Yesterday, in a statement from James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), the MCCA extended its sympathies to its neighbors in Boston and to the many victims and their families and offered its gratitude to the first responders, including members of their own public safety team, for their brave and professional response and for the actions they are taking to restore a sense of security.
The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
We are reaching out to update you on how our facilities and our events have been impacted as well as how enhanced security procedures aimed at making our facilities and our customers secure have been implemented.
The Hynes was down the street from Monday’s bombings and was immediately evacuated and closed. It reopened yesterday for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Annual Meeting with 2,200 delegates that started as scheduled, thanks to the remarkable efforts of the Hynes staff and city and state officials. All hotels surrounding the Hynes were open yesterday. The Experimental Biology Annual Meeting is still scheduled to open this Saturday at the BCEC.
Additional security precautions will be taken at both the Hynes and BCEC:
- Access to the Hynes will be limited to the Prudential Center entrance during the time of the investigation.
- Both facilities were swept by K-9 units overnight. These sweeps, already a component of our security protocol, will be conducted more frequently on an unannounced basis in the coming months.
- All employees, contractors, exhibitors and attendees will be asked to properly display their badges at all times.
- All those entering the facilities without a valid ID will be approached regarding their purpose in the facility.
- All visitors entering the Hynes will be subject to bag searches.
- Vehicles entering the loading docks at both facilities will be subject to search.
At the MCCA, our 155 full-time and part-time safety officers are trained to respond to various emergency procedures under the National Incident Management System. Our facilities have 400 digital cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we use Department of Homeland Security freight-screening equipment. We also have a close, working relationship with the Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police, and a host of other state and federal agencies.
“The safety of our facilities and the well-being of our events and our clients are paramount and will remain so. Nothing today or in the future is more important to us” said Rooney. Find out more about our security services and leading-edge technologies by visiting our website >>
For a Trade Show Executive article, “Is the Model Broken,” Danica Tormohlen interviewed the new strategy and product development team of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) to understand what convention centers are doing to change the traditional model. The MCCA owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center.
The model was created during the second half of the 20th century when trade shows expanded dramatically in the U.S. Destinations considered that all the economic impact generated by events was reward enough for building, maintaining and upgrading facilities. It was acceptable for convention centers to operate as loss leaders. Many of these centers were built as economic generators, not net revenue generators.
However, between the economic downturn and a saturation of new buildings, the model was called into question. It has become harder to justify the value and tougher to sustain subsidies and maintain top-notch facilities with slower trade show growth rates.
To address this critical issue, convention centers are looking to maximize their space and increase their revenues. They are getting creative!
That’s where the new strategy and product development team at the MCCA comes into play, to explore new revenue streams.
“The creation of this new team and the work they will do is instrumental to the future of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA executive director. “We also view this effort as a bellwether moment for the meeting and convention industry. For all of us to continue to do the important work we do, we must begin to change the way we operate.”
The team, led by Johanna Storella, started by taking a deeper look at the performance of their current products and services to understand the value to the customer, and to centralize sales and marketing of those services. They are also currently evaluating the event management system that they developed in-house to see how they can sell the software to other convention centers.
The team has developed an evaluation metric to determine if new ideas are a good fit for the MCCA and to analyze the revenue potential. For example, the group is looking at how they might be able to help smaller events with registration, without competing with other registration suppliers that assist with the larger events.
In an effort to better maximize its physical assets, the MCCA repurposed 20,000 square feet of underutilized meeting space at the Hynes and converted it to restaurant space. They are also increasing advertising and sponsorship revenues with plasma monitors, a new HD 159’ x 12’ video wall and a brand new HD 78’ tall media tower, the first one in the convention industry!
The MCCA is also looking at some European convention centers that have been successfully producing their own events. They are considering developing events that don’t compete with existing clients such as Art Basel in Miami, which has grown to become one of the largest international art shows in the world. “I can see the MCCA launching a regional art show,” said Rooney.
Read the entire Trade Show Executive article >>
Find out more about our two Boston convention centers >>
Are you looking for a specific space to accommodate a specific number of people in a specific configuration? A ballroom for 500 people in banquet style or a meeting room for 150 people in classroom style? There is an easy way to find it in just two clicks of a mouse: go on our AdvantageBOSTON.com website and try our new Space Finder!
We have a Space Finder for each of our two Boston convention centers: the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center.
It’s easy to use! Select the type of room, the seating style and the capacity you are looking for (see screenshot 1. below). You will be given a number of options to choose from (screenshot 2.). Click on the option you are interested in and you will find a fact sheet for this space (screenshot 3.). The fact sheet includes: specifications, features, a Room Location diagram that shows where the room is located in the building (screenshot 4.), a Room Configurations PDF document that shows the room in 3 different seating styles (screenshot 5.) and a photo gallery (screenshot 6). You can also access the room fact sheets by clicking on a space directly on the floor plans (screenshot 1.).
All of the information you are looking for is conveniently located in one place! Try the Space Finder now:
BCEC Space Finder >>
Hynes Space Finder >>
Our AdvantageBOSTON.com website showcases Boston’s two convention centers as well as Boston as a world-class convention destination. Our website offers practical information on our convention centers, a calendar of events, a media gallery, industry news, testimonials, floor plans, an easy way to submit your RFP, an interactive map, and more!
At PCMA's annual meeting in Orlando, which featured hundreds of educational sessions and thousands of networking opportunities for meeting planners and show organizers, Boston had a special presence since it was there to announce next year’s location for the conference: Boston!
Participants enjoyed stopping by the Boston Pavilion and meeting with representatives of the Boston Team. They were excited to enter the raffle for a chance to win iPads mini, Bose portable speakers, Kindle Fires, or a free registration and hotel stay to next year’s meeting.
Our theme “What Happens in Boston Changes the World” immediately drew the attention. Attendees were interested to learn that Boston has a history of being home to innovators and revolutionary thinkers and has a long track record of making history—from the beginnings of the American Revolution to the beginnings of the Internet and Facebook.
Over 65 Boston Team members, representing the convention centers, CVB, hotel community, venues, DMCs, transportation providers and more participated in Boston's efforts to get PCMA attendees excited about coming to Boston. The team all wore matching colored shirts, with each person wearing a different Boston first or innovation on the back of their shirt. The color of the shirts changed each day, creating a buzz around which color Boston would wear next.
On Monday, January 14, Boston hosted a cocktail reception at ICEBAR Orlando, the largest permanent ice bar in the world. The party was well-attended and guest enjoyed going in the "ICE" room, sitting on the ice throne, and drinking from ice glasses at a bar made completely of ice.
But the highlight of the meeting was the Boston kick-off luncheon on Wednesday, January 16. Guest were greeted by living statues of historic figures. The beautiful room decor included brightly colored linens, oversized balloons, and beautiful lit cube centerpieces with images of Boston landmarks. The presentation kicked off with a flash mob, with the entire Boston team dancing. That led into a trio of professional tap dancers followed by a video that incorporated interviews with Mayor Tom Menino, Cassius Cash, Keith Lockhart, Doc Rivers, Drew Faust and Governor Deval Patrick. After the video, Jim Rooney, Executive Director of the MCCA, and Pat Moscaritolo, President and CEO of the Greater Boston CVB addressed the crowd from a pair of scissor lifts offering their personal invitation to the audience to come to Boston in 2014. The flash mob concluded what was a colorful and festive presentation.
The entire city of Boston will be ready to welcome you for PCMA Convening Leaders 2014! Check our PCMA Boston blog for updates throughout the year.
Boston Pavillion at PCMA Convene Leaders 2013
Boston Cocktail Reception at ICEBAR
Boston Kick-off Luncheon!
One of our Advantage BOSTON ads won the AdStudy Award! The AdStudy Award is given in recognition of advertising which achieved outstanding readership response
in relation to other ads appearing in the same issue.
The AdStudies measure recall, readership and exposure. They are conducted by Signet Research, Inc., a leading provider of ad measurement, editorial readership and audience profile studies. The Signet AdStudies measure thousands of ads yearly and are valuable resource to the publishing and advertising communities.
For this award, Signet surveyed Trade Show Executive magazine’s subscribers. Their response was used to measure recall and readership of ads that appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine. The Advantage BOSTON ad scored within the top six ads in the issue.
Advantage BOSTON is the brand of the Boston Convention Marketing Center, a one-stop solution for planning successful events in our great city. We are responsible for the sales and marketing of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center and represent your single point of contact for RFP submissions, building hotel packages, and planning convention center, hotel and city site visits.
The Boston Convention Marketing Center received another prestigious marketing award in 2012: The NEDMA (New England Direct Marketing Association) Gold Award for B-to-B Campaign Direct Mail!
Visit our website for more information on our services >>
Because we cater to a mobile industry, it was natural for Advantage BOSTON to optimize its website for mobile devices.
Meeting planners and show organizers do business away from their offices and from their large screen desktop on a regular basis. Recent data from MPI’s Future Watch Survey indicates that 80% of meeting professionals use smartphones and other mobile devices in their job.
To respond to a rapidly increasing mobile traffic, we converted our AdvantageBOSTON.com website to a responsive website that has a new interface for tablets and smart phones, making it a lot easier for mobile users to access the full website content. This intelligent site adapts the user interface to the device it’s viewed on. It reacts to the user’s screen size and automatically adjusts the display.
Its single column format for smaller screens makes it finger friendly and easy to read. There is no need to zoom in! The way we organized the different menus makes it very easy to navigate and the images and graphics resize nicely to fit the different screen sizes.
AdvantageBOSTON.com showcases Boston’s two convention centers--the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center--as well as Boston as a world-class convention destination. Our site offers practical information on our convention centers, a calendar of events, a media gallery, industry news, testimonials, floor plans, a new room finder, an easy way to submit your RFP, and more!
Check out AdvantageBOSTON.com on you tablet and smartphone now!
Many think of Boston as a charming, historic city with a healthy helping of hometown pride. Others may think of it as a city alive with students and world-renowned medical facilities. Any way you experience Boston, there is no denying that it is a popular and accessible international destination!
In 2011, visitors from 65 countries and 25 international events were hosted in our two Boston Convention Centers: The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the Hynes Convention Center. Boston Logan International Airport, which is just a few minutes from both the BCEC and the Hynes, offers nonstop service to 32 international destinations, including Tokyo, Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Madrid, and Lisbon. Logan International Airport services over 125 non-stop international flights daily.
Did you know that Boston…
- Has been ranked since 2009 as a top US destination for international association meetings (1)
- Is the 11th most competitive financial center worldwide (2)
- Ranks #1 as most innovative city out of 325 benchmark cities worldwide (3)
- Ranks 10th in overall competitiveness out of 120 of the world’s major cities based on 31 indicators including economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, global appeal, and social and cultural character (4)
In addition to being an industry hub, Boston is home to 12 beaches, 101 miles of waterfront, 1,500 miles of sidewalk, and 7,000 acres of green space!
Conference attendees enjoy wandering around Beacon Hill to time travel back in history, shopping on Newbury streets in the Back Bay, trying a Cannoli in the North End, or attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. No matter how you slice it, Boston offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment, and sports, which has great appeal to an international audience. Learn about our international clients and why they come to Boston by visiting our website.
(4) Economist Intelligence Unit
Source: 2011 MCCA Survey Data
Source: Boston Logan International Airport
Sources: (1) airport-technology.com (2) bizjournals.com (3) gibsonsothebysrealty.com
Boston is the only city in the U.S. that includes such a complete hotel solution as part of their city’s services.
Planners rave about the unique services the Hotel Relations Team at the Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC) provides when it comes to finding hotel solutions for their events.
“When it comes to hotel services and solutions, Boston is terrific and wonderful. They are responsive, they direct me to the right source, and they are always willing to step in and solve a challenge themselves” said Sally Muravchik from American Federation of Teachers.
Renee Aubin from the Lions Clubs International wrote: "Judy Sheng and her team help us get the most competitive rates and push for additional rooms when we need them. They are so knowledgeable about the hotels and they are able to offer great solutions that cover everything from room blocks to specialized services. They saved us a lot of time!"
In order to get a better understanding of what these services include, I had a conversation with Judy Sheng, Director of Hotel Relations & Services and Phyllis Cheng, Hotel Relations & Services Manager at the BCMC. Here is an overview that I divided into 5 areas:
30,000 Hotel Rooms. One Point of Contact.
Where do you start when you need help with hotels? With over 30,000 hotel rooms in the Greater Boston area, convention customers only need to make one call to the BCMC’s Hotel Relations Team to find answers about any of the hotels.
Assembling a Boston Hotel Package.
What is the best combination of hotels you should use for your convention? Which hotels will your attendees like to stay at for an excellent convention experience? After qualifying a client’s hotel needs, expectations and hot buttons, the Hotel Relations Team will reach out to the appropriate Boston hotels to secure the largest room blocks at the most competitive rates.
You have important concessions which need to be met? The Hotel Relations Team can also secure bids that include responses to your list of concessions. Whether it is complimentary Internet access in guestrooms, suite upgrades, special student rates, or all of the above, the Hotel Relations team will do all the legwork and provide you and your housing provider with a detailed snapshot of Boston’s hotel availability, rate offering, and offered concessions. In addition, a customized map that includes our proposed convention center, participating hotels with their proximity to the center, subway stops and points of interest in the city can also be provided.
Planning a site visit to Boston.
How would you get around to see what you need to see to make an informed decision in the limited time you have? From the moment you arrive in Boston, until your departure, whether it be by plane, train or automobile, the Hotel Relations team will coordinate all of the details of your visit. To ensure that your time spent in Boston is productive, they will work closely with you to produce a customized itinerary which achieves your visit’s objectives. They will also provide you with hotel fact sheets that all have the same format and therefore can very easily be compared (see pictures below).
Completing your Convention Hotel Package.
The Headquarter Hotel is contracted, but what about all the other hotels you will need to house all your attendees? It’s not uncommon for clients to book their events 10 years out and only sign one hotel contract to secure their Headquarter status. The Hotel Relations Team will continue to work with clients AND our Boston hotel partners to ensure that room blocks proposed continue to be held on a first option for your convention. In the event there is competition for these rooms, the Hotel Relations Team will work with both customers and hotel partners towards finalization.
Securing Overflow Rooms.
Having a GREAT response to Boston and running out of rooms in your hotel room blocks? The BCMC’s Hotel Relations & Services Team will help you find those overflow rooms! Even up to two days prior to your attendees’ arrival, the Team will work diligently with clients and their housing provider to find these rooms.
Using these services, you will save your organization a huge amount of time and money. Now THAT’s value!
The BCMC’s objectives of developing and maintaining strong partnerships between the hotels and convention centers is unique in the country; and these efforts all strive towards one primary goal - to make sure your hotel experience in Boston is outstanding!
Visit the Services section of our website to find out what other great services Boston offer for your events and let us know what you think of them.
Hotel Fact Sheet
There are many destinations to choose from when deciding where to hold your event. We want to make it easy for you to make up your mind. Here are 10 reasons to hold your event in Boston:
1) Accessibility to Attract More Attendees
Boston offers the largest and most valuable attendee base within a two-hour travel radius of any city in the country. Boston's geographical location makes it an ideal and easy gateway for both national and international access. No city delivers faster travel times between its airport and its convention centers.
2) State-of-the-Art Convention Facilities
The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is the most flexible, customer-friendly, and technologically advanced convention facility in the world. The recently updated Hynes Convention Center is the best-located major convention center in the country--right in the heart of Boston's historic district and surrounded by world-class shopping, dining, and attractions.
3) Best Hotel Solution for your Event
Our Hotel Relations Team helps you build your hotel package and is your personal liaison to the Boston hotel community. Boston Hotels provide over 35,000 rooms. Both convention centers are connected to world-class hotels.
4) Compact Size for Easy Organization
The majority of convention hotels are within a 15-minute drive of both the convention centers and Logan International Airport, and within walking distance of restaurants, shops and attractions. Getting around is fast and easy. Boston has a convenient public transportation system and is also known as "America's Walking City".
5) Award-Winning Services
All of the members of our dedicated team, which includes our building services providers, our hotel, transportation, venue and city partners, are committed to your success. Boston offers an award-winning portfolio of services to support your meetings.
6) Legendary and Historical Attractions
Boston area attractions provide your attendees with more compelling things to see and do than any other convention city in North America. It offers an incomparable mix of history, culture, entertainment and sports. Boston is America's most historic and storied city.
7) A Uniquely Rich Base of Professionals
Boston has a uniquely rich base of professionals in the most high-end vertical industries such as high-tech, healthcare, education, and finance. There are over 50 institutions of higher education in Greater Boston. Over 50% of U.S. healthcare professionals are within a 2-hour travel radius of Boston.
8) One-Stop Shopping & One Point of Contact
Your MCCA Event Manager is your single point of contact to insure that all of your building requirements are met from pre-planning through move-out and your GBCVB Convention Services Manager is your single point of contact for all of your city services needs.
9) Extensive Marketing Support
A wide range of marketing tools including hi-res photos, floor plans, promotional copy, fact sheets and more, are available online for your convenience. Our team also works with you to provide you with personalized marketing materials including customized maps and letters of support.
10) Exhibitor-friendly Participation Rules
Our participation rules give your exhibitors flexibility when setting up their booths. Exhibitors can use their full-time company employees to unpack, assemble, dismantle and pack their booth properties. They can also use their own decorator on the show floor.
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Hynes Convention Center
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
At the 31st Annual NEDMA (New England Direct Marketing Association) Award Show, the Boston Convention Marketing Center received the Gold Award for B-To-B Campaign Direct Mail.
The NEDMA Awards event honored creative excellence and innovation in eight categories that include print ads, direct mail, catalog, interactive, integrated media campaigns, as well as "DM on a Shoestring". Over 250 industry leaders attended the celebration, which was held June 26, 2012 at the Boston Museum of Science. We loved the location as it gave us a chance to hang out with the dinosaurs. Award winners, selected from a pool of more than 350 submissions, were judged on a campaign's creative elements as well as its results.
Our winning trade show mailing campaign, developed by Boomerang Marketing, had the rock & roll theme of Boston Rocks! Components included multiple pre-show elements such as a flat mailer and a box that played our Boston Rocks tune when opened. The box contained a “Backstage Pass” for the planner to bring to the booth to exchange for a prize. E-blasts and a landing page were also incorporated into the campaign.
We used the campaign for several major industry trade shows including IAEE’s 2011 Expo! Expo!, Association Forum of Chicagoland’s 2011 Holiday Showcase, RCMA’s 2012 World Conference, and GWSAE’s 2012 Springtime Expo. It was very well received! Attendees flocked to our booths to pick up their CDs from Boston rock legends, iTunes cards, iPod shuffles and even iPads for our grand prize winners. The show floors were full of participants excited about wearing our flashing Boston Rocks guitar pins!
“Each year, we try to find a fun and engaging way to let planners attending our industry events know what’s new in Boston and get them excited about stopping by to see our team at the shows. The Boston Rocks campaign caught the attention of our prospective customers and provided us with one of the strongest responses we have seen to trade show marketing campaign in a number of years,” said Caryn Izhar, Director of Convention Center Marketing for the Boston Convention Marketing Center. “The tremendously creative team at Boomerang Marketing did an outstanding job of telling the story of why Boston is a premier convention destination. We are honored to receive this award from NEDMA.”
View other awards won by our Boston convention centers by visiting our website.
Jeanna Gemme and Caryn Izhar, Boston Convention Marketing Center
Kip Haggett and Larry Buckley, Boomerang Marketing
Our Boston Rocks Campaign!