For the ninth installation of “Art on the Marquee,” the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and Boston Cyberarts presented seven works inspired by video game art on the 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED Media Tower outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The artwork was reflective of gaming culture and was played last week during the PAX East gaming convention.
The MCCA owns and operates the two Boston convention centers--the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.
Massachusetts is one of the largest digital gaming clusters in the U.S. with more than 75 digital game companies employing more than 4,000 people statewide. Every year, thousands of gamers convene at the BCEC for PAX East, one of the world’s largest gaming conventions in the world. “Art on the Marque” provides artists with more than 3,000 square feet of digital display on seven screens, providing full-motion video to more than 100,000 pedestrians and motorists. It’s a great opportunity for a growing number of local artists working in new media.
Boston offers your exhibitors and sponsors the most sophisticated event marketing opportunities in the nation! In addition to the impressive 80-foot-tall Media Tower, the BCEC offers a 159’ x 12’ Video Wall and plasma monitors including new LED displays. Contact our Venue Product Managers for assistance with your show’s digital displays.
Chris Florio and Helen Weatherall: "LARP" from MCCA Digital Media Production on Vimeo.
The fifth annual PAX East Expo is kicking off this Friday. The show will bring together over 80,000 attendees of video game fans and professionals. It will take place at the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center (BCEC) April 11-13 and will attract a crowd of video game enthusiasts from around the globe. Watch our 2 minute video for a preview of what to expect.
In addition to exhibits 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.
Our Boston convention centers are equipped to accommodate events with extensive mobile technology requirements to a degree not typically found in convention centers. With a 10 gigabit fiber network and the ability to increase and decrease the bandwidth in real time according to the show’s usage, the BCEC offers the best capabilities for these type of technology requirements.
“The attendees hit the network hard with all kinds of wireless devices and use them heavily streaming videos and playing games that require online interaction,” said Steve Snyder, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)’s chief technology officer. “The exhibitors also demand a higher than usual amount of data to run their products and we have always been able to increase bandwidth in real time and meet their demands.”
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
“There is also the issue of rogue activity, which is why we monitor the social media networks attendees utilize to get in front of issues” added Snyder. “The MCCA recently implemented a wireless policy designed to mitigate the impact of rogue wireless access points. As they are found they are shut down to ensure the best service to all users of the wireless systems.”
Our Boston convention centers led the industry and were the first convention centers to offer free Wi-Fi in 2005. Since then, we have remained at the forefront of technology and are currently in the process of a 2.5 million upgrade of our entire wireless network. Our goal is to maintain most technologically advanced convention centers in the world and exceed the demand of our clients.
Find out more about how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
PAX East Expo 2013 at the BCEC
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)’s Digital Media Team took away top honors last week during Expo’s Digital Excellence Awards in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the power and future of digital media and is aimed at educating event planners about new and innovative strategies that used digital displays.
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
The MCCA’s Digital Media Team won for Best CVB/location‐based digital marketing campaign. The team oversees, manages and creates content and programming for the BCEC’s 80‐ foot tall, three‐sided digital Media Tower with full‐motion HD video, the 160‐foot wide, 12‐foot‐tall full‐motion HD Video Wall, and plasma networks at both the BCEC and Hynes featuring more than 50 displays. The team is the responsible for display programming, operations, customer support, content creation, and successful execution of these events.
The Digital Media Team also helps run the MCCA’s much‐praised “Art on the Marquee” program along with Boston Cyberarts, allowing professional and student artists to show unique digital art on the Media Tower at the BCEC.
“I have long said that Boston offers the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world, and this latest award for our Digital Media Team is further proof that the work we do is among the most sophisticated and advanced in the industry,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive director. “Congratulations to our team and the amazing work they do and will continue to do.”
Contact our Venue Product Manager for assistance with your digital displays in Boston and find out how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
BCEC Video Wall
BCEC Media Tower
Spring has arrived! Trees are starting to bloom, birds are on the wing, and we are excited to spend more time outdoors and explore fun cultural activities. Springtime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get better! The city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston. Here are the 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal:
1) Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located in Downtown Boston, steps away from the waterfront, Faneuil’s Hall Marketplace’s roots date back to 1742. The marketplace is actually four places in one location all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. Over 40 food vendors serve local specialties in the marketplace and you can enjoy the nearby restaurants or shop for Boston souvenirs. faneuilhallmarketplace.com
2) The Freedom Trail
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. The red brick line connects the sites on the Trail and serves as a guide. thefreedomtrail.org
3) New England Aquarium
The 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank is the centerpiece of the Aquarium. Enjoy sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, seals, seadragons, giant octopuses, moon jellies, and much more. In addition to the main aquarium building, go on a whale watch cruise or enjoy a 3D movie at the IMAX theater. Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. neaq.org
4) Minute Man National Historical Park
Travel back in time! At Minute Man National Historical Park, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are brought to life through the preservation, restoration and interpretation of significant sites from April 19, 1775, when Colonists took up arms in defense of liberty and touched off the American Revolution. Along a five-mile trail, retrace the steps of the British through a restored colonial landscape and stop for a drink at the 18th century Hartwell Tavern. nps.gov
5) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. It welcomes more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The museum is affiliated with an art academy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a sister museum, the Nagoya Museum of Fine Arts in Japan. mfa.org
6) Cheers Boston
Cheers to you! Cheers Boston is the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers with two Boston locations. The first one is the pub known internationally as the exterior of the bar and is on Beacon Hill, one of the most historical and beautiful neighborhood in Boston. The second pub is at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and was built with a replica of the TV show set. The NBC television sitcom ran from 1982 to 1993. cheersboston.com
Stay put for Part 2 and visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information.
The Freedom Trail
The Museum of Fine Art
Minute Man National Historical Park
Seafood Expo North America, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) from March 16-18, is the largest seafood trade event in North America. The event attracts over 19,000 buyers and suppliers of seafood products, services and processing equipment. Attendees travel from more than 100 countries to do business at the exposition.
Diversified Communications, the show producer, has announced that this year’s edition set records by being the largest in the show’s existence. For its 33rd edition, the event spanned more than 197,000 net square feet, breaking last year’s exhibit space record of 185,780 net square feet. More than 1,090 exhibiting companies, an increase of more than 80 companies over last year, came from 47 countries to showcase their seafood products.
The show also offered special events including culinary demonstrations by industry experts and top chefs and the 8th Annual Oyster Shucking competition, which brought together 14 contestants competing to earn the title as the fastest shucker on the East coast. The winner opened a dozen oysters in 1 minute and 21 seconds!
“For over three decades, the exposition has lured thousands of seafood buyers and suppliers from around the world to meet face to face, do business, and make connections in Boston,” says Liz Plizga, Show Director for Diversified Communications. “Seafood Expo North America is truly an international event. Reports indicate that just over 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. This is reflected by this year’s expansion of international exhibitors including companies from Columbia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Maldives, Myanmar, and Portugal.”
The exposition is an international draw for both exhibitors and attendees. You can visit a different country just by walking a few feet down the aisle! Boston is an international hub and Seafood Expo North America is a great indicator of that.
The show was held at the Hynes Convention Center for many years and then eventually expanded to the BCEC. 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 the International Meetings section of our website.
The annual Restaurant Week has been rebranded. Dine Out Boston will feature a more flexible pricing and menu structure. Instead of all restaurants offering a prix fixe three-course menu, diners will be able to select from a wide range of options such as multi-course tasting menus and individual plates.
Dine Out Boston, held twice each year in March and August, is an opportunity for Boston residents and visitors to sample prix-fixe menus at some of the city's best restaurants at a price that represents a significant saving. The event will start next week and is scheduled for March 16 to 21 and 23 to 28. It’s a great opportunity for your conference attendees to enjoy the finest restaurants in Boston at discounted prices!
Started in 2001 to boost what was then a budding restaurant scene, the event quickly attracted thousands of customers to dining rooms throughout Boston and surrounding communities. As the dining scene evolved to include different tiers of restaurants, the upscale spots claimed that the single price limited the quality of their product, while the casual joints struggled to craft three-course meals worthy of the price tag. The new improved format offers the 188 participating restaurants three price options for lunch ($15, $20, $25) and dinner ( $28, $33, $38), with no requirements for the number of courses—meaning that a restaurant could potentially serve one plate for $38, or five courses for the same price.
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a detailed list of participating restaurants and their menus on the Dine Out Boston Web site. The list helps diners find restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine, price or name. Many participating restaurants are located near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes Convention Center, and the main convention hotels. We highly encourage that you make reservations in advance. Reservations for many participating restaurants can be made online via OpenTable.com or by calling restaurants directly.
If your event falls in March or August, make sure your attendees take advantage of this most anticipated culinary experience!
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