Boston Favorites with a Planner in Residence

Dusty Rhodes, founder and president of Conventures, New England's leading special events company focused on integrated event management and award winning public relations and marketing programs, shares her Boston favorites.

An excerpt of this interview will appear in our November print edition. Below is the full Q&A.

What is your favorite thing about Boston? 
My favorite thing about Boston is Boston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. In Boston, we experience the drama and excitement of living on the ocean. Giant passenger jets fly over merchant vessels and private yachts as they sail past old military forts dating back to the 1600’s. As an international port, visitors from all over the word sail into Boston all year long. The changing of New England’s seasons and weather can either bring in glorious rays of sunshine or impending storm clouds that creep into the city within minutes and liven up the ocean swells. 
 
Where do you take your friends from out of town when they visit?
I like to take friends who need the full city experience on a Boston Harbor Cruises cruise. The bustling harbor is rich with history and marine life. Depending on which cruise we select, our experience could include watching humpback whales breach the water, harbor seals playing among the lobster traps, a Revolutionary War frigate: the USS Constitution, or one of my favorites, enjoy a Sunday brunch with fantastic views of the skyline and a historian telling tales of the history of Boston. Being on the ocean is one of the best ways to experience Boston. For my more adventurous friends, I’ll take them to the Boston Harbor islands. Each island has its own story to explore and twenty-one of the thirty-four islands in Boston Harbor are accessible by ferry, kayak, or personal vessel. 
 
What’s your favorite venue in the city for holding an event? 
The Exchange Conference Center at Boston's Fish Pier, in the Seaport District. The Fish Pier is the oldest continuously working fish pier in the United States. It has the freshest seafood and most breathtaking views of the activity in Boston Harbor. For those attending a conference and visiting the city for the first time or returning to Boston, the Fish Pier is surrounded on three sides by the ocean and fishing vessels and has a terrific view of Boston’s skyline. 
 
What’s the best thing about holding a meeting in Boston? 
Boston is a historic and lively city where everything is within walking distance. Guests can walk from their hotel to a variety of neighborhoods that offer eclectic, cultural experiences. Visitors will indulge in authentic Italian cuisine in the North End followed by a walk through Faneuil Hall or an evening show in the theater district. Fashion lovers will enjoy a stroll through the Back Bay to find special treasures at any one of a number of elegant shops and boutiques on Newbury Street. And, if visitors walk The Freedom Trail, they will uncover stories of ordinary townsmen and women who braved the Revolutionary War to gain the independence Americans have today. 
  
What should planners be wary about when meeting here?
Event planners should be wary about renting cars for guests. A fun fact: The Boston Common was originally used as a pasture for landowner’s cattle and horses, thus the city street plans were built on original cow paths making them narrow and winding. If you are not a local, navigating around the city’s numerous one-way streets can be frustrating. Boston is easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, or walking.  Driving for out-of-towners can be quite the challenge.