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 (rendering)
Envoy Hotel Boston (rendering)
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.
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 >>
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 >>
Congratulations! You’ve found the perfect event venue!
But wait... Can the facility’s technology infrastructure and capabilities support your event?
Connectivity is no longer a value-added service, but an expectation and necessity for exhibitors, presenters, and attendees. Make sure a venue can support your technology needs by asking these key questions:
What is your Wi-Fi capacity? If you know your expected attendance this should be easy, right? Not so fast. The important number is not how many people the network can support, but how many devices. In Boston, our IT team calculated the average attendee carries 2.5 Internet-ready devices! Which means, if you’re counting people instead of devices you may be grossly underestimating your bandwidth needs. For an accurate estimate, take into account how exhibitors, attendees, and even your own team will be accessing Internet throughout the show.
What IT personnel support do you offer? If you want something done right, do it yourself; if you don’t know how to do it, hire experts! You may be an expert at managing complex event logistics, but convention center networking should be left to the professionals. So, who will support your event’s IT needs? How are they trained and do they have professional certification? Is there an on-site team, or do they use an external vendor? Are there time or access limitations to this support? Make sure you’ll have the help you need when you need it.
What happens when the lights go out? As unlikely as it may seem, asking this question ahead of time can potentially save you headaches and eleventh-hour scrambling later. As an example, in March 2012 an electrical malfunction caused Boston’s entire Back Bay neighborhood—home to the Hynes Convention Center—to go completely dark! But thanks to a backup generator and a redundant network at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes never lost its Wi-Fi and network connections. Whatever it is, make sure your venue has an emergency plan in place… before you need it.
Find out more about how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority IT Team (The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center)
The Global Alliance
is a group of world-class conference and exhibition centers collaborating
to offer a seamless conference and event experience to international associations and event organizers.
The service has been designed to benefit clients organising international events that rotate around the globe by transferring a detailed understanding of a particular congress or event requirements to the next host convention center. Using a series of inter-venue processes, Global Alliance members will take a full de-brief of the event and transfer this knowledge to their associate venue member ready for the next or future event. Members will even attend the event, where appropriate, in order to fully appreciate the on-site requirements ahead of welcoming events to the next venue.
Global Alliance launched its new website this week! Be among the first ones to visit it >>
The alliance comprises our two Boston convention centers, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Centre (Hynes). Both the BCEC and Hynes are Gold Certified by AIPC and provide state-of-the-art technology including free wireless Internet access throughout the facilities.
Global Alliance Chairman, Julie-May Ellingson, says: “Global Alliance aims to minimise the need to brief venue teams about their event needs from scratch, saving time and effort on the part of the organizer and making for an altogether more professional and seamless transfer between venues and countries. Our members know from experience that this personal touch can make all the difference between a good event and a great event; Global Alliance members aspire to delivering excellence throughout all member venues.”
Find out more about Boston’s commitment to attract more international events by visiting the International Meetings section of our website >>
Last week was a big week for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)! The Authority filed legislation in the State House of Representatives that would authorize a massive expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) without the need for new fees or taxes. The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.
The bill authorizes a 1.3 million‐square‐foot expansion of the BCEC increasing its meeting and exhibit space by 60 percent and adding a second, larger ballroom. This expansion would allow the MCCA to attract larger events and host multiple concurrent events. Construction could begin as soon as 2015, with the new exhibit space to open in 2017!
“This legislation is the culmination of a four‐year transparent and public campaign aimed at increasing Boston’s and Massachusetts’ share of the meeting and convention industry,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive director. “Over the past decade, we’ve worked hard to make Massachusetts a major convention market, and with the successful passage of this legislation – which requires no new fees or taxes – we have an opportunity to solidify our leadership.”
“The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is a world‐class convention center set in the heart of one of our City’s most exciting and vibrant neighborhoods,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. “Its expansion will bring thousands of new jobs and strengthen our City’s international reputation as a top destination for meetings and conventions. I look forward to the approval of the expansion’s legislation and the value it will bring to the entire City of Boston.”
Earlier this year, the MCCA selected a team to develop two mid‐priced hotels containing a total of 510 rooms directly across from the BCEC. Groundbreaking is expected later this year or early in 2014, with the opening scheduled for late 2015! The MCCA and the Massachusetts Port Authority have also agreed to work cooperatively to build a second headquarters hotel for the BCEC boasting 1,200 to 1,500 rooms.
The expansion of the BCEC and the increase in hotel room capacity respond to the industry demand for more convention space and date availability in Boston. Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting the Expansoin Plan page of our website.
Boston is excited to get ready to welcome your largest conventions!
How the MCCA Provides Superior Wi-Fi Service for Your Event
This is the second part of our post about best Wi-Fi service! Technology expert Corbin Ball recommends 20 questions to ask your host venue in order to determine if they will be able to provide the proper Wi-Fi environment for your event’s needs.
We asked our MCCA IT Team to answer those 20 questions on behalf of our two facilities, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center (Hynes). The Massachusetts Convention & Center Authority (MCCA) owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes.
Below are the last 10 answers. Click here if you missed the first part >>
11. What is the backup plan in case things go wrong?
The MCCA is fortunate to have two facilities, the BCEC and Hynes, which provide back-up to one another. Each building has a redundant network with SONET connection to a 3rd circuit.
12. How will they deal with any outages?
The MCCA’s network servers are run on their own dedicated power supply, separate of the house power. The MDF, which is the central command for network services, is also connected to a back-up generator. An example of our back-up system’s reliability occurred in March 2012 when an electrical malfunction caused Boston’s entire Back Bay neighborhood—home to the Hynes Convention Center—to go completely dark. Due to the backup generator at the Hynes and a redundant network at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes never lost its Wi-Fi and network connections.
13. Where are the access points?
Opened in 2004, the BCEC was built for Wi-Fi coverage with 113 active access points and 7 additional monitoring points spread throughout the facility. As part of the recent updates to the Hynes Convention Center, the building’s coverage was also expanded with 47 active access points and 7-8 monitoring points throughout.
14. Is the Wi-Fi coverage consistent in all areas or are there weak areas of connectivity?
Wi-Fi coverage is consistent throughout the BCEC and Hynes. Both buildings have ample access points. The MCCA is now focused on increasing the capacity of our Wi-Fi network to accommodate 10,000 devices connected simultaneously.
15. Can you provide hard lines for each of the meeting rooms for speaker needs?
Yes, hard lines are available in the meeting rooms in both the BCEC and Hynes.
16. Can you separate Wi-Fi for rooms or for different groups?
Currently, you cannot separate the Wi-Fi for different groups; however, this is in the plans for future network updates.
17. Can we bring in a tech from an outside AV company as an additional resource?
Yes, the MCCA provides a Guest Network Operations Center (GNOC) for clients to bring in their own technology resources and connect into the MCCA network, though they must provide their own hardware.
18. Will we be allowed to have access to the site prior to our event?
Yes, arrangements can be made to have access to the site prior to your event through your assigned MCCA Event Manager.
19. What type of Wi-Fi security is in place?
The MCCA Wi-Fi network is free and open to the public. The network is monitored continuously for suspicious activity. Anything unusual is immediately brought to the attention of the MCCA Event Manager assigned to your event. Your Event Manager will alert you to any suspicious activity, and should it be necessary, consult with you on a course of action to address the situation.
20. Does the bandwidth provide the same uploading and downloading speed?
Yes. Upload and download speeds are consistent.
Find out more about how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
After a successful event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), exhibitors from the 2013 Orgill Fall Dealer Market donated 11 tractor-trailer loads and 61 tons of products to Habitat for Humanity through the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s (MCCA) Conventions C.A.R.E. program. The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.
The MCCA’s Conventions C.A.R.E. (Community Assistance by Responsible Events) program was established to link convention and trade show exhibitors with local non-profits. Exhibitors save time and the expense of shipping unneeded goods after a show ends, while local non-profits benefit from useful donations. The MCCA and its partners in turn help divert these items from local landfills.
“I can’t imagine an event and a nonprofit organization better suited for one another” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, which owns and operates the BCEC. “This is a record-setting donation for our Conventions C.A.R.E. program. We’re extremely grateful to Orgill and the incredible generosity of their exhibitors.”
After the Orgill event, Habitat volunteers and staff worked a total of 686 cumulative hours over two days loading 230 pallets containing everything from housewares, vanities, tools, shower stalls, and even an 8-foot auger.
“At Orgill, we strongly believe in giving back to the community, and our relationship with Habitat for Humanity continues to strengthen this belief,” said Judy Smith, director of Dealer Market, Orgill Inc. “Our ability to work hand in hand with the local Habitat for Humanity in Boston allows us to impact our host city in a positive way and give back to the surrounding areas.”
Orgill, Inc. provides worldwide distribution and retail services to the home improvement industry and has held its annual Fall Dealer Market in Boston in 2009, 2011, and 2013. This year’s exhibition held August 22-24 at the BCEC, filled the 516,000-square-foot BCEC exhibit hall and brought over 30,000 attendees to Boston.
Find out more about our commitment to give back to the community by visiting the Social Responsibility section of our website.
Orgill and Habitat for Humanity Volunteers
PCMA Convening Leaders will take place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston from January 12-15, 2014. Our PCMA Boston website is live and registration for the conference is now open!
The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is a premier educator and professional resource for the meetings and convention industry. For four days this January, over 3,700 meeting professionals will be exploring Boston.
Our PCMA Boston website has all the practical information attendees need to prepare their trip. Find information on the conference: registration, schedule, services provided at the Hynes, and downloadable attendee guide. Choose your hotel from the Plan Your Trip section that also has information on how to get to Boston and a downloadable map that shows where the convention center and the hotels are located. They are all within walking distance to one another!
Our website also enables you to sign up for tours and customized site visits. We have eight exciting tours for you to choose from! And once you are convinced that Boston is the prefect city for your event, our website makes it easy for you to submit a RFP.
Our News & Media section features press contact information as well as our PCMA Boston blog and twitter feed that give you the latest buzz about Boston and the conference. Check out our blog and follow us on Twitter!
Find out why Boston is the perfect location for PCMA Convening Leaders 2014 by exploring our website.