In Boston, we know that meetings aren’t just held to get people to book hotel rooms. Meetings and conventions create opportunities for business development and for collaboration that leads to innovation. So much of that activity takes place out on the exhibit hall floor.
At the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center (Hynes), we’ve seen some of the most elaborate booth setups in the industry and have welcomed exhibitors from all over the world. We know how much work goes into planning the design, layout and service ordering for exhibit booths and, in Boston, we want to make that work as seamless as possible.
For this blog post, our amazing Exhibitor Services Department took the time to give us their Top 5 Tips for exhibitors coming to the BCEC and the Hynes. We’re sure their advice will come in handy for your next Boston convention.
Tip #1: Keep a look out for emails from Signature Boston Exhibitor Services.
If you’re in charge of a booth on the exhibit hall floor, chances are you get A LOT of emails. We know we may be easy to overlook, but we start planning for your event months in advance which means we send you emails to let you know when online ordering has been set up for your event, to notify you when the discount deadline for services is about to end, and to remind you about those last minute loose ends such as ordering cleaning for your booth carpet. We promise to only email you when it’s important, so keep a look out for emails from ExhibitorServices@SignatureBoston.com and Sales@SignatureBoston.com.
Our Signature Boston Exhibitor Services Team. How could you miss an email from these smiling faces?
Tip #2: In Boston, you can move your booth materials in and out yourself through our hand-carry policy.
Moving your booth in and out of a convention center can be stressful and expensive, but at the BCEC and the Hynes, our goal is to make the process smooth with flexible labor rules that provide you with options for setup and break down. You can unload your own vehicle in our loading docks using hand-operated equipment such as two or four-wheel carts. You can pack and unpack your own displays and equipment, use hand-operated power tools and plug in your own electrical and internet devices after the connection has been made. You can even run your own flat electrical cords under the carpet if you bring the cords yourself! For more information, check out our official move-in and move-out rules.
Tip #3: Speaking of running cords, in Boston we do it a little bit differently…
If you do decide to hire labor to run internet or electrical cords under your carpet, you can send your booth diagrams to the general service contractor (GSC) for your event, or to a third-party setup company. A lot of convention centers require a booth diagram so that their building electricians or technical staff can run cords for exhibitors. In Boston, our staff simply makes the main connection for power or internet, and then exhibitors can hire labor from the GSC or a third-party crew to run the cords, or do it themselves. Our staff is in constant contact with the GSC as we prep for event move-in, so we work together to make sure everything is right where it should be before show time!
When it comes to booth setup, teamwork makes the dream work!
Tip #4: Forget something? Don’t worry! We have a FedEx Business Center onsite with everything you need.
Is there anything worse than realizing you forgot something for your booth five minutes before the doors open? Our FexEx offices are fully stocked with everything you could possibly need, from power strips to thumb drives and everything in between. The BCEC FedEx office even does sign printing onsite! And if you’re on the road or in your hotel room, you can place an online order and it will be ready for you to pick up when you arrive at the convention center. Now that’s easy!
Tip #5: Boston is a great city - make time for some fun while you’re here!
We know you’ll be working hard while you’re here, but the exhibitor services team suggests you also get out and treat yourself while you’re in Boston. If you’re at the BCEC, why not walk over to the Harpoon Brewery for a tour followed by a giant pretzel at the Beer Hall? For exhibitors at the Hynes, our team suggests Wednesday trivia night and the Guinness braised short rib poutine at McGreevy’s, just across the road from our Boylston Street entrance.
If you ever have any questions about exhibiting at our convention centers, you can reach our world-class exhibitor services team by email at email@example.com or by calling 617-954-2230.
We can’t wait to welcome you and your booth to Boston soon!
Signature Boston recently announced two new pioneering partnerships with Digitell, Inc. and Attend.com that will make your event planning experience in Boston even more seamless than it already is! We are pleased to now offer you in-house Digital Event Solutions and Registration Services.
What can these partnerships do to enhance your event? Digitell has revolutionized live web-streaming, helping you leverage your most valuable asset – content – to drive attendance, improve ROI for exhibitors, and generate new revenue. You can host webinars, live-stream sessions, and utilize Digitell’s digital program development expertise to enhance content and engage attendees.
Attend.com is a local Boston start-up that provides online software to help you streamline the event management process of small to mid-size events. Attend.com provides wireless nametag printing, mobile attendance tracking, text-message alerts for VIP arrivals, and access to analytics following the event. You can order this through one point of contact at one rate. Convenient, simple, and extremely valuable to decreasing costs while freeing up onsite recourses.
We had the opportunity to see Digitell in action during a recent event at the Hynes, the Advanced Audio + Application Exchange, or A3E. A3E was a two-day event geared toward professionals in the music technology industry. It featured cutting-edge apps, software, hardware, instruments, and audio products while aiming to create greater synergy between the apps being developed, the art being created, and the instruments and tools being manufactured in the industry today.
Due to the nature of the high-tech event, A3E planners expected us to provide services that were on par with all of the innovative music technology that populated the exhibit space. Digitell was able to live-stream keynote panels and center stage performances, including a ‘Trans-Atlantic’ Skype interview with the amazingly talented musician and music technology creator Imogen Heap. In-person attendees watched Heap demonstrate her electronic musical gloves via webcam as Digitell streamed the session live to an online audience who were unable to attend A3E.
We are excited to see how you integrate these technologies into your event planning process and, as always, are constantly seeking out new organizations to partner with so we can continue to bring you the best and most advanced services the industry has to offer.
To learn more about our new partnerships and how Digitell and Attend.com can work for your next Boston event, read our press release.
When we launched the Advantage BOSTON brand and opened the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) more than a decade ago, we knew that we had much to prove as a city. A new building was not enough: we had to deliver remarkable experiences that went beyond your expectations.
Today, our success is clear: Boston is a Top 10 destination, known throughout the industry for our commitment to excellence in everything we do. Advantage BOSTON has become synonymous with all of the advantages you can expect when bringing an event to our city. Our ability to execute at the highest level is not just something we are proud of: it is our signature.
This week you will see a change in our brand. Advantage BOSTON is now:
Signature Boston is the new name for Boston’s convention and meetings experience, and includes the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC) and our partners in Boston’s hospitality community. Signature Boston represents all of the unique benefits and advantages of bringing your event to Boston. Those benefits include state-of-the-art, award-winning facilities, comprehensive convention center and city services, first-class hotels, a compact city that is easy to get to and easy to get around, a wide variety of dining options, many choices for entertainment, rich history and culture, and the country’s largest and most qualified attendee base within a two-hour radius.
What does the change from Advantage BOSTON to Signature Boston mean to you? It means a more seamless experience from your evaluation of Boston through the execution of your event.
We look forward to our next decade of excellence with the planned expansion of the BCEC, ongoing upgrades to the Hynes Convention Center, new hotels opening, new service offerings, and our continued efforts to provide you with the best technology in the industry.
Visit us now: SignatureBoston.com!
This week, The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) marked the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC).
The MCCA owns and operates the BCEC and the Hynes Convention Center
Representatives of the state, city, and MCCA gathered in the ballroom of the BCEC to recognize the success of New England’s largest building, now one of the leading convention facilities in North America!
“We knew that Boston had what it takes to compete on the global stage and become a top convention destination. To make that happen, the Commonwealth, the City of Boston, and the MCCA came together to build one of the most successful, innovative, and popular convention centers in North America today,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the MCCA.
“The BCEC’s accomplishments are an important part of Boston’s success story over the last ten years. Thanks to a strong partnership between the MCCA and the City, Boston has become a world-leading meetings destination that draws global attention to our leadership in in key industries such as medicine, life sciences, technology, finance, and academia,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
The BCEC was first conceived in 1997 legislation to meet the growing demand of event planners wishing to bring their events to Boston. Construction on the BCEC began in 1999, and the state-of-the-art convention facility--the most technologically advanced convention center in the world--was completed on time and on budget. The doors of the new BCEC were opened on June 10, 2004.
The BCEC and Boston realized quick success in the meetings and conventions industry. Just two years after opening in 2006, Boston broke into the list of the top 10 meetings and conventions destinations in North America and has stayed there since. In 2007, the BCEC was named Convention Center of the Year. In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013, Boston was named the top U.S. destination for international association meetings by the international Congress and Convention Association. In 2011, the BCEC and the Hynes became the 14th and 15th centers to be awarded gold standard certifications by the International Association of Congress Centers (AIPC), the highest level of certification a convention center can earn in the meetings industry. Boston is the only city in the world with two gold rated convention centers.
In 2009, to meet the increasing market demand on the BCEC, the MCCA launched the “Top 5” campaign to expand the BCEC and develop more hotel rooms nearby the facility. Today, legislation is being considered to fund the expansion of the BCEC without raising taxes or fees. The MCCA has facilitated the development of two mid-priced hotels next to the BCEC and is working to develop a new headquarters hotel. Find out more about the BCEC expansion plans by visiting our website.
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
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
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
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.