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10th Anniversary of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center!

  
  
  
This week, The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) marked the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.

Representatives of the state, city, and MCCA gathered in the ballroom of the BCEC to recognize the success of New England’s largest building, now one of the leading convention facilities in North America!

We knew that Boston had what it takes to compete on the global stage and become a top convention destination. To make that happen, the Commonwealth, the City of Boston, and the MCCA came together to build one of the most successful, innovative, and popular convention centers in North America today,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA.

“The BCEC’s accomplishments are an important part of Boston’s success story over the last ten years. Thanks to a strong partnership between the MCCA and the City, Boston has become a world-leading meetings destination that draws global attention to our leadership in in key industries such as medicine, life sciences, technology, finance, and academia,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The BCEC was first conceived in 1997 legislation to meet the growing demand of event planners wishing to bring their events to Boston. Construction on the BCEC began in 1999, and the state-of-the-art convention facility--the most technologically advanced convention center in the world--was completed on time and on budget. The doors of the new BCEC were opened on June 10, 2004.

The BCEC and Boston realized quick success in the meetings and conventions industry. Just two years after opening in 2006, Boston broke into the list of the top 10 meetings and conventions destinations in North America and has stayed there since. In 2007, the BCEC was named Convention Center of the Year. In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013, Boston was named the top U.S. destination for international association meetings by the international Congress and Convention Association. In 2011, the BCEC and the Hynes became the 14th and 15th centers to be awarded gold standard certifications by the International Association of Congress Centers (AIPC), the highest level of certification a convention center can earn in the meetings industry.  Boston is the only city in the world with two gold rated convention centers.

In 2009, to meet the increasing market demand on the BCEC, the MCCA launched the “Top 5” campaign to expand the BCEC and develop more hotel rooms nearby the facility. Today, legislation is being considered to fund the expansion of the BCEC without raising taxes or fees. The MCCA has facilitated the development of two mid-priced hotels next to the BCEC and is working to develop a new headquarters hotel. Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting our website.

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mcca 10thAnniv

Our Boston Convention Centers Receive a Diversity Award!

  
  
  

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) received the 2014 Rosoff Award for External Diversity Initiatives. The Rosoff Awards honor organizations in the Boston business community that are devoted to building an inclusive workplace environment, committed to supporting diversity, and providing mentoring and inclusion programs

The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.

The MCCA is committed to sharing our success with all of the communities in Boston who work with us every day to make the city one of the leading meetings and conventions destinations in the world,” said James E. Rooney, Executive Director of the MCCA. “We thank the Ad Club and the judges for recognizing how we promote diversity in every aspect of the work we do to bring major meetings and conventions to Boston.”

The MCCA received the 2014 Rosoff Award for External Diversity initiatives for promoting diversity through its efforts to draw more diverse events to Boston, its supplier diversity program, and support for diverse nonprofit community organizations. The award also recognizes the Authority’s steps to promote increased minority and women-owned business inclusion in the proposed expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the development of a new headquarters hotel to serve the BCEC.

In recent years, Boston has played host to a number of minority conventions such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the National Urban League, Blacks in Government, the Asian American Journalists Association, and the National Association of Black Journalists. These conferences include some of the most influential leaders in the corporate, foundation, nonprofit, entertainment and political communities and attract speakers such as Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Bill Gates.

This is the second Rosoff Award for the MCCA. The Authority took home the 2008 Rosoff Award for Marketing to a Diverse Audience for its efforts in working with diverse community and government leaders to increase the number of diverse meetings and conventions coming to Boston. Our chief of staff and director of business development, Michael D. Munn, who participated in this effort, was recognized last year as a Tourism Executive of Distinction from the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards, which is the first ever awards ceremony honoring trailblazers in black culture and heritage as an influence on tourism.

We proudly support Boston's diverse population and local businesses through a variety of community-based initiatives. Our vendor contracts require that a percentage of construction and design contracts go to minority and women-owned business enterprises. Find out more about our Community Outreach programs by visiting the Social Responsibility section of our website.

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Renovations Complete at the Boston’s Seaport Hotel

  
  
  

The Seaport Hotel has completed major renovations. All of the Seaport’s 428 guest rooms have been updated with luxurious amenities, adding many new décor, technology and guest preference features that modern business and leisure travelers alike will enjoy. The renovation and upgrades are in line with the Seaport maintaining its commitment as a world-class destination, in a world-class city.

The Seaport’s standards for environmental awareness remain high with all new energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling system and in-room recycling. The new lighting plan is complete with a master on/off switch at the bedside and front door. Each room also now has an edge-lit, 46-inch LED high-definition television. Redesigned bathrooms have added space and include enhanced lighting, walk-in showers in many rooms and fog-free mirrors. Rooms also include laptop-sized safes with interior lighting.

Guest rooms have been modernized with new wall coverings, carpeting and new furniture designed for maximum mobility for work and leisure. The rooms are designed in a classic yet contemporary style and artwork from local artists.  Guests will sleep soundly on the brand-new triple-sheeted pillowtop mattresses, topped with luxurious Frette linens and fluffy pillows. In addition to the luxurious amenities and dazzling city and harbor views, Seaport’s standard room features include complimentary wireless internet access, coffee & tea service and mini-fridges.

The Seaport’s newly expanded and redesigned TAMO Restaurants & Bar features more space, new décor and a new menu. It will continue to be a hotspot for local residents, neighbors and hotel guests alike, delivering a unique culinary approach to Boston’s dining experience.  Chef Robert Tobin has created a new menu reflecting “contemporary cuisine with a Boston accent.” TAMO will offer everything from a quintessential New England lobster roll, to an authentic sushi experience to a playful take on the city’s food truck culture.

“Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure we want your stay at Seaport to be a memorable occasion,” said Jim Carmody, Vice President and General Manager of Seaport Boston Hotel. “This complete guest room renovation and re-creation of TAMO allows our guests to enjoy luxuries and amenities they wouldn’t at home, while feeling exquisitely comfortable in our new, fresh décor. At the same time, guests can be assured they will continue to experience our renowned first-rate and friendly customer service.  This marks our 16th year and we are well poised and ready for our next decade.”

The hotel will continue its on-going sustainability efforts encompassing a variety of initiatives including over 500,000 bees providing the hotel’s restaurants with honey which is used in food & beverage recipes,  the city’s first in-room recycling program, electric vehicle charging stations, complimentary use of bicycles for hotel guests and chemical-free cleaning products.  The Seaport Hotel was named one of “North America’s Five Greenest Hotels” by Fodor’s. 

The Seaport Hotel is located in the waterfront and is walking distance to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Learn more about our Boston hotels and the great free services that we offer when it comes to building your hotel packages by visiting our website and blog. Find a very handy interactive map that shows where Boston’s convention centers, hotels and venues are located. For information on the Seaport Hotel, visit the hotel’s website.

Watch a time lapse video of the Seaport Hotel guest room renovation:

Explore Boston Historic Special Event Venues!

  
  
  

When holding your event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 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!

Tradition runs deep in Boston, which shows in everything from its pride in its colonial past to its devotion to the Red Sox baseball and there is no shortage of group-friendly venues that showcase the city’s unique heritage. Here are 3 examples of Boston historic venues:

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum commemorates its 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 140 people. View a photo gallery showing spaces in different configurations on the museum’s website.

Boston Public Library
With origins that make it the oldest free municipal library in the U.S., the current main building of the Boston Public Library was completed in 1895 by architect Charles Follen McKim, who intended it to be a “palace for the people”. His vision was realized in grand spaces with murals, oak wainscotings, marble fireplaces and beamed ceiling designed after the Doges Palace in Venice. View a photo gallery showing spaces in different configurations on the library’s website.

Fenway Park
History and sports come together at Fenway Park, which has been home to the Boston Red Sox since its opening in 1912. Fenway offers a variety of spaces for groups, including a spacious deck above the famous Green Monster and the left-field wall. The many space choices include luxury suites with plasma screens and indoor and outdoor seating. The venue can accommodate up to 5,000 people. View a photo gallery showing the different spaces and their floor plans on the park’s website.

There are over 350 cultural sites in Greater Boston, many with outstanding facilities that will be ideal for your event. Use our Venue Finder to browse our Boston venues.

bcec and Hynes
  BCEC and Hynes
Boston Tea Party Museum
  Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Public Library
  Boston Pubilc Library
Fenway Park
  Fenway Park


New Shuttle to Logan From the Hynes and 3-2-1 Connect!

  
  
  

The new Logan Express running from the Hynes Convention Center to Boston International Logan Airport was launched this week. It runs every 30 minutes and costs $5 per ride. Conventioneers will greatly appreciate this new service! 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.

The Hynes is the centerpiece of the 3-2-1 Connect complex located in the heart of Back Bay--Boston most historic and central district. THREE convention hotels, TWO shopping galleries and ONE convention center are connected within an all-weather facility. When holding your event at the Hynes, you are connected to the Boston Marriott Copley Place, the Sheraton Boston Hotel and the Westin Copley Place Boston— offering over 3,100 rooms. You are also connected to internationally renowned shopping destinations—the Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Shops at Prudential Center—featuring more than 200 shops, restaurants and visitor amenities.

Your attendees don't have to step outside to go to their hotel rooms or to experience hundreds of great retailers and the city's hottest dining spots. Pedestrian walkways connect all of the properties and the temperature of this climate-controlled facility is always a perfect 72 degrees…even in January!

Watch our 3-2-1 Connect video and find out more about the complex and the Hynes Convention Center by visiting our website or viewing a PowerPoint presentation.

Boston 3-2-1 Connect

Boston 3-2-1 Connect Map

12 Largest Tourist Attractions In and Around Boston (Part 2)

  
  
  
Spring and summertime in Boston for conference attendees—the city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston! This is the second part of our list of 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal. Click here if you missed the first part.

7) Boston Duck Tours
Taking a Boston Duck Tour is a fun way to see highlights of Boston in 80 minutes. The "DUCK" is an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. After seeing the main Boston’s landmarks, the DUCK goes right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you won't get anywhere else!

8) The Old North Foundation and Historical Church Site
Founded in 1722, Christ Church in the City of Boston, known to all as the Old North Church, is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and the most visited historical site. In addition to the Old North Church, the Old North campus also includes the 1713 Clough House, one of Boston’s oldest surviving brick residences, a chapel built in 1918 for Italian immigrants, two adjoining townhouses, courtyards and gardens.

9) Boston Children’s Museum
The Boston Children’s Museum is a private, non-profit, educational institution that offers a collection of more than 50,000 items. Designed for children and families, the exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts. The museum educators also develop programs and activities that address literacy, performing arts, science and math, visual arts, cultures, and health.

10) Franklin Park Zoo
Franklin Park Zoo is a 72-acre site nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park. The zoo opened in 1912. It contains more than 220 species of animals and includes a tropical forest with gorillas and hippopotamus, a giraffe savannah, the Kalahari Kingdom with African lions, and the Outback Trail with kangaroos among others.

11) USS Constitution Museum
USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The ship became known as Old Ironsides during the War of 1812 when it fought the British Frigate. It was restored in 1927.  Today, you can board the ship and visit the museum, which houses the largest collection of USS Constitution-related objects assembled in one location.

12) Salem Witch Museum
Salem Witch Museum presents a dramatic look at one of the most important and tragic events in American history: the Witch Trials of 1692. Visitors experience the drama of history in life-size stage sets, figures, lighting and a stirring narration. Live guides take them through changing interpretations of witches, the truth behind the stereotypes, and witchcraft practice today.

Visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information!

Boston Children%27s Museum
  Boston's Children Museum
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  USS Constitution Museum
salem witch museum
  Salem Witch Museum
franklin park zoo
  Franklin Park Zoo
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  Old North Foundation and Historical Church Site
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  Boston Duck Tours

Game-inspired Art at the BCEC during PAX East. Watch a Video!

  
  
  

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.

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Boston Brings Leading Technology to One of the World’s Largest Video Gaming Conventions!

  
  
  

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 >>

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PAX East 2013 Boston PAX East 2013 Boston
   PAX East Expo 2013 at the BCEC
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A Digital Award for Our Boston Convention Centers!

  
  
  

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 >> 

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 BCEC Video Wall
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  BCEC Media Tower

 

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12 Largest Tourist Attractions In and Around Boston (Part 1)

  
  
  

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.

Boston Freedom Trail
 The Freedom Trail
Cheers Boston
  Cheers Boston
Whale Watching
  Whale Watching
Boston Museum of Fine Art
  The Museum of Fine Art
Faneuil Hall
  Faneuil Hall
Minute Man National Historical Park
  Minute Man National Historical Park

 

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