Despite the Snow, the Shows Go on in Boston

By Matt Swenson, February 11, 2015

As Boston digs out of yet another blizzard, sailboats, power boats and other sure-fire signs of summer are moving into Boston Convention and Exhibitor Center this week. Despite the inclement weather that has pushed the host city and its residents to the breaking point, the eight-day New England Boat Show is proceeding full-speed ahead.

The event preparation is just the latest example that as the snow goes on in New England, so do the conferences.

About six feet of snow has fallen during a historic 30-day stretch in the country’s Northeast corridor. It’s been enough to shut down Boston’s iconic MBTA rail services and area schools. But the convention center has withstood the storms thus far, says Katie Hauser, director of communications for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, reporting that no conferences have been canceled this winter.

“We’re in the convention business; the show goes on,” says Hauser. “Meeting planners can work around anything.”

The annual Yankee Dental Congress went on as scheduled Jan. 28-Feb. 1, as the first blizzard began. It was able to draw more than 26,000 attendees, although a few exhibitors and some speakers were no-shows,

Maryellen Geurtsen, director of Yankee Operations, says the dental society “was fortunate to have the numbers we got.”

“We really dodged a bullet,” she says. “It was a fabulous show with minimal issues.”

Hauser says only the move-in process has been impacted, with some workers having been put up in nearby hotels because of dangerous travel conditions.

In fact, the convention center is ahead of the city digging out from the weather. Its cleared parking lot hosted about 800 cars for the NHL game between the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars on Feb. 10, while the lots near TD Garden remained closed.

Meanwhile, a yacht en route to the boat show got caught in a 6-foot snow bank Feb. 11, causing a traffic jam.


Photo credit: PA Wire/Stefan Rousseau

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