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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spring has arrived! Trees are starting to bloom, birds are on the wing, and we are excited to spend more time outdoors and explore fun cultural activities. Springtime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get better! The city is alive and there is so much to do in and around Boston. Here are the 12 largest attractions in Massachusetts according to the Boston Business Journal:

1) Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Located in Downtown Boston, steps away from the waterfront, Faneuil’s Hall Marketplace’s roots date back to 1742. The marketplace is actually four places in one location all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. Over 40 food vendors serve local specialties in the marketplace and you can enjoy the nearby restaurants or shop for Boston souvenirs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Stay put for Part 2 and visit the Boston Attractions section of our website for more information.

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


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.


Find the Best International Venues on the Global Alliance’s New Website!

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 >>


The PCMA Boston Website is Live!


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


7 Free Things to Do Around Boston (Part 2)


This is the second part of our free and exciting things to do in Boston post! There is no shortage of things to see and do in the Boston area, even for those of your attendees on a tight budget. Click here if you missed the first part >>

Gaze at the Stars
Pick out your favorite constellation at the Coit Observatory at Boston University, which offers free stargazing Wednesdays after 7:30 p.m. during the fall and winter and 8:30 p.m. during the spring and summer. Observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars and learn some astronomy.

Taste our local beer
Sam Adams Brewery offers tours of the Jamaica Plain facility with discussion of how founder Jim Koch brews the beer. Tours and tastings are Monday through Saturday starting every half hour. Similarly, Harpoon Brewery hosts tastings every weekday at 4 p.m., with additional tastings on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Enjoy Fine Arts
As part of Free Community Days, the Museum of Fine Arts offers days of free admission. The collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. Check the museum's calendar. Meanwhile, girls named Isabella get in free at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the museum also offers free birthday admission!

Tour the State House
Explore the magnificent Massachusetts State House and its golden dome. It’s a beautiful building on the inside with Italian marble and lots of paintings and antique furniture and it’s located in the historical Beacon Hill area. Tours last 45 minutes and include an overview of the history and architecture. Visitors can see the House and Senate Chambers, learn about the “Ladybug” and the “Sacred Cod". The tours are given weekdays and year-round.

Visit an art gallery
Last week, paintings by Rolling Stone guitarist and artist Ronnie Wood hang on the walls at Newbury Fine Arts on Newbury Street during an opening gallery reception. More than 15 art galleries showcasing a unique assemblage of contemporary artists line either side of Newbury Street. Also enjoy the hundreds of shops and restaurants that make the street a popular destination for tourists and locals.

Enjoy Modern Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art not only has a great unconventional art collection but is also very interesting for its architecture. The museum is all glass and sharp angles, a stark departure from the city’s presiding aesthetic. The rear of the museum is a cantilevered glass expanse that hovers over Boston Harbor. The museum is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Please your ears
Listen to jazz and rock performed by Berklee College of Music’s seniors in the Red Room at Café 939. Berklee is one of the most prestigious school of music in the world. Or if you have a more classical taste, go to the Boston Landmarks Orchestra for a classical performance.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston
 Isabella Stewart Gartner Museum
Massachusetts State House
 Massachusetts State House
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
 Institute of Contempory Art
Samuel Adams Brewery
 Samuel Adams Brewery
Boston Museum of Fine Art
 Museum of Fine Arts
Cafe 939 at Berklee
 Cafe 939 at Berklee

7 Free Things to Do Around Boston (Part 1)


Your attendees will never be bored in Boston. There are so many things to see and do in Boston and its surroundings, even for those on a tight budget! Check out the following free attractions and stay put for more.

Climb Bunker Hill Monument
Climb the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for unparalleled views of the Boston skyline. The Bunker Hill Monument was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. The 221 foot (67 m) granite obelisk erected between 1827 and 1843 in Charleston.

Soak up the energy of Harvard Square
Harvard Square is not only home to the esteemed Harvard University, but also to more than 300 registered street performers. Also check out the Author Event Series, lectures, and signings at the Harvard Book Store.

Walk along the Freedom Trail
Get a real taste of history by taking a self-guided tour along all or part of the 2.5 mile trail. Just follow the red-brick or red-painted line from the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common and enjoy the 16 historic stops along the way, including Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere's house, and the Old North Church.

Blink! At Faneuil Hall
Blink! featuring the music of the Holiday Pops, is a state-of-the-art light and sound extravaganza that has transformed every inch of America's first open marketplace. This magical new tradition uses over 350,000 LED lights to illuminate Boston’s skyline. This is a summer event only.

Tour the USS Constitution
The USS Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," cruises Boston Harbor. Take a tour of the Navy yard, exhibit hall, and oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

Work out on the Esplanade
Take a sunset yoga class, a zumba class or join the run club on the Esplanade. If walking is your exercise then join a power walk through the beautiful park. The Esplanade extends for three miles along the Boston shore of the Charles River. This program is only offered in the summer.

Take a stroll along the Harbor
The Boston Harborwalk is a broad public walkway that has been highlighted by cafes, artwork, parks, museums and water taxis. You can take a self-guided tour of any part of the 40-mile path, which stretches from Charlestown to South Boston, by downloading an audio guide onto your MP3 player.

 Bunker Hill Monument

 Fauneuil Hall

 The Esplanade  The Harbor Walk
 The Freedom Trail  USS Constitution

The Organizer Angle: Why Wi-Fi is so Important for Your Show


Technology is a key component of nearly every event. Show organizers are adopting a variety of cloud computing and online applications for registration, email marketing, exhibition floor plan management and even conference administration services. Exhibitors rely on the latest in lead generation tools and messaging. Attendees today are logging in to event websites to watch real-time recordings of sessions and to participate in online discussions related to the conference. The common denominator? The Internet.

With our reliance on the web for so many services, it’s not a surprise that convention centers continue to investing in their technology infrastructure, especially when it comes to wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi availability in common areas has become standard practice at meetings facilities, with meeting rooms and exhibit booths needing to rely on hardwired connections to ensure sufficient bandwidth to remain connected to servers and the Internet. Whenever video comes into play, connecting with a high speed link is a requirement.

But can venues actually keep up with attendees additional needs for bandwidth? During your venue selection process, ask your venue contacts about Wi-Fi availability, associated costs, the number of access points, and restrictions. Attendees and exhibitors come into buildings with smartphones, tablets and notebook computers and expect reliable connectivity to carry on with their business.

In Boston, we know that these attendees and exhibitors expect convention centers to be an extension of their office, so we’ve invested significantly to improve bandwidth for both wireless and hardwired connections. The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center are among the most technologically advanced centers in the world and were the first in the industry to offer visitors free Wi-Fi throughout both facilities for maximum connectivity – lobbies, meeting rooms and everywhere in the exhibition halls. With over 175 wireless access points through our facilities, we are committed to keeping you online wherever your attendees need to work!

Bill Sell is Director of Event Development for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. He is a longtime trade show organizer of events in the U.S. and internationally.


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