hynes convention center in boston

hynes convention center

I recently attended PCMA’s Convening Leaders at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The Hynes is the smaller convention center of Boston’s two. It was built in 1988 and feels somewhere in between modern and dated.

The biggest draw of the Hynes is location. The Hynes is connected to a mall and the Sheraton. The Westin and the Marriott hotels in the area are also attached to the malls and walkways, meaning you can host a convention at the Hynes with many (if not all) of your guests ever having to go outside. I stayed at the Hilton which is right across the street from the Sheraton, which made it a close by choice as well. Read my thoughts on the Hilton here.

The Hynes has 193,000 square feet of space, including the auditorium which seats 3000.

Continue reading

disney’s grand floridian resort

manda jayne events blog

Closing out my series on Disney World meeting space, we have the Grand Floridian. The Grand Floridian is the flagship resort of the park. It’s one of the oldest resorts and it has a sophisticated Victorian theme. The resort sits on the Seven Seas Lagoon and is only a short monorail hop from the Magic Kingdom. This resort just oozes luxury (at least for a Disney Vacation) – I like to just sit in the lobby and people watch (and let’s be real – I’m secretly judging some of the people I see: “Seriously – YOU paid $500+ a night to stay here!?!”).

The meeting space is gorgeous. It’s a little more sophisticated than the whimsical BoardWalk Inn, but more old-fashioned and classic than the Contemporary Resort (that’s the one that was “Contemporary” in the 70s when it opened, and the monorail just passes right through the atrium). There’s 40,000 square feet of meeting space in the on-site convention center, including the 18,000+ square foot Grand Floridian Ballroom:

disney's grand floridian | amanda jayne events blog

That’s pretty, right? For an interior ballroom with no windows? The carpet actually works here (although I’ve already mentioned that I’m not particularly bothered by garish hotel carpets they way some people are).

But I was more interested in some of the smaller spaces with more character (although not necessarily characters like Minnie or Mickey – although I’m sure Disney could make that happen for you) so I was shown the Whitehall room and patio. The meeting room is octagonal and has some nice details, particularly the ceiling. The room holds about 50 guests, so it would be perfect for a shower or small party, or a small wedding ceremony.

manda jayne events blog

manda jayne events blog

But the real draw for this space is the private patio accessed from the room. It’s partially covered (with ceiling fans which hopefully help with the central Florida humidity – I went in early June and felt like I was melting).

manda jayne events blog

But check out this view!

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

Yes – I would love a view of the monorail because I’m a nerd like that. But I actually meant this view:

jDisney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

That, my friends, is the Magic Kingdom, and that’s not even zoomed in! That might not seem that impressive, but wouldn’t it be fun to watch the nightly fireworks from here on your private patio?

For a less-private event space, (also outdoors), you can reserve space at the marina:

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort | amanda jayne events blog

And of course, all of these locations (and everything else within the Grand Floridian) is within walking distance of the Disney Wedding Pavilion, which I did not get to peek in (unfortunately), but this 43 second video sums it up nicely:

One thing to note about the wedding pavilion is that it is literally next door to the Grand Floridian, including the Grand Floridian Disney Vacation Club construction. That must not have been pleasant for some of the brides who have had their view of the beautiful red and white hotel obstructed, but the construction is almost over and shouldn’t affect weddings for much longer.

manda jayne events blog

What are your thoughts? Would you have a wedding or event at the Grand Floridian?

Read my other posts on events at Epcot and the BoardWalk Inn.

colorado convention center

???????????????????????????????

I recently attended a meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver (see my site report on the Hyatt Regency, where I stayed). As far as convention centers go, this one had a fair amount of character – with a big blue bear to boot!

Convention centers can be ugly monsters. They are built to be utilitarian and flexible, not necessarily pretty. But the Colorado Convention Center seemed modern (almost too modern with some of the abstract sculptures displayed) and functional.

It was also one of the easier convention centers to get around – the signage was clear, they had digital readerboards with a ‘you are here’ button on a map, and the greeters were actually friendly (in my experience, convention center staff greeters are usually not friendly).

denver 017

denver 018

denver 021

denver 024

denver 026

denver 028

The food from the in-house caterer was decent for convention center food made on a mass scale. One standout meal was the plated lunch on the second day of the conference. The roasted chicken was one of the best banquet pieces of chicken I’ve ever had – it was perfectly done, moist and had a nice flavor. Well done!

The one part of the convention center I explored that was a little odd was the 200 wing. The decor was a bit more dated in these rooms. Perhaps it was an older wing?

denver 030

Otherwise, I thought the Colorado Convention Center was a pleasant, mostly modern facility that was practical and functional for large meetings.

And if you’re curious about the big blue bear, which is a sculpture called “I See What You Mean,” you can read about the backstory here .