For the fourth year running, the Lonely Planet’s travel experts have scoured the States to help their readers pick the best destinations. Boston was rated as one of the top 10 places in the U.S. that should be on travelers’ radars this year!
Lonely Planet is one of the largest travel guide book publishers in the world with over 100 million books printed in nine different languages. Lonely Planet enables curious travelers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place. It has offices in Melbourne, London and Oakland, with over 450 employees and over 200 authors.
Here is a sample of what Lonely Planet suggests when visiting Boston: “Year-round, the past is very much alive here, follow in America’s revolutionary founders’ footsteps on the Freedom Trail, stopping to imbibe a bit of history at the Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in the USA. Once summer hits, the city’s usual festivities are in full swing: all sorts of festivals abound, beer gardens and restaurant patios overflow, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene keep Bostonians content as the humidity yields to stunning, vibrantly colored autumn. A favorite place to stay is the Omni Parker House, a historic hotel overlooking the Freedom Trail that has employed Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, and accommodated Charles Dickens and JFK.”
Boston is indeed America's most historic and storied city in the U.S. It offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment and sports, which has a huge appeal. It’s also an outstanding destination for your events as it attracts more attendees and provides them with more compelling things to see and do. Boston is easy to access, can accommodate any size event, offers impeccable services and gives you the flexibility to do your event your way!
Find out why Boston is the perfect fit for your event by visiting the Boston section of our website >>
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 >>
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.
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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.
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 Gartner Museum
Massachusetts State House
Institute of Contempory Art
Samuel Adams Brewery
Museum of Fine Arts
Cafe 939 at Berklee
In addition to best destination video, Boston was also recognized for best convention center mobile app by PCMA Convene!
In their current August issue, PCMA Convene presents their 2013 “Best in Show” winners. These are the 50 best things happening in meetings and conventions around the world as determined by Convene readers and editors, who were asked to nominate their favorites in 10 categories. Our myBCEC mobile app won the award in the Best Venue Initiative category. Find out what meeting professionals have to say about our myBCEC app >>
Both the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Cente offer a mobile app: myBCEC and myHynes. Your attendees can easily navigate their way through the convention centers and find nearby hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and other services in Boston. The apps provide real-time travel alerts, airport departure gate information, MBTA map, as well as directions and parking options to either the Hynes or the BCEC. These apps provide attendees with essential building information and phone numbers, a lost and found listing, suggestion walking routes, as well as break and dining options.
Both myHynes and myBCEC are compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, and Android, and can be customized for your event with session schedules, social media, event details, and interactive floor maps. Additionally, they can be useful promotional tools for your exhibitors, as they can be set up for in-app advertising, exhibitor pages, and sponsorships. Exhibitors can also find information on accessibility, green meetings, technology services, and public safety for each building.
Interested in seeing how our apps work? Watch a demo >>
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.