Signature Boston Blog

Our Boston Convention Centers Are Also Centers for Art!

Posted by Rachel Weiss on Oct 15, 2015 2:26:00 PM

Convention centers have walls, lots of them, usually empty and painted in neutral, unobtrusive colors. We all saw that space in the BCEC, Hynes, and MassMutual Center as a resource and an opportunity. If there is something artists need, it’s an audience. And our audience spans the globe.

By partnering with Massachusetts arts organizations and becoming curators, we have enriched our venues with beautiful work from local painters, photographers, weavers, sculptors, digital artists, and more, creating vibrant, inspiring experiences for our visitors – all while strengthening our ties with the community.  Since 2014, we have featured the world pf 95 local artists inside our facilities.

One such local artist was Marlon Forrester, whose exhibit, The Ecstasy of Flight, was featured in the Hynes Convention Center from October 2014 through January 2015. The focal point of the exhibit was a twenty-foot long vinyl wall piece that wowed attendees. Born in Guyana, South America and raised in Boston, Forrester is an award winning painter, artist, and educator and is very active in the local arts scene. Forrester is one of many artists we have been proud to support through our extensive and critically acclaimed art program.

To find out more about our arts program, watch a video and visit the Community Outreach page of our website. 




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Topics: Social Responsibility

Beyond Kale: Levy Restaurants is Big on “Greens”

Posted by Rachel Weiss on Oct 1, 2015 1:41:00 PM

Our food and beverage provider, Levy Restaurants, is as committed to sustainability and good green practices as we are. At the BCEC and Hynes, Levy sources a combined 74% of food and beverage served from local vendors.

For example, the micro arugula that tops BCEC Executive Chef Chris Pulling’s caprese salad is sourced from 2 Friends Farm in Attleboro, Massachusetts and the strawberries served to countless attendees in the form of decadent strawberry shortcakes are from Ward’s Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts.  “The shorter the time between the farm and the table of our guests, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food,” said Chef Pulling.

In addition, any disposable wares, such as cutlery and plates, are made of bagasse, which is a sugarcane by-product. These wares are easily composted right here at our facilities – there are compost bins in designated spaces around dining areas.  “Local food builds community,” said Hynes Executive Chef, Tim Elderkin. “When we buy direct from a farmer, we are engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower. It’s also an investment in the future – by supporting local farmers today, we are helping to ensure that there will be farms in our community tomorrow.”

Find out more about our focus on corporate social responsibility by visiting the CSR sections of our website and blog.

 Chef Chris Pulling
 Chef Tim Elderkin
focused on corporate social responsibility
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Topics: Social Responsibility, Catering & Restaurants

Boston Park Plaza Completes First Two Phases of $100 Million Renovation!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Sep 10, 2015 2:06:31 PM

Boston Park Plaza has recently completed phases one and two of its ambitious $100 million renovation project!

Since 1927, Boston Park Plaza has served as one of Boston’s and the nation’s iconic hotels playing host to dignitaries like Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as celebrities such as Katherine Hepburn and Judy Garland. The hotel is within close proximity of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center.

The first phase included works on the exterior of the building such as creating 5,500 square feet of prime retail space. It also included replacing the hotel’s signature two-story decorative windows and installing a state-of-the-art HVAC system that provides individual climate control for every guestroom, meeting space and common area.

The second phase lead to the complete overhaul of the hotel’s main entrances, lobby, meeting spaces and mezzanine levels. Now, the main lobby area of the property evokes a youthful, innovative and international vibe that complements the hotel’s iconic architectural elements. No longer serving as a simple pass-through for guests, the space functions as a complete multidimensional experience by offering a diverse selection of seating areas that include options for intimate dining, sipping cocktails in a cozy corner, or closing a business deal.

The new lobby of the Boston Park Plaza boasts a sophisticated gray and white color palette, dramatic floor to ceiling columns encased in ceramic, new flooring, adjustable LED lighting and sleek guest check-in stations designed to create a more intimate experience. It also boasts Off The Common, the Boston Park Plaza’s new restaurant and lounge. Another sophisticated addition is STRIP by Strega, a high-energy steakhouse concept by Boston-based restaurateur Nick Varano.

The hotel added 6,000 square feet of fully-renovated meeting and pre-function space. Boston Park Plaza’s storied ballroom has been fully updated to feature a stunning, new charcoal and ivory palette and fully restored, historic crystal chandeliers.

Scheduled to begin in November this year and slated for completion by June 2016, phase three of Boston Park Plaza’s multifaceted renovation will see the total renovation of all 1,053 guest rooms, suites, bathrooms and corridors, and will include the replacement of all furniture, fixtures and equipment.  This final phase of the repositioning will be completed without any disruption to hotel guests. 

Learn more about our Boston hotels and about the great free services that we offer when it comes to building your hotel packages by visiting the Hotels section of our website and of our blog. You will also find a very handy interactive map that shows where the Boston’s convention centers, hotels and venues are located. For more information on the Boston Park Plaza, visit the hotel’s website.

BPP-Meeting-Room-Georgian-Classroom BPP-Meeting-Room-Imperial-Banquet
BPP-Meeting-Room-Hancock-Boardroom BPP-Library
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Topics: Hotels

The BCEC Awarded Best Food & Beverage by PCMA!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Aug 19, 2015 1:35:43 PM

This year, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) was recognized by PCMA Convene for Best Food & Beverage! The BCEC was selected among hundreds of hotels and venues worldwide.

Every year PCMA Convene presents their “Best in Show” 50 winners, which are innovations, initiatives, accomplishments, and achievements in 10 categories, including food & beverage, technology, room sets, corporate social responsibility, and more, all chosen by their readers and editors. 

With Levy Restaurants, our exclusive food and beverage provider, it’s all about details and creativity and providing signature and customized food offerings! From high-profile VIP functions to banquets for thousands, our innovative chefs are always eager to come up with unique dishes to surprise and delight your guests.

Executive chef Christopher Pulling brings the taste of New England alive at the BCEC and enjoys working with customers on developing menus to meet the needs and tastes of their attendees. At this year’s PAX East convention, the largest gaming convention in the Northeast held annually at the BCEC, Levy concocted some creative and tasty dishes for video game enthusiasts with big appetites. Sandwiches such as the “Twisted Carnage”, a hearty pretzel stuffed with steak, cheese, pepper and onions weighing two pounds, and the “Ramen TuPoBe Burger” made of turkey, pork and beef, topped with an Asian slaw, wonton noodles and sandwiched between a bun made solely of ramen noodles were a big hit among PAX attendees.

Levy is also committed to making at least 50% of its purchases locally. “Many conference-goers don’t have enough time to get out and explore the city,” said Timothy Townsell, Levy’s General Manager, “so we work hard to bring local brands and flavors to them.” The Levy team spent 74 percent of their food budget on local products last year to deliver memorable Boston-centric dishes to attendees, such as “Fin-Tin-Tin,” a Cape Bay scallop with red-chili-spiked, blood-orange marmalade, yuzu-tobiko caviar, and tempura chips.

The award-winning culinary team at Levy’s provides food services for both the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.

Find out more about our food and beverage services by visiting the Catering & Restaurants section of our Signature Boston blog and the Culinary Services section of our website.

LevyCups LevyDonut
LevyLunch LevySamples
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Topics: Awards, Catering & Restaurants

Pedestrian Wayfinding Made Easy Around the BCEC

Posted by Katie Hauser on Aug 11, 2015 10:37:21 AM


Boston is America’s Walking City. We are just compact enough to get around easily by foot – in fact, walking Boston is one of the best ways to take in all the city has to offer, from the Freedom Trail to the Seaport, Newbury Street to the North End.

We’re excited to say we just made the walk around the beautiful South Boston Waterfront even more enjoyable thanks to our new pedestrian wayfinding pilot program. Newly installed pedestrian wayfinding signs provide directions to guide you to South Station, Fan Pier, Liberty Wharf and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. They not only tell you how to get there from here, they’ll also tell you the estimated walking time, so you can be sure to get back before that session you really wanted to catch! View a map of the routes here (PDF).

The signage is part of an overall effort to improve the transportation infrastructure of the Seaport District around the BCEC. They will be in place through at least October while we gather feedback from you, our most important stakeholders! Are the signs and font big enough? Are the directions clear? Did you get where you intended to go?

Let us know what you think of your walking visit to Boston by tweeting us at #WalkSBW or emailing us at

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Topics: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Info & Tips, Boston

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


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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
  Duck Tours
  Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Museum of Fine Art
  The Museum of Fine Art
Faneuil Hall
  Faneuil Hall
  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 New York

  Mario Batali

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Topics: Catering & Restaurants

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