Signature Boston Blog

Give Your Attendees a Historic Experience on Boston’s Waterfront!

Posted by Claire Dollander on May 7, 2015 12:36:54 PM

When holding your event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) 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! Here are 3 examples of historic venues located on the waterfront with unique event space and scenic views of Boston Harbor:

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
The Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate recently opened its door to the public! It’s dedicated to educate the public about the important role of the Senate in our government. The institute features a full-scale representation of the U.S. Senate Chamber, interactive exhibits, and a reproduction of Senator Kennedy’s Washington D.C. office. This elegant and visionary space combines the soaring history of the U.S. Senate with a modern, sleek design by architect Rafael Vinoly, who also designed the BCEC. The venue can accommodate up to 800 people and offers complimentary shuttle from the Back Bay. Find more information on planning an event at the institute >>

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The JFK Presidential Library and Museum is the nation’s memorial to the 35th President. The museum portrays the life, leadership and legacy of President Kennedy. Visitors can experience JFK’s 1000 days in office though re-mastered films of his iconic speeches, high-definition projections and interactive displays alongside original artifacts. The Kennedys always entertained with warmth, hospitality and grace and that spirit lives on today with their legacy. The venue can accommodate up to 600 guests and offers complimentary shuttle from the Back Bay. Find more information on planning an event at the library >>

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum commemorates Boston’s 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 200 people. Find more information on planning an event at the museum >>

In addition to more event venues, the waterfront offers a growing number of restaurants and has great appeal to conference attendees! The city and ocean views are spectacular and the atmosphere is at the same time peaceful and energetic with a wide range of activities. Watch a short video that will give you a feel for the new and exciting Seaport District and use our Venue Finder to browse our Boston venues. There are over 350 cultural sites in Greater Boston, many with unique facilities that will work great for your event!

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 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

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The JFK Presidential Library and Museum
www.kennedyinstitute.com
The Edward M. Kennedy Institure for the U.S. Senate
Teaparty
 Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
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Topics: Info & Tips, Events, Boston, Entertainment

Boston Logan, Among the Most Stress-free Airports in the Country!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Apr 30, 2015 11:31:00 AM

What causes travelers the most stress? I am sure you have your own idea but here is an interesting study:

According to GroundLink, who surveyed more than 5,000 customers from across the U.S. to determine what causes them the most stress while traveling, being late for a flight was the number one most stressful pre-travel activity followed by getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport.

Of the nation’s airports, New York airports rank as the most stressful according to those surveyed. LaGuardia is the number one stress-inducing airport according to 20 percent of respondents, followed by John F. Kennedy at 17 percent and Newark at 14 percent. Chicago O’Hare comes in as the fourth most stressful airport (8 percent) followed by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (5 percent).

I am not surprised that Boston Logan didn’t make GroundLink’s list as no other major city in the U.S. delivers a faster travel time than Boston between its airport and its convention centers! Using the Silver Line, a free shuttle, you can be at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in 10 minutes and using the Back Bay Logan Express, you can be at the Hynes Convention Center in 15 minutes.

Boston Logan International Airport offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 44 international destinations. Over the past decade, the airport has spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, and self-service kiosks reducing processing time for travelers arriving from foreign destinations among other services.

Find out more about transportation and nonstop service to Boston Logan by visiting the Transportation section of our Signature Boston blog.

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Topics: Transportation

BCEC Introduces its New “Indoor GPS” to Allow for Easy Trade Show Navigation!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Apr 16, 2015 2:41:00 PM

We all know how tiring it can get to look for a booth at a trade show or look for a meeting room at a conference when we don’t know our way around!

We have good news for you! The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) recently launched its new digital navigation system called ActivLocator. It’s a geolocation tool developed by Sherpa Solutions that allows attendees to use turn-by-turn navigation to find their way to a meeting room, exhibit hall, and even specific exhibit booths from anywhere in the facility.

Attendees use a mobile app to access the tool, and once downloaded, the app doesn’t need a cellular or internet connection. See how it looks like in this 40 seconds video taken last month during Seafood Expo North America:

 

“It will be a tremendous value-add for our customers because we will be able to map their entire show floors, booth by booth, and customize information such as shuttle drop-off and pickup locations,” Steve Snyder, CIO and CTO at Massachusetts Convention Center Authorities (MCCA), said in a statement. The system will rely on 270 Bluetooth low-energy beacon transmitters to be installed throughout the center that will be accurate to within six feet of where the user is standing—more accurate than a standard car GPS.

“We have never been reserved about our mission to remain the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world,” MCCA Executive Director James E. Rooney said in the statement. “We are thinking about technology that meeting attendees will be asking for not just in 2015, but five and 10 years from now. Real-time location services are just one of the technology initiatives we are focused on right now to better serve our customers and their attendees.”

The MCCA’s venue-wide indoor navigation system is the first of its kind to be used by a convention center. The MCCA that owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center and the Hynes Convention Center, has led the convention industry with technology ever since it first offered free and reliable Wi-Fi in every area of its facilities. Find out more about our technology by visiting the Technology section of our Signature Boston blog and the Technology section of our Signature Boston website.

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Topics: Technology, Videos

5 Questions with Melody Moore, Signature Boston Sales Manager

Posted by Katie Hauser on Apr 2, 2015 12:15:00 PM

Today we’re featuring one of our Signature Boston Sales Managers, Melody Moore. Originally from New Hampshire, Melody has been a part of the Signature Boston team for four years now. Her sales specialty is booking events that are looking for space at the BCEC and Hynes Convention Center within 18 months, so her customers often have a lot of decisions to make in short time. Melody lives right in the South Boston Waterfront, and she can see the BCEC from her apartment! She was kind enough to take time out of her busy day to share her Signature Boston perspective.

melody

 

With so many options, how do you help a meeting planner find the perfect space for their event?

Many times, it will really come down to date and space availability. Our convention centers are so busy, and my clients are looking for space within 18 months, so I often have to get creative and suggest alternative set-ups (theater rather than banquet, maybe mixed seating or reception style) to help a customer see how his or her event can work in the space we have available. I like that creative side of the sales process: it often produces some very unique sets!

What has been among the most challenging requests from a Hynes Convention Center client, and how did you work to make it happen?

I had a client that envisioned their registration and retail areas in meeting rooms at the Hynes. It was an event that attracted thousands of people, long lines were expected, and we had another event scheduled to be in the building at the same time that may have been impacted, so both our operations and public safety teams had apprehensions. Ultimately, the whole team worked together to come up with a solution that satisfied everyone’s needs – put registration activities inside the exhibit hall! This worked perfectly and our customers, their attendees and staff were happy.

Tell us about one of your favorite BCEC events that you booked. What made it memorable?

I have a few favorites, but one that comes to mind has to be the “Duke University Duke Forward,” event that took place at the BCEC back in November 2014. It was an event that invited 400 Duke Alumni residing in the New England area to come together and celebrate the success of the “Duke Forward” fundraising campaign, as well as to mingle with other alums, current students, and faculty who are making a difference in Durham, NC and around the globe.

How do you personalize events?  

All customers should and want to feel special, that they’re not just another event in a big convention center. I personalize events with the help of our great team here!

For example, at both the BCEC and the Hynes, clients love the fact that our Guest Service Associates can be stationed to greet their attendees and help direct them to their destinations. It is important to clients, with our facilities being so large, that their attendees not be overwhelmed, especially if it’s their first time visiting. Our GSAs do a great job at making the overall experience more flawless for our guests and I often highlight their work on site tours.

I also want to give a shout-out to our Digital Media team. I find that many clients want to know more about how they can welcome attendees and highlight sponsors – especially when it comes to the BCEC’s outdoor Marquee. These structures are definitely an added selling point and a way to bring personalization to events.

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

I would have to say that the most fulfilling aspect of my job is interacting with meeting planners on site visits around the facilities. I love having the opportunity to meet with a client face-to-face, where I can learn more about their program and help them envision it in our building. It’s a great way to showcase how exceptional our facilities are and how remarkable the Signature Boston experience is.  

When the day comes and you find out you got the sale, it makes all the hard work and long hours worthwhile!

 

 

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Topics: Info & Tips

BCEC Offers the Best Wi-Fi of any Convention Center in the World!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Mar 19, 2015 11:09:00 AM

Accommodating some of the world’s largest trade shows requires Internet access capable of handling extraordinary amounts of data traffic from tens of thousands of users. The newest Wi-Fi system that the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) is deploying is set to exceed expectation of the most demanding attendee.

Here are some of the reasons why the BCEC’s latest generation Wi-Fi system is the best in the industry:

The BCEC transitioned from a traditional “coverage based modeling” system to an advanced “dynamic capacity based modeling” where careful calculations were made on the maximum number of people in a specific area, the number Wi-Fi devices they carry, and the type of devices. The system accounts for the usage and number of specific devices. For example, a laptop will routinely transmit large files such as slide show presentations and documents, while phones will more likely transmit pictures and texts. However, there will be vastly more phones than laptops in nearly every crowd scenario. With attendees using an average of 2.5 devices, the BCEC not only provides a signal to their mobile devices, but also provides the appropriate upstream bandwidth.

With a 10 gigabit fiber network and the ability to increase and decrease the bandwidth in real time according to show’s usage, the BCEC is equipped to accommodate events with extensive mobile technology requirements such as PAX East Expo, that brought thousands of video game fans and professionals last week.

The number of wireless access points is increasing from 113 to 580, a 413 percent increase in access points throughout the BCEC!

The BCEC offers a customized Internet access experience. For repeat customers, the BCEC can provide Internet access to attendees based on the network settings and floor plans from the prior year and make quick adjustments to accommodate current Internet usage trends.

Find out more about why the BCEC is the most technologically advanced convention center in the world by visiting the technology section of our Signature Boston blog and the technology section of our Signature Boston website.

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Topics: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Technology

Signature Details a Crowd Pleaser at PAX East 2015

Posted by Rachel Weiss on Mar 11, 2015 1:53:00 PM

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This past weekend was PAX East, the largest gaming convention in the Northeast – where thousands of game enthusiasts and game developers meet at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to discuss and try out the latest and greatest in the video gaming industry. PAX first came to Boston in 2010, starting at the Hynes where it surpassed all attendance expectations requiring a move to the BCEC in 2011, where it is now held annually.When a signature event like PAX East rolls into town, it is all hands on deck to ensure the event is executed to perfection, from our exhibitor and guest service associates to IT (gamers use a lot of data!) to event managers. However, one team that likes to fully embrace the nature of the event and get more and more creative each year is Levy Restaurants, our restaurant services provider. Our team of chefs likes to “best” their work each year by coming up with outrageously different and delicious food offerings – PAX East attendees have come to expect original food selections!  

PAX East doesn’t ask Levy to create signature items; it is just something our chefs happily do each year.  The main focus of the entire Levy team is always to ensure attendees are entirely satisfied with their dining experience at our convention centers, whether that is an elegant dinner or a gigantic ramen burger!

A few themes that seem to appear every year are “bigger is better,” “the messier the better,” and “must contain meat.”  Keeping that in mind, the BCEC chefs created the following items, which were a huge hit at PAX East this year:

Twisted Carnage
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This hearty pretzel was stuffed with steak, cheese, pepper and onions, weighing in at two pounds! With one pound of dough and one pound of meat, this pretzel could fill up even the hungriest of gamers. The name ‘Twisted Carnage’ is a video game reference, and the dish definitely fueled hours of gaming, so there is no doubt this item was made just for PAX East!

Fluffernutter
PAXfluffernutterSmall

This tasty treat was a twist on a local specialty. With attendees coming from all over the country - and even the world - what better way to welcome them to Boston than with a Massachusetts favorite? With marshmallow fluff, Nutella and banana compote, this grilled sandwich was a triple layer concoction. The middle slice of bread has a hole cut out so that the sandwich could be filled to the max with delicious ingredients!

Ramen ‘TuPoBe’ Burger
PAXramentupobeburgerSmall

Keeping in the tradition of the meatier the better, this specialty burger was comprised of three different meats: turkey, pork and beef. If the word TuPoBe reminds you of Kobe, that’s exactly what the chef was thinking when he named it! This Asian-style burger is topped with an Asian slaw, sesame vinaigrette, wonton noodles and wasabi dressing. Instead of a traditional bun, the TuPoBe burger is paired with a ramen bun, made of cooked ramen noodles.

Find out more about our food and beverage services at signatureboston.com, and rest assured that our Chefs are ready to get creative for your attendees at your next Boston event!

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Topics: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Events, Catering & Restaurants

An Easy Ride from Boston Logan International Airport to the Hynes

Posted by Claire Dollander on Feb 26, 2015 2:23:00 PM

The Back Bay Logan Express is a round-trip shuttle from Boston Logan International Airport to the Back Bay neighborhood that drops off and picks up passengers at the Hynes Convention Center. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes and costs just $5!

The Back Bay Logan Express is a new service that was launched in the spring of 2014 and has been well-received by conventioneers as it stops right in front of the Hynes! It stops at two locations in the Back Bay that are both walking distance to most convention hotels in the neighborhood, representing over 5,000 hotel rooms!

Back Bay Logan Express stops at all airport terminals. It’s a fifteen minute drive from the airport to the Back Bay. No other city in the U.S. delivers a faster travel times than Boston between the airport and its convention centers!

Service is seven days a week, running 5:00 am until 9:00 pm from the Back Bay to Logan Airport and from 6:00 am until 10:00 pm from Logan Airport to the Back Bay. The fare is $5.00, payable with a credit or debit card. The services is free for riders with a valid MBTA Charlie Card. All buses are wheelchair accessible. Find more information on the schedule on the Massport website.

Boston Logan International Airport offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 44 international destinations. Over the past decade, the airport has spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. 

Find out more information on transportation and nonstop service to international destinations by visiting the Transportation section of our Signature Boston blog.  

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Topics: Transportation

10 Things to Do in Boston This Winter for Under $25

Posted by Claire Dollander on Feb 19, 2015 1:30:00 PM

The city may be covered under a blanket of white, but there’s still lots of options—indoor and out—to keep conference attendees entertained! From museums and salsa dancing to ice skating and skiing, the Boston area offers a variety of winter attractions for less than $25.

Put Your Head In the Clouds
Visit the Prudential’s Skywalk Observatory for a  360-degree view of the city, 50 floors above Boston’s steets. The cost is $16 for adults, $11 for children, and $13 for students and seniors. The price includes an audio tour and entry into the Dreams of Freedom Museum.

Go Ice Skating
Head over to the Boston Common park to glide across the picturesque Frog Pond. Skate rentals cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Then take a stroll around the park, beautiful in the snow, and look for the renowned Make Way for Ducklings sculpture.

Explore Architecture
The Boston Public Library is a great example of Boston architecture. Take a free tour to soak it all in. You’ll learn about the work of Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson, as well as other famous sculptors and painters. The tour lasts about an hour.

Go Skiing
Enjoy some night skiing after a day at the convention center by heading to Blue Hills, a 30-minute drive from downtown Boston. A weekday lift ticket from 5-9 p.m. will cost you just $25.

Take a Brewery Tour
Samuel Adams offers beer tours and tastings for a suggested donation of $2. Tours depart every 45 minutes and last about an hour. The doors open at 10 a.m. or check out the Morning Mash In Tour on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 9:40 a.m., a unique tour that includes a specialty tasting.

Learn about Boston Sports
Adam Vinatieri may be the kicker for the Indianapolis Colts now, but we still worship the shoes he wore during the Patriots’ first Super Bowl win at The Sports Museum. Located on the fifth and sixth levels of the TD Garden, you can also visit iconic Boston sports memorabilia such as Larry Bird’s locker or the Beanpot trophy. Admission for adults is $12, students and seniors are $6, and kids under 10 are free.

Find Your Zen
Was one of your resolutions for 2015 to try downward dog? Back Bay Yoga Studio offers classes for all levels of yogis. Regular classes are $15, or pay just $10 for 60- and 75-minute classes before 5 p.m. The studio is conveniently located in the heart of downtown, near Boston Common and most convention hotels.

Tour a Chocolate Factory
If you are a chocolate lover, it doesn’t get much better than this. Learn how Taza makes its Mexican-style organic dark chocolate and enjoy samples during a $6 factory tour. Tours last between 45 minutes and one hour.

Take a Salsa Lesson
When it’s cold outside, the Havana Club’s salsa classes offer a fun way to warm up. A $12 admission includes a dance lesson and party afterward. Beginners are welcome and you don’t need to come with a partner, a partner will be assigned to you. The teachers and dancers are great!

Enjoy Art
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world with a collection of nearly 450,000 works of art, from ancient Egyptian to contemporary and special exhibitions. This winter, enjoy portraits of legendary stars by Yousuf Karsh; Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and much more.

Visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more things to see and do in and around Boston!

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 Boston Public Library
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 Salsa Classes at Havana Club
frog-pond  Frog Pond on Boston Common mfasmall-1  Museum of Fine Art, Boston
backbayyogaclub  Back Bay Yoga Studio Samual-Adams  Samuel Adams Brewery
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Topics: Boston, Entertainment

Turn by Turn Navigation Coming to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Posted by Katie Hauser on Feb 4, 2015 5:39:54 PM

 

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Imagine you have ten minutes to kill before your next session, and all you want is a cup of coffee. But, you can’t seem to figure out how to get to the closest coffee stand or how long it will take you to get there. We’ve all been there before! Convention centers are enormous, and if you’re in a rush it can be difficult to find the shortest route to your destination without being totally familiar with the facility.

Well, coming this March to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, you’ll soon have this problem solved right at your fingertips. Signature Boston recently announced the installation of a full-building geolocation service powered by Sherpa Solutions “ActivLocator” technology. Now, planners, exhibitors and attendees will have a digital wayfinding tool available via a smartphone application that guides them turn-by-turn to meeting rooms, through the exhibit hall, shuttle pick up and drop off locations, and of course, to that badly needed cup of coffee!

The system uses Bluetooth low energy beacon transmitters, so you only need to download the app to their mobile device and make sure that your Bluetooth is turned on. Once the app has been downloaded, no cellular or wireless connection is needed to get you where you need to be. And meeting planners, you can work with Signature Boston and Sherpa to map out your entire exhibit hall floor so exhibitors can get easy directions to all of the booths they want to visit most.

Our Signature Boston facilities are the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world. In fact, geolocation services are just one of the technology initiatives we are focused on right now. At the BCEC, we’re also in the midst of a full-building wireless infrastructure overhaul that will increase our complimentary wireless service’s capacity more than twofold, with improved signal strength in every area of the facility.

You can learn more about all of our technology offerings at SignatureBoston.com!

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Topics: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Technology, Events

See Boston From a Different Angle. Watch a Time-lapse Video!

Posted by Claire Dollander on Jan 22, 2015 1:44:25 PM

See Boston from many different angles with this time-lapse video that will give you an upbeat overview of the city! Enjoy a 2-minute journey through Boston including views of the city skyline, Boston Harbor, downtown, the Financial District, the Seaport District featuring our Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the renowned Boston Common, and other stunning landmarks.

The author—Julian Tryba--explains his innovative technique of layer-lapse: “Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein’s relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, any tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.”

Find more videos in the Video section of our blog and on our SignatureBoston.com website homepage. Enjoy!

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Topics: Videos

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