established regional councils in the US, Canada, Australia, and other parts of the world. Dancers compete in regional competitions, with the highest finishers advancing to national competitions, and from there onto the World Irish Dancing Championships. 34 countries were represented including places such as South Africa and Brazil. Next year the world championship moves to London.
Boston lived up to its reputation as an ideal city for conventions and as a place where cultural tourism thrives! Boston has always attracted numerous international clients and its appeal is only getting stronger. Learn about our international clients and why they come to Boston by visiting our website.
This month, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), which owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center, won two green awards!
The first one is the Best Green Practices award that honors Boston companies for accomplishments in four categories: design, innovation, invention, and workplace strides. We received the award for innovation. The second one is the Challenge for Sustainability award that recognizes Boston businesses that have reduced their electricity consumption by seven percent in just three years.
We are committed to the philosophies and resources that protect and positively impact our planet. Both our convention centers have implemented initiatives designed to conserve energy, protect vital resources and promote ecologically-efficient policies and procedures.
In fact, 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 21%.
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.
How we execute events can have a serious impact on our environment and societies. Corporate Social Responsibility is fundamental to our culture and core values. Visit our website for more information about our green practices.
The fourth PAX East Expo is kicking off this Friday! Last year, the show drew a record crowd of almost 75,000 video game fans and professionals and is expected to grow to over 100,000 attendees in the coming years to become the largest video gaming event in the world.
PAX East will take place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) March 22-24 and will attract the same fun crowd of video game enthusiasts from around the globe.
In addition to the exhibit displaying the latest from top game publishers and developers, PAX will offer tournaments, free play areas, concerts, panel discussions, educational seminars for game developers, and a weekend long Omegathon event.
The video I shot last year will give you a good preview of what to expect! The show floor will be packed again with impressive costumes. Princesses, elves, sword-wielding demons and knights and Alices in Wonderland will be here for your entertainment!
New this year, the 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED Media Tower outside the BCEC, which is visible from a half-mile away, will display five artworks designed by video game professionals.
Watch our 2 minute video >>