Massachusetts Convention Center Authority Unveils Second Launch in New Show-ownership Model

December 15, 2013

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority unveiled its second launch under a new show-ownership model in which it has an equity stake in events, with the Culinary Intelligence Summit debuting in June at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

The Culinary Intelligence Summit will launch in conjunction with Intelligence Summits and be geared toward solutions for larger-scale food service operations working to implement and manage gluten-free/allergy meal solutions to meet consumer demand.

The first launch announced under MCCA’s plan to bring more shows into the city by investing in them was last week and involves a partnership with Sitarian Corporation to debut the Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange (A3E) in September at the Hynes.

James E. Rooney, MCCA’s executive director, said at the time, “A3E marks the start of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s strategic partnership with new and exciting events, a game-changer for both the MCCA and the meetings and convention industry.”

The Culinary Intelligence Summit is the first solely education-focused event under MCCA’s new plan and was developed to address the range of food allergies, with attendees expected to be executive chefs and experts in food service, who will come together to discuss and share what’s working, as well as learn about new food packaging and handling techniques.

“The food service sector at convention centers, universities, corporate kitchens and even hospitals are faced with a challenge daily to provide cost-effective yet wholesome solutions for clients with food allergies,” Rooney said.

He added, “The Culinary Intelligence Summit takes a hard look at how organizations can address this, both economically and with the highest standards in customer service. We are excited to be partnering with Intelligence Summits on this venture. Events are about creating connections and synergy, and our partnership with the Summit will do just that with the unveiling of this new, one-of-a-kind, inclusive event.”

The Culinary Intelligence Summit will feature several participating companies, vendors of cutting-edge products, training solutions, tools and instruments and services that are changing the way kitchens operate.

A demo kitchen that will incorporate gluten- free foods will be featured for the lunch, along with special media partnerships in the food service sector.

The Culinary Intelligence Summit and AE3 are just two of what MCCA hopes will be many new events launching in Boston under MCCA’s new show-ownership plan, according to Johanna Storella, the organization’s chief strategy officer.

As co-owners of shows, MCCA’s responsibilities primarily are building related, such as AV, floor space, F&B, rigging and also marketing and sales support, she added.

Boston isn’t the only city to take another look at how shows are traditionally owned in the United States. The Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau also has an equity stake in several shows that have already launched, such as Total Energy Expo, or are on tap to launch, such as Messe Duesseldorf’s Medical World Americas.

This new model was a hot topic also at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition Dec. 10-12 in Houston, with the session, “Is the U.S. Convention Center Model Broken?” sparking a lot of conversation on the topic.

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