Massachusetts Looks to Meetings for Growth (VIDEO)
With significant investment in both infrastructure and marketing, Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a whole are looking to bring in more large-scale conferences and events. Last month's PCMA Convening Leaders, held in the Hynes Convention Center with excursions to other venues around town, went a long way toward demonstrating what Boston can do for a range of event types.
Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick opened Convening Leaders by outlining the state's growth strategy and emphasizing the importance that business meetings and events will play in delivering results for the state. Patrick shared his awareness of the role that meetings and academic institutions will continue to play in the city's economic growth, pointing to innovation sectors as essential to the Commonwealth's growth plan.
James Latham reports from PCMA Convening Leaders.
Jim Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the man to know for Boston's conventions scene, was on hand to support Patrick and stressed the importance of a preemptive reservoir of data and material that can be drawn upon to dispel negative reaction when, inevitably, organizations are seen to misuse meetings. Rooney is also supporting the "Meetings Mean Business" industry campaign which was announced at the event by Roger Dow of the US Travel Association and the coalition co-chair, David Peckinpaugh of Maritz.
Boston's Business Scene
Boston's meetings and conventions are expected to generate a total of 629,000 hotel room nights throughout the city and the region this year, as well as $680 million in economic activity, the most since the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) opened in 2004. As estimated in late December, 2014 is expected to break 2006’s record of 616,000 hotel room nights and 2012’s economic impact record of $656 million. Split between Boston’s two convention centers, 2014 will generate 390,000 room nights from BCEC events and 239,000 room nights from events at the Hynes Convention Center.
At the time, Rooney noted that the efforts to promote the two venues had a wide-reaching impact on the city's other businesses. “One million taxi trips means about $30 million has been spent transporting people to and from the BCEC by our taxi industry," he noted in December, "economic activity that would have occurred in another city if not for our public investment in the BCEC.”
2014 marks the debut of two Boston events that will be co-owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, a first for the MCCA and Massachusetts. On June 10, the MCCA and Intelligence Summits LLC will launch the Culinary Intelligence Summit, a conference at the Hynes focused on managing food allergens for large-scale food service operators. September 23-24, the MCCA and Sitarian Corporation will launch the Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange (A3E) at the Hynes, an international trade show, conference and social network exchange focused on new technologies that are transforming the music industry.
Michelle A. Shell, chair of the MCCA Board of Directors, noted that the record number of hotel room bookings indicates a need to expand the city's capacity in the meetings and convention industry.