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.

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gaylord opryland in nashville – meeting rooms and resort

gaylord opryland in nashville

Last week I had a brief trip to Nashville for a conference. I stayed two nights at the Gaylord Opryland. You can read my thoughts on the sleeping rooms here. Since I was there for a conference I got to see a lot of the meeting space.

The Gaylord Opryland is a resort and convention center. The convention center is part of the main building – there is no need to go outside (which is good, because it was too cold to leave).

The convention center is huge – 600,000 square feet of meeting space, most of it in huge ballrooms. I would say that overall, the space was rather functional. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting about it – the hallways and pre-function space had a subtle plantation feel, but otherwise it felt very similar to the Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly the Peabody) – just massively large!

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loews madison hotel washington dc

loews madison hotel in washington dc

The Loews Madison has been around for a while – just not always as a Loews. The hotel opened in 1963 and for many years was managed by Loews, but then was sold, and sold again and now it’s a Loews, referred to as the Loews Madison Hotel. We recently did an event in the ballroom. I was covering this event for a colleague, so I hadn’t done the initial site visit, but I was pleasantly surprised by the space.

Location

The Loews Madison is in a great location in downtown DC. It’s relatively centrally located. I actually drove over and had never been there before and missed the valet parking – you actually pull into the parking garage (as opposed to other area hotels where the valet takes your car from in front of the hotel).

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lighting can transform a room

lighting for weddings and events

One of the easiest ways to transform any room is through lighting. I’ve been a fan of lighting rooms for a while, but this weekend I was coordinating a wedding where uplighting and draping was used in a fantastic way. The wedding was at the Hyatt Arlington, one of my favorite hotels in Arlington. I’ve done many events there, but never a wedding before. I was excited to see the ballroom transformed.

The ballroom at the Hyatt Arlington isn’t bad on its own – it’s just plain. Here is a before shot:

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the skirvin hilton in oklahoma city – an update

hilton skirvin | amanda jayne events blog

I recently lived at for a week hosted a meeting at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. I had been there for a site visit in July and now after getting much more intimately acquainted with the property, I wanted to share my thoughts.

To begin, let me just say that our meeting was a small conference with about 45 participants. The hotel was one of several properties in a room block for a much larger conference (750 participants) in the days immediately following our event, with some overlap, and they hosted a few events on site as well. We knew this going into the meeting, and we positioned our event where we did because many of our attendees (about half) were also attending the larger conference. If you are a regular reader of my blog (thank you!) you may surmise that this situation was what prompted me to write When your meeting is a small fish in a big pond.

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sneak peak – library of congress

library of congress in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

It’s been pretty busy over here lately, not least of all because of an exciting event I’m working on at a pretty exciting place – the Library of Congress. I am going to get to cross an item off of my event planner bucket list with this one, as the library is an absolutely amazing place and it is so exciting to host an event there!

Here are a few photos of the beautiful historic Jefferson Building. This is what most people think of when discussing the Library of Congress, but there are actually two other buildings on the campus that together comprise the library.

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the willard intercontinental

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

Washington DC is one of those places that is constantly changing, yet some places are still cherished for their history. The Willard InterContinental Hotel is one such place. The Willard is so full of history that you’d be hard pressed to find someone in DC who hasn’t been there – whether to stay in one of their beautiful guest rooms, attend an event in the magnificent banquet halls, or even just have a drink in the Round Robin Scotch Bar (which is how I first discovered the Willard years ago when I first started visiting DC on work trips, long before I moved here).

The building of the Willard was built in 1901, but a hotel had been on the site for nearly 100 years prior. Due to its Pennsylvania Avenue address, located only steps from the White House, the Willard has hosted scores of famous, important types over the years, including nearly every president since the 1850s. The hotel was closed in 1968 and reopened in the late 1980s after a lengthy restoration and joining the InterContinental family.

We were considering the Willard for a 200+ person event in the fall so I headed over to do a quick site visit. I didn’t get a chance to peek at the sleeping rooms (although I’ve stayed there and they are wonderful) or even all of the meeting space (there is over 20,000 square feet), but I did get a chance to tour the lower level, which has the Ballroom and several smaller rooms and board rooms.

The ballroom is spectacular. I don’t usually gush this much over space, but this is one heckuva windowless ballroom. See for yourself:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

The ballroom is 4,700 square feet and would hold 450 theatre style.

Even the lobby is lovely:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

And the foyer:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

The Buchanan Room, 1,100 square feet and capacity for 90 theatre style:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

The Pierce Room, 1,900 square feet and capacity for 220 theatre style:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

Even the board rooms (Fillmore, Taylor & Garfield) were lovely.

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

I love that each of the rooms have a slightly different character – so nice to see in ballroom level spaces!

This space just scratches the surface of what the Willard has to offer.

Of course the Willard is famous for its service, it is definitely an upscale, luxury hotel. And for that, you pay the price. But for the space it has to offer (and the amazing location), it is able to command those prices. And while it does a good amount of meeting and event business, it also is one of the top spots for DC society weddings – *swoon*.

Next time you’re in DC, if you haven’t stopped by the Willard yet, make sure you do so! Even if nothing else but to step into this amazing lobby:

willard intercontinental in washington dc | amanda jayne events blog

Have you hosted or attended a meeting or event at the Willard? What did you think?