by Alex Palmer | August 14, 2018
Boise is booming, with a recently expanded convention center and new hotel offerings for groups -- not to mention its perennial cultural and culinary offerings that has long made this an attractive option for visitors.
"Organizations of all sorts are discovering that Boise is an ideal spot for meetings of all kinds," says Carrie Westergard, executive director of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Our thriving, lively downtown is easy to explore from the Boise Centre, and offers a great selection of entertainment just steps away."

For example, Idaho Power recently held its 15th International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems gathering in the city, bringing 300 researchers from 32 countries to the Grove Hotel at the end of June (the previous conference was held in Beijing). Visiting groups can now add a couple other properties to their list of potential locations for events: The 180-room Residence Inn Boise Marriott Downtown City Center, which opened in December 2017; and the 150-room Hyatt Place Boise Downtown, which also recently opened its doors.

But the biggest development for groups remains last year's expansion of Boise Centre, as it grew from 50,000 to 86,000 square feet and 31 meeting rooms. The additional spaces have meant greater flexibility for groups meeting in the city and the Centre has already had several groups whose attendance and number of vendors have grown beyond their expected numbers. 

"Prior to the expansion, when a groups attendance or vendors increased we may have had to ask the group to combine their meal functions and vendor rooms to help fit their event within our venue," says Mary-Michael Rodgers, communications manager for Boise Centre. "The spaces added in the expansion have helped us provide groups options and we can be more flexible in accommodating increased attendance, vendors or adding meal functions."

She gives the example of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association, which will hold its upcoming Annual Conference and Exhibition at Boise Centre with 800 to 900 attendees. Boise Centre's newly added 14,000-square-foot ballroom as well as meeting rooms will be able to accommodate the number of attendees (which has increased since the event was last held at Boise Centre in 2015), and provide more booth spaces within the exhibition hall.

A version of this story appeared in the August issue of Successful Meetings.