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Relive PCMA Convening Leaders in Boston! Watch our Slideshow


The Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2014 that took place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston January 12-15 was a tremendous success. With over 4,000 attendees for the first time, it had the highest attendance of any event in its history!

Relive the best moments of the conference or see what you missed by watching our slideshow!

The event kicked off with a spectacular opening reception held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which featured three levels of entertainment including an ice figure skating show, dance performances, and the world famous Earth Harp. Other highlights included the opening general session where the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts took the stage and the networking reception at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which featured outstanding live music, over 35 food vendors serving local specialties and 30 pushcarts offering Boston souvenirs.

Watch the slideshow (adjust slideshow speed using the top navigation):

Created with flickr slideshow.

PCMA’s Convening Leaders Achieves Record-breaking Attendance in Boston!


From January 12-15, more than four thousand attendees flocked to the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2014 annual meeting at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, making it the highest attended event in the organization’s history!

A total of 4,072 meeting professionals attended the conference. This year broke the two previous years’ records held by Orlando and San Diego, which both had 3,751 attendees.

Beside the onsite attendees, there were also close to 1,000 registered for PCMA’s digital hybrid event, which featured 21 hours of streamed content.

This year’s conference in Boston had the highest attendance of any event in its history! The conference carried the themes “Revolution” and “What Happens in Boston Changes the World” because of the city’s track-record of making history being home to innovators and revolutionary thinkers.

The event kicked off with a spectacular opening reception held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, which featured three levels of entertainment including an ice figure skating show on the lower level, dance performances on the second level, and on the third level, the world famous Earth Harp that received a standing ovation on America’s Got Talent. Attendees were also delighted by the classic and innovative New England cuisine offered by our chefs from Levy Restaurants. They experienced a convention center as they have never seen one before with new sights, sounds, tastes and technologies.

Other highlights were the opening general session where the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts took the stage and the last networking reception at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which featured outstanding live music and over 35 food vendors serving everything from clam chowder and lobster rolls to sushi and gelato. Attendees were also able to shop from over 30 pushcarts and experience the legendary Cheers and its authentic replica of the TV show set.

Boston makes the perfect setting for your conferences! Visit the Record Breakers page of our website and find out what other organizations have achieved record-breaking attendance when they held their events at a Boston convention center.

Stay tuned for more photos of the conference to relive it!

 PCMA Convening Leaders 2014 Boston
 Entrance of the Hynes Convention Center
 Earth Harp
 Earth Harp at the opening reception at the BCEC
 PCMA Convening Leaders 2014 Boston BCEC
 Ice figure skating show at the opening ceremony
 Deval Patrick at PCMA Convening Leaders 2014
 Governor Patrick speaking at the general session


An Expanded Management Team to Make Your Boston Events Even More Successful!

We want your Boston event to be as successful as it can possibly be! That’s why the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has expanded your event team of experts to include a Venue Products Manager (VPM) that will be your guide to the MCCA’s integrated portfolio of industry-leading products and services.

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

Your new Venue Product Manager will work collaboratively with your current Event Manager, who will remain your dedicated primary event partner, working with you to ensure flawless execution of every detail and overall event success. Your Event Manager will continue to oversee the logistics for securing traditional building related event services such as electrical, phone and internet for you.

The role of Venue Products Manager is an industry first. Your VPM will assist you with specific products, services and capabilities including digital displays, security and transportation services. Your assigned VPM will introduce you to our product palette so you won’t have to deal with multiple service departments.

“It’s our commitment to put the client at the center of everything we do.  This starts with our existing team of Event Managers but we wanted a new approach to how event relationships are managed in Boston, “said James E Rooney, Executive Director of the MCCA. “We are constantly seeking to improve the way we partner with our clients and the creation of Venue Product Managers is one solution. Dealing with multiple service departments and vendors can be complicated for meeting planners, and the creation of this focused position was our way of creating a new, integrated approach to delivering our industry-leading products and services.”

This expansion of our event team will make it easier for you to increase your revenue, save money and craft extraordinary events for your audiences.

Visit the Event Management page of our website for more information >>

 describe the image  MCCA transportation
 MCCA Security  BCEC Media Tower

2014 Record Breaking Year for Conventions in Boston!


The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is predicted to break two major records in 2014, hosting events generating more hotel room nights and more economic impact than ever before in the city’s history, according to MCCA Executive Director James E. Rooney. The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.

More than 750,000 attendees at roughly 250 events at the BCEC and Hynes are projected to spend 629,000 nights in hotels and drum up $680 million in economic activity, breaking the 2006 record of 616,000 room nights and the 2012 record of $656 million.

“Breaking these records in 2014 is more proof that Boston has arrived as a premiere convention destination in the world,” said Rooney.

Among the biggest events for next year: the American College of Rheumatology’s November convention with 38,358 room nights, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s April gathering with 35,475 room nights, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans with 33,450 rooms nights.

The year kicks off with a skating rink built at the BCEC for the Prudential US Figure Skating Championships followed by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Jan. 12-15, a group representing more than 6,000 meeting industry leaders and decision makers from around the world. In addition, 2014 marks the debut of two Boston events that will be co-owned by the MCCA—the Culinary Intelligence Summit and the Advanced Audio & Applications Exchange.

Annual events in Boston continue to thrive in 2014, including the amazing gaming conference PAX East, which sold out in November. Other annual events include Yankee Dental Congress, the International Boston Seafood Show, Anime Boston, and New England Grows.

Continuing our effort to attract multicultural conventions, Boston will also see a significant number of diversity-based events in 2014, including Sigma Pi Phi Beat Boule, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Eastern Regional Conference.

International rotating events coming to Boston this year include the World Congress on Biomechanics, The World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Telecommunications and the International Society for Computational Biology. These knowledge-based events bring thought leaders and scientists from around the world in Boston.

“The record 2014 for hotel room nights in Boston and all of our other robust activity points to the growing need to expand our capacity in the meetings and convention industry and secure our future role.“ said Michelle A. Shell, chair of the MCCA Board of Directors. “With the hopeful passage of legislation next year to expand the BCEC and the push to build more hotel space around the BCEC, we are on firm ground to break even more records in the coming years.”

Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansion Plan page of our website.

Boston Skyline

Concerned about Potential Identity Theft at Boston Convention Centers?


Earlier this month, it was reported that attendees from two fall conventions held in Boston—The American Public Health Association and the American Society of Human Genetics--were victims of credit card fraud.

Last week, it was confirmed by law enforcement officials that the thefts did not take place in any of our convention centers—the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.

We were distressed to hear just how many attendees were impacted by these thefts, and expressed how deeply sorry we were that guests of Boston fell victim to this crime while they were in town for a convention at one of our facilities. We also learned that some of our own employees were also victims.

The thefts occurred at a local restaurant chain: The Briar Group. The group confirmed last Friday that its computer systems were breached, putting the credit card information of thousands of customers at risk. The Briar Group owns 10 restaurants and bars in Boston, including two at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel connected to the BCEC. The group has installed additional security to its systems since late November and company officials believe that they have closed the entry point that thieves used to access the data. It remains unclear who engineered the theft. Boston Police and U.S. Secret Services are still investigating.

Though the credit card thefts occurred outside of our buildings and outside of our control, we would like to assure our future clients and attendees that when they do business with our convention centers, their personal information is guarded by the most state-of-the-art security systems available and that our staff follows strict internal control when it comes to performing financial transactions.

Even though our systems have not been compromised, this data theft has heightened awareness about the risks to customer information. The convention centers will hire a contractor to review its security systems, since it accepts credit cards at its food and parking facilities.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your future visit to our convention centers or contact The Briar Group if you think your credit card data may have been stolen.


The Two New BCEC Hotels Break Ground!


Last week, officials from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), CV Properties and Starwood Hotels joined Mayor Thomas Menino and Mayor‐elect Marty Walsh for a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of a 330‐room Aloft Hotel and a 180‐room extended stay Element Hotel on D Street in the South Boston Waterfront, directly across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).

“When we made the decision to enter the international meetings and convention industry with a state‐of‐the‐art facility back in the 90s, we knew Boston would shine,” Mayor Menino said. “Today, the BCEC and the work of Jim Rooney have helped put Boston on the global stage. With the groundbreaking for these two new hotels, and the convention center’s future expansion, the sky truly is the limit."

These two new hotels will provide a lower‐priced alternative to the existing hotels near the BCEC, which are all higher‐priced “four‐star” hotels. They will combine a total of 510 rooms and are expected to open in 2015.

“These hotels will provide much‐needed mid‐priced hotel rooms not only to the South Boston Waterfront but to Boston as a whole,” said James Rooney, MCCA Executive Director. “This is the first of several groundbreakings we hope take place as we push Boston and Massachusetts towards being among the top meeting and convention destinations in the world.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Starwood Hotels and Ares Management to create an exciting new destination for travelers to Boston. This further strengthens our commitment to the Innovation District and the South Boston community,” said Richard Galvin, President of CV Properties.

“Starwood has a long and successful history in Boston and we’re excited to build upon that foundation to welcome guests to this emerging and vibrant community,” stated Allison Reid, Senior Vice President, Starwood Hotels North America Development. “Given their dynamic positioning and global appeal, the Aloft and Element brands are especially well suited for Boston and the Innovation District.”

With the expansion of both the BCEC and the hotel inventory, Boston is on its way to be in the top 5 convention destinations in the U.S.! Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansion Plan page of our website. Learn about more new hotels and hotel renovations by visiting the Hotels section of our blog.

Element Hotel Boston
  Renderings of Aloft (left) and Element (right)

Aloft Hotel Boston
  Rendering of Aloft Streetscape

Element Hotel Boston
  Rendering of Element Streetscape

New Exciting Hotels Coming On-line in Boston!


There are nearly two dozen new hotel projects planned in greater Boston, some recently opened, some soon to break ground, others still in the planning stages. They are a mixture of chain hotels, boutique properties, and extended-stay facilities. More than half the rooms are planned for the South Boston Waterfront District near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. There is potential for approximately 2,700 new hotel rooms in the next 3-4 years.

Among them, the Envoy Hotel and the Godfrey Hotel Boston will be two great options for your Boston conventions!

New Hampshire developer Norwich Partners broke ground last month on the $42 million Envoy Hotel. The 100,000 square foot property is to be built at 66 Sleeper Street in Boston Seaport District. It will feature 136 guest rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a rooftop terrace with bar and lounge overlooking the Boston Harbor, and a pedestrian plaza linking the property to the Boston Harborwalk. The hotel, designed by Boston architects Group One Partners and ADD Inc, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015. It will be a member of Marriott's Autograph Collection.

Located in Downtown Crossing at 505 Washington Street, just blocks from Boston Common, the Hotel Godfrey Boston will be a destination boutique hotel that appeals to leisure, business, and convention travelers. With 238 rooms and suites, a full service restaurant, a coffee shop and a sophisticated design, Boston's newest lifestyle hotel is sure to make guests feel welcome. In fact, the name Godfrey means "Peace and Welcome". Find out more by visiting its sister hotel, The Godfrey Hotel Chicago. The Godfrey Hotel Boston is scheduled to open in early spring 2015.  

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 our website and our blog. You will also find a very handy interactive map that shows where Boston’s convention centers, hotels and venues are located. And stay tuned for more on hotel development in Boston!

Godfrey Hotel Boston
  Godfrey Hotel Boston (rendering)

Envoy Hotel Boston
  Envoy Hotel Boston (rendering)

Sneak Peek at Convening Leaders 2014 in Boston. Watch a video!

It’s not too late to register for PCMA Convening Leaders 2014 taking place January 12-15, 2014 in Boston!

Join a new breed of meeting professionals! Leaders will gather together in Boston to transform our industry, our work, our lives. The PCMA team will ignite passion, alter perspective and revolutionize the world of meetings and events. The revolution will not wait. The revolution starts now. Register now for the conference >>

Need practical information to prepare your trip? Check out the Plan Your Trip section of our PCMA Boston website and don’t forget to sign up for our Boston tours and customized site visits. Another way to discover Boston is to participate in our scavenger hunt and win prizes. Stay tuned! Get the latest buzz about Boston and the conference by reading our blog and following us on Twitter.


Perfecting our Boston Convention Centers!


Our troops rallied this past summer to launch an offensive approach on the scrapes, dings and bumps that come from the busy business we do at our two Boston convention centers!

For the last several years, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has organized a unique event called the Inspection For Perfection, asking volunteer employees to don casual wear, form teams, and do detailed physical inspections of both the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.

From bathrooms to mammoth exhibit halls, these mixed teams of volunteers take two half-days to inspect the BCEC and the Hynes for any necessary repairs or replacements, and report them for future fixes. The annual event is geared to both connect employees across the organization and make our Boston convention centers the best they can be.

The detailed inspection is made easier by an in-house app created by the MCCA’s IT Department, which allows teams to record needed repairs on iPads, take pictures, and prioritize their findings. The results are automatically sent to the MCCA’s Maintenance Department, and the work towards perfection begins.

The site inspection ends with a luncheon and awards for such things as most defects found or the strangest repair reported. Most of all, it familiarizes all staff with the nooks and crannies of our facilities, and a fuller sense of what goes into maintaining and running them.

In Boston, we pride ourselves on the look and feel of our facilities, along with their state-of-the-art technological backbone. Programs like the MCCA’s Inspection For Perfection allow us to provide a superior event’s experience, while also building a stronger organization. Visit our website to find out more about our two convention centers >>

Inspection for Perfection MCCA  Inspection for Perfection MCCA
 Inspection for Perfection MCCA  Inspection for Perfection MCCA

The Head of the Boston Convention Centers Receives a Prestigious Award!


Last month, James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), was honored by the Massachusetts Building Congress (MBC) and received the group’s Skyline Award for Outstanding Achievement.

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

The Massachusetts Building Congress Outstanding Achievement Award has been presented only six times in the organization's 93‐year history! This award is given only by unanimous approval of the Board of Directors and officers of the MBC, and only when an individual in the industry achieves extraordinary lifetime success.

“Our membership spans many ages, backgrounds and disciplines, and it is a tribute to Jim that his contributions are so widely known and appreciated across the entire MBC community and its member companies,” said Ben Goldfarb, MBC president. “In Jim’s career, he has proven that there is power in collaboration: on the team leading the construction of the BCEC, in his civic pursuits, and in his leadership at MCCA.”

Rooney previously served as director of development and construction for the MCCA, overseeing construction of the $850 million BCEC and the renovation and expansion of the $71 million MassMutual Center. The BCEC project was later hailed as one of the best‐run public works projects in the country, and both projects were completed on schedule and within budget. He and his team are currently planning the construction of several hotels near the BCEC as well as the possible expansion of the convention center.

“When we build something, especially in state government, we strive to create a structure that is focused on benefiting one and all,” said Rooney. “I am humbled by the MBC award and will always remain aware that, as we move forward with our future projects, we strive to make them give back even more.”

The MCCA is currently in the midst of its Top 5 campaign to launch Boston into the top five convention destinations in North America! Find out more about the Top 5 campaign and the BCEC expansion plans >>

Jim Rooney Award

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