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The Event Planner's Guide to Boston Venues

Amanda Pinzon |

GettyImages-928417954As the home of several major corporations, eight research universities and two nationally ranked hospitals, it’s easy to forget Boston is a relatively small city. This New England capital’s unique mix of big-city attitude and small-town ease make it a great place for hosting all kinds of events. With a focus on growth and innovation, Boston continues to live up to its revolutionary heritage. Boston’s incredible variety of venues, hotels and attractions give planners plenty of great options no matter the event. Getting in and around town is easy, thanks to nearby Logan International airport and a very navigable metro system. Check out the top venues for your next event, as well as our top things to do in Beantown.

 

The Top 10 Boston Venues Planners Should Consider

1. Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

As a venue “built by users for users,” it’s no surprise that the BCEC is flexible, technologically-advanced and offers award-winning services. With 516,000 sq. ft. of open exhibit space, a 40,000 sq. ft column-free ballroom and 80 meeting rooms, there’s a space for every event. Directly connected to the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel and just eight minutes from the airport, the BCEC’s convenience is unparalleled. 

BCEC ExhibitPhoto credit: Boston Convention Center Authority

2. Convene at One Boston Place

Located in the heart of downtown Boston, this dedicated meeting space is a great place to take advantage of all the support Convene is known for. Here you’ll find six comfortable meeting rooms, the largest capable of seating 140 attendees. With six nearby partner hotels, guests will be close to some of the best dining and entertainment in the city. 

Convene 1-1Photo Credit: Convene

3. State Room

This sleek downtown venue features panoramic views of both city and harbor from each of its flexible 33rd floor spaces. The 2400 sq. ft Great Room’s mahogany floors and floating staircase are the perfect canvas for creating a unique event. Planners are sure to appreciate the support provided by the State Room’s top-quality furnishing, dining and technical services. 

State 2Photo Credit: Longwood Venues & Destinations

4. The Exchange

The centerpiece of this dramatic waterfront building is undoubtedly Exchange Hall, with 1,444 sq. ft of highly flexible space. With a three-story atrium and an attached terrace, the space is full of possibilities. There are also a number of elegant conference rooms suitable for smaller functions. Guests can thoroughly enjoy the Seaport area thanks to a variety of nearby hotels and restaurants. 

Exchange 1Photo Credit: The Exchange

5. Back Bay Events Center

This venue offers straightforward event solutions in the city’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. The theater in John Hancock Hall can hold over 1,000 guests, while the Dorothy Quincy Suite features a ballroom and several meeting rooms, all equipped with state-of-the-art A/V. It’s easy to head downtown thanks to conveniently located metro stations, but with six hotels and dozens of restaurants nearby, guests don’t have to go far to get some R & R. 

BB1Photo Credit: Tillinger's

6. Royal Sonesta Boston

This resort-like hotel offers some of the best views of the Boston skyline, thanks to its prime location on the Cambridge side of the Charles River. Whether the event is in the ballroom, outdoor terrace or one of the many meeting rooms, Sonesta’s service teams are on hand to provide world class assistance. With 400 luxurious guest rooms, a heated indoor pool and fine dining options, guests might just forget they’re in Boston on business. 

Sonesta 1Photo Credit: Sonesta

7. Boston Harbor Hotel

Sumptuous rooms, incredible dining options, fabulous amenities and great views? No wonder Boston Harbor was rated the second best hotel in Boston by U.S News & World Report. With over a dozen elegant venues, this hotel is suitable for small-scale meetings as well as grand galas. Planners can feel confident that their event is in excellent hands thanks to on-site conference, catering and technology services. 

Harbor 2Photo Credit: Boston Harbor Hotel At Rowes Wharf

8. Seaport Boston

When it comes to venue options, few places offer more possibilities than this expansive waterfront property. Between the Seaport Boston Hotel and the Seaport World Trade Center there are seven ballrooms, an exhibit hall, an amphitheater, outdoor gardens and dozens of meeting rooms. Planners are sure to appreciate Seaport’s team of dedicated meeting planners while guests enjoy plush rooms, luxurious amenities and easy access to Boston’s top attractions. 

Seaport 1Photo Credit: Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center

9. Hotel Commonwealth

Planning an event at Northeastern University, Boston University or MIT? Located just blocks away from these great institutions, and across the street from Fenway Park, sits the Hotel Commonwealth. This contemporary hotel offers 12,000+ sq. ft of flexible and elegant event space. Featuring comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and oyster bar and cocktail lounge, the Commonwealth is a laid back alternative to the downtown hustle. 

Commonwealth 2Photo Credit: Hotel Commonwealth

10. Boch Center

Just south of Boston Common is a pair of theaters full of possibilities. The Wang Theater venues include a Versailles-inspired lobby, an elegant hidden ballroom and an enormous stage in addition to a 3,600-seat theater. For smaller functions, head across the street to the Schubert to check out the lobby, stage and 1,500-seat theater. With great hotels and restaurants within walking distance, any event here is sure to be a hit. 

 

Boch 1Photo Credit: The Boch Center

Top Things to Do in Beantown

Step into History

Boston played a major role in colonial and Revolutionary Era America, so it has plenty of fascinating historical attractions. The Freedom Trail guides visitors to iconic sites like the original Massachusetts State House and Old North Church. Looking to go beyond the trail? Be sure to visit Otis House, meticulously restored to its original 1796 condition, or stop by the museum dedicated to the infamous Boston Tea Party.

Otis HousePhoto Credit: Otis House

Arts and Science

Check out Boston’s cultural side with a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Built to resemble a Venetian palace, this museum boasts an incredible collection of paintings, sculptures and tapestries. For the musically inclined, consider catching a performance of the famous Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. Looking for even more excitement? From March through November, the New England Aquarium offers whale watching tours right out of Boston Harbor.

New England Aquarium - Whale watching in the Boston HarborPhoto Credit: New England Aquarium

New England Flavor

Did you know Boston is the home of America’s oldest restaurant? The award-winning Union Oyster House has been serving up iconic delicious seafood in its landmark building since 1826! For those looking to sample even more New England cuisine, check out the Boston Public Market. This downtown market offers fresh, locally sourced foods all year round. Be sure to head to nearby Faneuil Hall Marketplace for great shopping along with even more great food.

Union Oyster HousePhoto Credit: Boston.Eater

Have you hosted an event in one of these Boston venues? How did it go? What was your favorite thing to do inside or outside Boston? Let us know by commenting below!

Interested in the other top U.S. cities and venues for meeting and event professionals? Download our free guide to see them all!

The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States

This Post was Written by Amanda Pinzon

Amanda is a Aventri summer intern.

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