Boston meeting planning is growing at an amazing pace. In addition to its sheer tourist appeal, Boston is emerging as an attractive destination to meeting and event planners from not only within the city but outside it as well. The city is stepping up its offerings with new developments and upgraded amenities that create a first-class setting for event planning in Boston. Three key convention centers, including the largest in New England, offer a multitude of flexible space choices for Boston event planning professionals. Together, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center and Seaport World Trade Center offer nearly one million square feet of meeting and exhibition space in addition to a variety of meeting rooms, ballrooms and auditoriums.
Making Boston event planning even more appealing are the convenient accommodations abundant in Boston, as the Seaport World Trade Center itself is attached to the elegant 400-room Seaport Hotel, and the Hynes Convention Center is attached to three major Boston meeting hotels. Over 1,600 hotel rooms are within one-quarter mile of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Overall, Boston offers more than 30,000 rooms in the greater city area, including those at the lavish Mandarin Hotel, which opened in 2008 on the heels of the $165 million, 471-room Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, adding another great options for Boston meeting planning pros.
In addition to new Boston event venues and lodging options, Boston has been seeing green - in more ways than one. Grow Boston Greener plans to plant 100,000 new trees in the city by 2020, while the Rose Kennedy Greenway continues to expand, bringing more than 900 trees, 14 new parks, public art and fountains to the city, plus the Boston Museum Project and New Center for Arts and Culture. The city is also undertaking various green initiatives, such as CleanAir Cab, an effort to put hybrid-electric or alternative-fuel cabs on the streets. Convention centers are jumping on the bandwagon as well, with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center installing water-saving bathroom fixtures and placing recycling bins in each meeting room, among other like-minded adjustments.
Taking advantage of this outdoor-friendly attitude within the bustling city is not a challenge. Invite up to 250 guests to dine within the ornate Venetian-style palace of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, whose over 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries and rare books surround a breathtaking indoor garden courtyard. Get outside on the water by chartering one of Charles Riverboat Tours' vessels, available for various events of up to 150 people, or explore the aquatic life from indoors at the always-popular New England Aquarium, which can accommodate up to 600 guests. Attendees are sure to enjoy a meeting set against the backdrop of the aquarium's Amazing Jellies Exhibit or the waterfront at the Harbor Terrace.
Though it's certainly hard to tear away from the excitement of the city, Boston's New England setting puts it in an ideal spot for day getaways. Plan a whale-watching expedition in Cape Ann towns of Gloucester or Rockport, or explore the fine golf courses and first-class attractions such as Plymouth Rock and Mayflower II at Plymouth. Guests are sure to jump at the chance to stop by iconic New England destinations of Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, while the Salem Witch Museum and Peabody Essex Museum offer opportunities for group tours and events in nearby Salem.
In addition to being a center for arts and culture, Boston is a leader in high-tech industries. The city serves as the regional headquarters for several distinguished companies including Liberty Mutual, New Balance and Gillette. It is also home to many of America's top colleges and universities including Boston University, Simmons College, Boston College, Emerson College and Northeastern University.
Whether you're new to Boston meeting planning or a seasoned professional, no one could deny this historic city as an amazing meeting destination. View the other pages in the Boston Destination Guide to learn more information about event and meeting planning in Boston.
As the capital city of Massachusetts, Boston is often recognized as the unofficial economic and cultural center of the New England region. While the city of Boston has a population of approximately 590,763 residents, it is centrally located within America's 11th largest metropolitan area, which serves as home to over 4.4 million people. With a total area of 89.6 square miles, almost equally divided between land and water, Boston is extremely compact. Other cities with equivalent population sizes, such as Denver and Charlotte, have much greater land sizes.
Founded by English Puritans in 1630, Boston is a historically rich city with classic appeal, attracting over 16 million visitors a year. Boston was the site of numerous Revolutionary era events in American history including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, and later became home to America's first public school, college and subway. Take a step back in time by exploring the streets of the Federal-style downtown Boston or the South End Historic District, recognized as the largest surviving contiguous Victorian neighborhood in the nation. Or, join a tour group on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile stretch that runs by 16 Revolutionary sites such as Boston Common, Paul Revere House and Old State House. To experience history without making a long trip, visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where over 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries and rare books by famous artists were collected by the patron of the arts after which the museum is named.
Right at home among New England's characteristic lush, green foliage, Boston is great for relaxing outdoor activities. Spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic in Boston Common, the oldest public park in the United States, before hopping on the nearby Boston Public Garden's famous Swan Boats. Hike, bike, horseback ride or golf at one of the many parks of the Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks that links Boston to Brookline, Massachusetts.
After a long day of exploring the city, visitors will not be at a loss for good food and drink. In a city that annually hosts Chowderfest, a search for the best New England-style clam chowder, guests should surely include in any visit a piping hot bowl of this regional specialty. With a milk or cream base, New England clam chowder is typically made with potatoes, onions, bacon and clams, but never tomatoes. Sample a bowl at Union Oyster House, Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, B&G Oysters or one of the many other seafood establishments scattered throughout the city. Cap off your night with a cold mug of beer, preferably Boston favorite Sam Adams, from one of the many bars, pubs and taverns lining the streets. At the Green Dragon Tavern, guests can enjoy a pint of ale like Paul Revere and John Hancock, who were reputed to frequent the pub during the American Revolution.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Boston weather varies greatly, sometimes causing vast temperature swings over the course of only a few days. Summers are typically hot and humid, filled with sunshine and temperatures averaging around 82°F during the warmest month of July. Winters are cold with temperatures averaging 37°F during the coldest month of January.
Boston receives about 42 inches of snow a year, most of which is the result of north-easterly storms. January and March see the highest amount of average precipitation at 3.9 inches. Guests should visit the city during late spring or early fall, when pleasant temperatures and low precipitation allow them to get outside and enjoy the foliage transition from one season to the next.
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
Opened in 2004, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is the largest convention center in New England and certainly the biggest of the meeting facilities in Boston. Designed with input from professionals across all industry sectors, the Boston meeting facility boasts striking architecture, exceptional service and unparalleled technology. With 516,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and 10 possible configurations, the center can accommodate almost any floor plan. A 40,020-square-foot, column-free ballroom creates a blank canvas that can be transformed for a variety of functions. Additionally, more than 300,000 square feet of registration and function space and 160,000 square feet of flexible meeting space are available. A strategically planned layout provides visitors with access to any part of the building in no more than eight minutes.
From full-service catering provided by ARAMARK to a food court with seating for up to 700 people, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center offers many amenities for visitors. Wi-Fi enabled Internet access and mobile phone service are available throughout the building. Two private ring roads, 62 covered loading bays and five elephant doors with direct access to the exhibition floor make set up and breakdown for large conventions a breeze. Additionally, an in-house audio-visual company can assist with basic needs as well as exhibitor rentals, computer rentals, simultaneous interpretation support, audience response systems, general session production, staging, webcasting and projection services.
In an effort to go green, the center has taken steps such as installing water-saving fixtures in bathrooms, placing recycling bins in all meeting rooms, and using water coolers instead of individual bottles. The state-of-the-art facility is located just two miles from Logan Airport and has direct access to the Silver Line. More than 35,000 hotel rooms are nearby.
John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center
Visitors are most attracted to the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center because of its suitable location, outstanding service, versatility and intimate urban setting. This Boston meeting facility features 300,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, 41 meeting rooms and a 24,544-square-foot ballroom, the center is known for its ability to transform spaces into sophisticated sites for events ranging from large conventions to small receptions, educational sessions and corporate functions.
Conveniently located in Boston's vibrant Back Bay neighborhood fewer than 15 minutes from Logan Airport, Hynes Convention Center is steps away from the Prudential Center and several major Boston attractions. Sky bridges connect the center to over 3,100 hotel rooms and two shopping malls, and the Hynes Cafeteria and Coffee House offers New England-themed selections and full bar service for up to 500 guests. The center also offers in-house catering and free wireless Internet access. In all, the 41 meetings of the Hynes comprise 92,671 square feet of meeting space.
Seaport Hotel/Seaport World Trade Center
Located on the waterfront in the Seaport District, the Seaport World Trade Center Boston offers stunning views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline. A Boston meeting facility that has much more to offer than pleasing aesthetics, it also boasts 118,000 square feet of exhibition space, 35,000 square feet of conference and meeting space and a 418-seat amphitheater.
Seaport World Trade Center Boston features full-service on-site catering, free wireless Internet access, video conferencing and full telecommunications capabilitie, making it one of the most tech-friendly meeting facilities in Boston. Additionally, the center is adjacent to the Seaport Hotel, where guests can stay in one of over 400 luxurious rooms. Also adjacent is an underground parking garage with 2,300 spaces. Travel to the center is easy, as it is situated fewer than 10 minutes from the airport and has direct access to a stop on the Silver Line.
The center's "Seaport Saves" initiative is introducing environmentally-friendly efforts that foster conservation in its facilities. Energy-saving lighting, 2.1 acres of parkland on its grounds and the subsidization of public transportation for its employees are among its various green initiatives.
Logan International Airport (BOS)
Approximate taxi fare: $13.09 USD
Located in the East Boston neighborhood, Logan International Airport is almost completely surrounded by water. As the nation's 19th busiest airport, more than 27 million passengers pass through this active transportation hub every year. It was at Logan International where in 1970 Pan Am airlines inaugurated its daily Boeing 747 service to London Heathrow Airport, beginning the era of the jumbo jet.
The airport's six runways and 14 miles of taxiway span more than 2,400 acres. The airport has four passenger terminals (A, B, C and E), each with its own ticketing booths, baggage claim and ground transportation services. More than 50 airline carriers serve the airport, including 16 foreign flag carriers. Domestic service is offered to 76 destinations and international service is provided to 33 destinations. The airport is a focus city for American Airlines, Delta Airlines and US Airways.
In addition to the security offered by the airport's own State Police troop and fire-rescue unit, Logan International Airport offers travelers plenty of amenities, including salons and spas, shoe shine valets, ATMs, retail and duty free shopping, dining and a non-denominational chapel. Children also enjoy Kidport, an interactive play area designed by the Children's Museum of Boston that includes a baggage claim slide, airplane climbing structure and magnetic poetry wall. The airport has two hotels on its grounds: the 270-room Hyatt Harborside and the 599-room Hilton Boston Logan Airport. Garage parking is available at daily and hourly rates, as is economy parking for long-term stays.
Airline carriers serving Logan International Airport
Amtrak services the city of Boston at its South and Back Bay stations. Routes entering and the departing the city are the Acela Express, which travels from Boston to Washington, DC; Lake Shore Limited, which runs from Boston and New York City to Chicago; and Northeast Regional, which services the East Coast from Boston south to Newport News, Virginia.
Commonly referred to as the "T," the majority of bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry systems in Boston are operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. A one-day pass, which includes unlimited travel on the subway, local bus, inner harbor ferry and commuter rail zone 1A is $9 and a seven-day pass, valid on the same systems, is $15. Rather than pay in cash, riders can purchase CharlieCards, plastic, reloadable tickets that offer reduced fares.
Local, Inner Express and Outer Express buses make up the T bus system, which consists of over 150 routes in the greater Boston area. Inner and Outer Express buses run to and from downtown Boston/Back Bay. Basic bus fare is $1.25 for CharlieCard holders and $1.50 when purchased in cash. Inner Express fare is $2.80 for CharlieCard holders and $3.50 when purchased in cash. Outer Express fare is $4 for CharlieCard holders and $5 when purchased in cash. Reduced fares are available for students, seniors and people with disabilities. Fare for children ages 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult is free.
The T runs Inner Harbor ferries and Commuter boats. The ferries serve Charlestown Navy Yard to Long Wharf and boats serve Hingham, Rowes Wharf, Quincy, Long Wharf, Hull and Logan Airport. Schedules vary based on route. One-way fare is $1.70 to $12 depending on route travel. Reduced fares are available for students, seniors and people with disabilities. Fare for children ages 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult is free.
The commuter rail system runs on 11 lines and stops at over 100 T stations. Lines run as far north as Newburyport, Massachusetts, as far south as Providence, Rhode Island, and as far west as Worcester, Massachusetts. Both the North and South stations house stops in Boston. Commuter rail fare is $1.70 to $7.75, depending on route/zone travel. Reduced fares are available for students, seniors and people with disabilities. Fare for children ages 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult is free.
The Silver Line
The Silver Line is one of the first Bus Rapid Transit lines in North America, designated as such due to the buses' own lanes that separate them from road traffic. It runs in two, unconnected sections, one from Roxbury to downtown Boston and one from South Boston to Logan Airport. A third section that will connect the existing two is expected to be complete after 2013. Currently, the Silver Line provides access to several notable locations including Logan Airport, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the Seaport World Trade Center Boston.
Washington St. route fare is $1.25 for CharlieCard holders and $1.50 when purchased in cash. Waterfront route fare is $1.70 for CharlieCard holders and $2 when purchased in cash.
The T's subway system is the oldest in North America and the 4th busiest in the United States, with 549,000 riders daily. The system consists of four lines: the Blue Line, servicing stops along the water including Logan Airport; the Red Line, which has stops at Harvard Square and the University of Massachusetts Boston; the Green Line, which includes stops at several Boston attractions such as Fenway Park and Faneuil Hall; and the Orange Line, which runs service between the neighborhoods of Oak Grove and Forest Hills.
Subway fare is $1.70 when purchased with a CharlieCard and $2 when purchased in cash. Reduced fares are available for students, seniors and people with disabilities. Fare for children ages 11 and under accompanied by a paying adult is free.
Logan Airport has eight rental car companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enteprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Rental car desks are located in Terminals C and E. Each company has complimentary shuttle buses to transport passengers to rental car facilities.
Boston has various taxi companies for travelers. All areas within a 12-mile radius of downtown Boston are charged a metered rate, while outside of this radius the charge is a flat rate. Meter rates begin at $2.25 and increase by $0.30 per 1/8 mile. An airport fee of $2.25 is charged for all trips leaving Logan Airport.
Photo Credit : Greater Boston CVB
Meetings Made Easy in Boston
Located in the heart of Boston’s Theatre District, DoubleTree by Hilton™ Hotel Boston – Downtown is close to the New England Medical Center ‘T’ station and Logan International (BOS) Airport. Feel welcomed as you enter our feng shui-designed Boston downtown hotel and enjoy warm chocolate chip cookies on arrival. Relax in a guest room at our Boston, MA hotel with amenities you expect when traveling. Stay connected in your room, or over pastries at our on-site Starbucks®, with WiFi access throughout the hotel. Enjoy specialties from Boston and beyond at Wisteria Restaurant and Bar. Choose from a seasonal menu with an Asian flair where the emphasis is on fresh, sustainable ingredients as well as signature local dishes such as New England Clam Chowder.
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