Boston Site Visit – STPCon Fall 2019

Site visits are a necessary evil when you run events. They are usually short and sweet and include things like meeting the venue staff, eating and drinking at the venue restaurant and bar, getting a lay of the property, amenities, and a good feel for the conference space. These visits are essential when you are trying to figure out the best way to feed, move, and anticipate your attendee needs. The goal is for your attendee to have a great experience at your conference, and return year after year. They are also fun! All work and no play makes for a boring trip. Luckily, the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor is ideally situated, so it’s easy to balance that work and play equation. 

I typically make notes during my visit, so when I return to Colorado to meet with the team, I don’t forget any of the details. Below are some of these notes. The team thought it might be interesting to share these notes with the community. Some of these notes are a bit of a tease, and some will be very useful when you arrive. Certainly, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, we are here to help.

Day 1 (Travel, get settled, scope out the property):

DEN –> BOS: Departure 6am.

through. I made baggage claim to retrieve my bag, and as instructed by the hotel website, called 617.568.1234 to request the on-demand shuttle. James and I moved to the departure door as instructed, and the shuttle arrived in less than 5 minutes. After a 4 minute ride, we pulled up to the front door of the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor Hotel. Check-in was uneventful. I was given my key and shown to the elevators.

Room is very tidy and modern. My “Harbor View” room is nice! What a view! Despite being so close to the airport, I was not disturbed by jet noise. Unpacked and then spent a while staring out the window! Time for lunch!

Lunch – Harborside Bar & Grill:
Went down to the bar to have some lunch and a beer (and do some work on SQuADCon 2019 – pushed site live – The restaurant/bar area looks over a large patio space (currently under renovations – scheduled completion “summer 2019”), which of course overlooks the Harbor. Zachariah, our bartender, told us that the sunsets are amazing in the summertime. The bar has a nice selection of beer (on tap, including a rotating tap, and in bottles), wine and the harder stuff. I ordered a local Harpoon IPA, and James ordered a Sam ’76. James ordered a burger and fries. He reported it was cooked to order and quite delicious. I ordered “Mules Frites” (PEI Mussels, Grape Tomatoes, White Wine, Herbs, Hand-Cut Fries, Roasted Garlic Aioli, Grape Tomatoes, White Wine, Herbs, Hand-Cut Fries, Roasted Garlic Aioli), very good – I will order that upon my return! All of the menus are available on the hotel dining site.

Good lunch, got my work done, enjoyed chatting with Zachariah (personal note – he lived in Steamboat Colorado )

Property Notes:
Another conference was underway in the hotel when we arrived, a smaller group (approx 125), signage was minimal, not too much will be needed. The conference space is on the 2nd floor above the lobby (could not look at space too much, didn’t want to get in the way of the other folks). Will do a more detailed look tomorrow.

With 270 sleeping rooms across 15 floors, we will need to stress the importance of reserving rooms early. We should sell out. Confirmed the room rate of $259/night through September 1st (discounted room rate cutoff).

The fitness center is smaller but adequate. Cardio and isolation machines available, also had dumbells, mats for floor work and so on. Fitness center overlooks outdoor pavilion and Harbor.

There is a walking trail (East Boston – Massport Harborwalk Park) that starts at the Hyatt and ends at the Porizo Park. It was a nice walk along the water with views of the city. Out and back was approximately 2 miles.

Can’t wait to see the improvements to the patio (under renovations). There will be Adirondack chairs, couches fire pits, and bar service. The patio looks like it will be a nice place for some evening networking.

Boston Harbor Cruises Water Taxi:
The fastest and most unique way to experience Boston covering over 29 stops along the Boston Harbor. Water Taxis pick you up right from the dock at the Hyatt. This is a great way to have the best views of the city on your way to the city or from the waterfront area back to the hotel. Tickets can be purchased on the boat or from the front desk ($15/way, $30 Round trip), please call (617) 227-4321 for pick up. Operates 6:30 AM – 10:00 AM Daily.

Downtown Boston:
Very close and convenient. There are many ways to get there, train, subway, uber and of course the aforementioned water taxi. James and I took a water taxi over later in the day to the Mariners Museum stop. From there we walked south while snacking, having some local brews and eventually dinner. Once we had our fill we found a water taxi pick up point, called for pick up and returned back to the Hyatt. It was a fun evening.

Day 2 (Workday…meetings with Conference Services Manager/PSAV/Red Sox vs Detroit):

I will not bore you with the details here, we toured the space, went over logistics, food and beverage, AV requirements and so on. We are looking forward to the Welcome Reception and Sponsor Showcase to be held outside in the Harborside Pavilion. It will provide a nice evening of networking, learning about tools and tech from our sponsors and great views of the sunset and city lights.

By the way, the Red Sox beat Detroit 11-4

Day 3 (Finish up trip – Travel Home):

Great trip, both James and I really enjoyed the property, staff, location and most of all, Boston! We look forward to returning in September. We jumped on the hotel shuttle once again, rode for 4 minutes to our terminal, boarded our plane for home (Denver) and relaxed. Great trip, now the work begins… Make sure you join us this September in Boston for 4 days of workshops, keynotes, sessions, and networking. Check out the schedule and pricing and we hope to see you at STPCon!

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Rick Baucom - STPCon Fall 2019Rick Baucom – Director, Interactive Communications – Software Test Professionals
Twitter: @Baucomrick & @SoftwareTestPro
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