Boston’s 18 million annual visitors enjoy a vibrant mix of old and new that celebrates some of America’s greatest legacies, from Revolutionary-era landmarks, new green spaces and hallowed halls of education to cutting-edge corporate suites, brownstone beauties, newly constructed neighborhoods and Fenway Park.
One need only visit the city’s two convention centers—Hynes Convention Center in the heart of historic Back Bay and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the sleek new Seaport District—to understand that Boston is a powerhouse meetings destination. It lures convention business associated with the city’s prominent high-tech, biotech, health care and education sectors. “We have so much that’s new, different and changed,” says Erin Gilroy, director of sales and marketing at Boston Marriott Copley Place. “If you haven’t been here recently, you really haven’t been here.”
Hynes Convention Center
Hynes Convention Center has 176,500 square feet of flexible exhibit space, including four exhibit halls, an auditorium with seating for more than 4,000 attendees and 38 meeting rooms. A 24,500-sq.-ft. grand ballroom features vaulted ceilings and natural light and registration and prefunction spaces with views of Boston’s cityscape.
Two indoor shopping destinations—Copley Place and Prudential Center—offer more than 200 shops and several restaurants. One highlight is Top of the Hub, a dining and private-event spot offering 360-degree views of the city from Prudential Center.
The Westin Copley Place, Boston
The 803-room Westin Copley Place completed multimillion-dollar guest room renovations in spring 2018. Updated rooms feature sectional sofas and ottomans and Boston-centric decor highlighting the city’s culture and history. Property renovations also include a new club lounge and an updated 24-hour fitness studio with the latest equipment, including Peloton bikes. Popular activities are complimentary guided runs two mornings per week, yoga and kickboxing. The property’s 57,000 square feet of meeting space was renovated in 2016. Thirty-two meeting rooms include three ballrooms, one with views of Boston Common.
Boston Marriott Copley Place
The 1,144-room Boston Marriott Copley Place has 70,000 square feet of event space, including 47 meeting rooms and 34 breakout rooms. The 23,400-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom is the largest in New England. The 22,500-sq.-ft. Back Bay Conference and Exhibition Center can accommodate up to 124 booths and breaks down into six smaller meeting rooms, ranging in size from 900 to 2,000 square feet. The facility offers open registration and prefunction spaces, along with easy access to Hynes Convention Center and Prudential Center.
Sheraton Boston Hotel
The 1,220-room Sheraton Boston Hotel, the largest hotel in New England, features 71,000 square feet of meeting space and is directly connected to Hynes Convention Center and Prudential Center. The Grand Ballroom complex has 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with an audiovisual balcony, along with 30 breakout rooms including boardroom setups and meeting rooms with natural light. An outdoor patio space can accommodate up to 200 guests for a reception.
The Westin Boston Waterfront
Serving as the headquarter hotel next to Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is The Westin Boston Waterfront. Part of Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network, the 793-room property features 90,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including the 16,900-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, 10,800-sq.-ft. Harbor Ballroom, 15,800-sq.-ft. Marina Ballroom, 3,900-sq.-ft. Commonwealth Ballroom and 19,200-sq.-ft. Galleria Exhibit Hall.
The 4,800-sq.-ft. pavilion provides groups with a three-season indoor-outdoor reception space and is adjacent to the award-winning Lawn on D, a seasonal outdoor event space, complete with modern glowing swings for kids and adults. The Lawn on D is available for private group events and has a regular schedule of live music, lawn games and concessions to encourage use of the space by the community.
About Back Bay
For groups, the Back Bay offers easy access to South Boston’s cool restaurants and high-end shops along Newbury Street. Duck boat tours start nearby, and the neighborhood is steps from top attractions such as Boston Common, Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, and is less than a mile from Fenway Park.
3-2-1 Connect is an urban meetings complex in the heart of the Back Bay. Anchored by Hynes Convention Center, the facility is joined by temperature-controlled skywalks linking two upscale shopping destinations with The Westin Copley Place, Boston Marriott Copley Place and Sheraton Boston Hotel.
Luxury has a new name in Beantown: Encore Boston Harbor. The $2.6 billion development is part of Wynn Resorts’ portfolio. It includes 15 dining venues, the largest guest rooms in New England and 50,000 square feet of events space. There’s a 210,000-sq.-ft. casino for on-site entertainment.