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November 2013

4 Questions for Jim Rooney — Our Host for Convening Leaders 2014

Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP, Senior Vice President, Education & Meetings

Four questions for Jim Rooney — our host for Convening Leaders 2014.

We're just two months out from Convening Leaders 2014, and I'm running out of things to write about — not because there's nothing to do, but because almost all of it is a moving target. You know what I mean. We're at that stage in our planning where the last-minute details are just beginning to come together, and the first of the late-breaking problems are just beginning to appear on the radar.

So I thought I'd spend this month's column talking with one of our primary partners in bringing Convening Leaders to Boston: James Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), which will be hosting us at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

Let's get this out of the way first: What can our attendees expect as far as the weather is concerned?

Like the old adage says, if you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes. January in Boston is no exception to this rule. While I can't (and won't) guarantee 75 degrees and cloudless skies, no matter what the weather is like outside, PCMA attendees will find a warm, welcoming environment at our facilities, and in Boston in general. And just in case global warming doesn't drastically change things up here in New England, bring a jacket.

What's the biggest challenge for you and your team in preparing to host us?

Coordination among all of the different stakeholders is a challenge, but one that we welcome. We pride ourselves on our world-class execution of events, and PCMA's Convening Leaders will see the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and its staff at their best. We have been preparing for well over a year for this event to ensure Convening Leaders attendees will have an experience they won't soon forget.

What would you like our attendees to take away from their time in Boston?

I like to say that what happens in Boston changes the world. This is no catch phrase. We mean it. Given our cultural history as well as the high concentration of biotech, medical, financial, and academic institutions, Boston has an incredible advantage over other cities and is like no other meeting and convention destination in the world. I want attendees to see what we have to offer, and come back time and again.

What are some elements of our program that you're most looking forward to?

We will be offering a wide array of activities, from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis speaking about the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings to world-class regional cuisine unlike anything you have ever tasted. But as a Boston kid, I'm most looking forward to showing off my hometown, our amazing staff, and our award-winning meeting venues. Boston has changed a lot since PCMA last visited, and I want to highlight all that my hometown has to offer.

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