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.
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
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Boston Pubilc Library
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.
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's Children Museum
USS Constitution Museum
Salem Witch Museum
Franklin Park Zoo
Old North Foundation and Historical Church Site
Boston Duck Tours
For the ninth installation of “Art on the Marquee,” the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and Boston Cyberarts presented seven works inspired by video game art on the 80-foot-tall multi-screen LED Media Tower outside the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). The artwork was reflective of gaming culture and was played last week during the PAX East gaming convention.
The MCCA owns and operates the two Boston convention centers--the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center.
Massachusetts is one of the largest digital gaming clusters in the U.S. with more than 75 digital game companies employing more than 4,000 people statewide. Every year, thousands of gamers convene at the BCEC for PAX East, one of the world’s largest gaming conventions in the world. “Art on the Marque” provides artists with more than 3,000 square feet of digital display on seven screens, providing full-motion video to more than 100,000 pedestrians and motorists. It’s a great opportunity for a growing number of local artists working in new media.
Boston offers your exhibitors and sponsors the most sophisticated event marketing opportunities in the nation! In addition to the impressive 80-foot-tall Media Tower, the BCEC offers a 159’ x 12’ Video Wall and plasma monitors including new LED displays. Contact our Venue Product Managers for assistance with your show’s digital displays.
Chris Florio and Helen Weatherall: "LARP" from MCCA Digital Media Production on Vimeo.
The fifth annual PAX East Expo is kicking off this Friday. The show will bring together over 80,000 attendees of video game fans and professionals. It will take place at the Boston Convention & Exhibitor Center (BCEC) April 11-13 and will attract a crowd of video game enthusiasts from around the globe. Watch our 2 minute video for a preview of what to expect.
In addition to exhibits displaying the latest from top game publishers and developers, PAX will offer tournaments, free play areas, concerts, panel discussions, educational seminars for game developers, and a weekend long Omegathon event.
Our Boston convention centers are equipped to accommodate events with extensive mobile technology requirements to a degree not typically found in convention centers. With a 10 gigabit fiber network and the ability to increase and decrease the bandwidth in real time according to the show’s usage, the BCEC offers the best capabilities for these type of technology requirements.
“The attendees hit the network hard with all kinds of wireless devices and use them heavily streaming videos and playing games that require online interaction,” said Steve Snyder, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)’s chief technology officer. “The exhibitors also demand a higher than usual amount of data to run their products and we have always been able to increase bandwidth in real time and meet their demands.”
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
“There is also the issue of rogue activity, which is why we monitor the social media networks attendees utilize to get in front of issues” added Snyder. “The MCCA recently implemented a wireless policy designed to mitigate the impact of rogue wireless access points. As they are found they are shut down to ensure the best service to all users of the wireless systems.”
Our Boston convention centers led the industry and were the first convention centers to offer free Wi-Fi in 2005. Since then, we have remained at the forefront of technology and are currently in the process of a 2.5 million upgrade of our entire wireless network. Our goal is to maintain most technologically advanced convention centers in the world and exceed the demand of our clients.
Find out more about how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
PAX East Expo 2013 at the BCEC
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)’s Digital Media Team took away top honors last week during Expo’s Digital Excellence Awards in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the power and future of digital media and is aimed at educating event planners about new and innovative strategies that used digital displays.
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
The MCCA’s Digital Media Team won for Best CVB/location‐based digital marketing campaign. The team oversees, manages and creates content and programming for the BCEC’s 80‐ foot tall, three‐sided digital Media Tower with full‐motion HD video, the 160‐foot wide, 12‐foot‐tall full‐motion HD Video Wall, and plasma networks at both the BCEC and Hynes featuring more than 50 displays. The team is the responsible for display programming, operations, customer support, content creation, and successful execution of these events.
The Digital Media Team also helps run the MCCA’s much‐praised “Art on the Marquee” program along with Boston Cyberarts, allowing professional and student artists to show unique digital art on the Media Tower at the BCEC.
“I have long said that Boston offers the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world, and this latest award for our Digital Media Team is further proof that the work we do is among the most sophisticated and advanced in the industry,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive director. “Congratulations to our team and the amazing work they do and will continue to do.”
Contact our Venue Product Manager for assistance with your digital displays in Boston and find out how Boston conventions are leading with technology by visiting the technology section of our website >>
BCEC Video Wall
BCEC Media Tower
Spring has arrived! Trees are starting to bloom, birds are on the wing, and we are excited to spend more time outdoors and explore fun cultural activities. Springtime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get better! The city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston. Here are the 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal:
1) Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located in Downtown Boston, steps away from the waterfront, Faneuil’s Hall Marketplace’s roots date back to 1742. The marketplace is actually four places in one location all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. Over 40 food vendors serve local specialties in the marketplace and you can enjoy the nearby restaurants or shop for Boston souvenirs. faneuilhallmarketplace.com
2) The Freedom Trail
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. The red brick line connects the sites on the Trail and serves as a guide. thefreedomtrail.org
3) New England Aquarium
The 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank is the centerpiece of the Aquarium. Enjoy sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, seals, seadragons, giant octopuses, moon jellies, and much more. In addition to the main aquarium building, go on a whale watch cruise or enjoy a 3D movie at the IMAX theater. Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. neaq.org
4) Minute Man National Historical Park
Travel back in time! At Minute Man National Historical Park, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are brought to life through the preservation, restoration and interpretation of significant sites from April 19, 1775, when Colonists took up arms in defense of liberty and touched off the American Revolution. Along a five-mile trail, retrace the steps of the British through a restored colonial landscape and stop for a drink at the 18th century Hartwell Tavern. nps.gov
5) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. It welcomes more than one million visitors each year to experience art from ancient Egyptian to contemporary, special exhibitions, and innovative educational programs. The museum is affiliated with an art academy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and a sister museum, the Nagoya Museum of Fine Arts in Japan. mfa.org
6) Cheers Boston
Cheers to you! Cheers Boston is the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers with two Boston locations. The first one is the pub known internationally as the exterior of the bar and is on Beacon Hill, one of the most historical and beautiful neighborhood in Boston. The second pub is at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and was built with a replica of the TV show set. The NBC television sitcom ran from 1982 to 1993. cheersboston.com
Stay put for Part 2 and visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information.
The Freedom Trail
The Museum of Fine Art
Minute Man National Historical Park
Seafood Expo North America, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) from March 16-18, is the largest seafood trade event in North America. The event attracts over 19,000 buyers and suppliers of seafood products, services and processing equipment. Attendees travel from more than 100 countries to do business at the exposition.
Diversified Communications, the show producer, has announced that this year’s edition set records by being the largest in the show’s existence. For its 33rd edition, the event spanned more than 197,000 net square feet, breaking last year’s exhibit space record of 185,780 net square feet. More than 1,090 exhibiting companies, an increase of more than 80 companies over last year, came from 47 countries to showcase their seafood products.
The show also offered special events including culinary demonstrations by industry experts and top chefs and the 8th Annual Oyster Shucking competition, which brought together 14 contestants competing to earn the title as the fastest shucker on the East coast. The winner opened a dozen oysters in 1 minute and 21 seconds!
“For over three decades, the exposition has lured thousands of seafood buyers and suppliers from around the world to meet face to face, do business, and make connections in Boston,” says Liz Plizga, Show Director for Diversified Communications. “Seafood Expo North America is truly an international event. Reports indicate that just over 90 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. This is reflected by this year’s expansion of international exhibitors including companies from Columbia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Maldives, Myanmar, and Portugal.”
The exposition is an international draw for both exhibitors and attendees. You can visit a different country just by walking a few feet down the aisle! Boston is an international hub and Seafood Expo North America is a great indicator of that.
The show was held at the Hynes Convention Center for many years and then eventually expanded to the BCEC. Boston has always attracted numerous international clients and its appeal is only getting stronger. Learn about our international clients and why they come to Boston by visiting the International Meetings section of our website.
The annual Restaurant Week has been rebranded. Dine Out Boston will feature a more flexible pricing and menu structure. Instead of all restaurants offering a prix fixe three-course menu, diners will be able to select from a wide range of options such as multi-course tasting menus and individual plates.
Dine Out Boston, held twice each year in March and August, is an opportunity for Boston residents and visitors to sample prix-fixe menus at some of the city's best restaurants at a price that represents a significant saving. The event will start next week and is scheduled for March 16 to 21 and 23 to 28. It’s a great opportunity for your conference attendees to enjoy the finest restaurants in Boston at discounted prices!
Started in 2001 to boost what was then a budding restaurant scene, the event quickly attracted thousands of customers to dining rooms throughout Boston and surrounding communities. As the dining scene evolved to include different tiers of restaurants, the upscale spots claimed that the single price limited the quality of their product, while the casual joints struggled to craft three-course meals worthy of the price tag. The new improved format offers the 188 participating restaurants three price options for lunch ($15, $20, $25) and dinner ( $28, $33, $38), with no requirements for the number of courses—meaning that a restaurant could potentially serve one plate for $38, or five courses for the same price.
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a detailed list of participating restaurants and their menus on the Dine Out Boston Web site. The list helps diners find restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine, price or name. Many participating restaurants are located near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes Convention Center, and the main convention hotels. We highly encourage that you make reservations in advance. Reservations for many participating restaurants can be made online via OpenTable.com or by calling restaurants directly.
If your event falls in March or August, make sure your attendees take advantage of this most anticipated culinary experience!
Since the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center led the industry and were the first convention centers to offer free wireless in 2005, we made sure we remained at the forefront of technology and have replaced our wireless infrastructure four times. We are currently in the process of a 2.5 million replacement that will be our fifth. Our goal is to stay the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world and exceed the demand of our clients.
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes.
So what makes us stand out from other convention facilities when it comes to providing a wireless infrastructure?
1) We built a 10 gigabit fiber network. The MCCA recently completed building a 10-gigabit dark fiber ring around Boston connecting the BCEC and the Hynes with our Internet colocation hotel (bandwidth provider). This may be the largest dedicated bandwidth capability a convention center in the U.S. owns.
2) Unparalleled flexibility. The ability to dedicate as much bandwidth as needed for an event. The bandwidth can be increased or decreased in real time according to the client’s usage. The MCCA owns the fiber infrastructure so it does not have to wait the usual six weeks for new circuits to be built or pre-order capacity for big events.
3) Full coverage. Free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 throughout our entire facilities, from meeting rooms to loading docks.
4) More access points. The BCEC has currently 113 access points and the Hynes 47. By mid-2015, we will have 700 access points, which will provide the best Wi-Fi service in the industry. With attendees using an average of 2.5 devices, we are moving from a coverage-based methodology to a capacity-based methodology. In other words, we don’t only provide a signal to your mobile device, we provide the appropriate upstream bandwidth.
5) Business to business service. The ability to extend an exhibitor’s business network from its corporate office directly into our facilities. This can be done without building a Virtual Private Network (VPN) into our network.
6) No power outage. Our network infrastructure runs on its own dedicated power supply, which is connected to a backup generator. Additionally, the redundant pathways consisting of multiple fiber entry points into the facilities prevent a single break. Since the BCEC opened in 2004, there has not been one network outage that impacted show performance.
7) High security. The network is monitored continuously for suspicious activity by our Network Operation Center (NOC). Anything unusual is immediately brought to the attention of your MCCA Event Manager. By actively monitoring our networks, we mitigate the need for crisis management.
8) Undisturbed connection. The MCCA implemented a wireless policy designed to mitigate the impact of rogue wireless access points. This policy ensures the best service to all users of the MCCA’s wireless systems. As rogue access points are found, they are shut down.
9) Consistent and adjustable speed. The bandwidth provides the same upload and download speed. It can be increased or decreased on-site and in real time.
10) Perfect cell phone coverage. To prevent poor phone signal and saturation of the local network, we built a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) in our facilities to pick up cell signal and send it out to the carriers over their own fiber.