The small, easy-to-navigate Boise market is positioned well for meetings and events, especially as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. The walkable, friendly downtown with the Boise Centre—Idaho’s largest convention center—is at Boise’s epicenter.

The venue’s communications manager, Mary-Michael Rodgers, said that the city is an especially good option for regional planners looking for drive-in locations for their meetings, as Boise is an easy car ride from states like Oregon, Washington and other cities within Idaho.

“We do know that info we have secured from MPI surveys [indicates] that event planners in the next six to eight months are really going to be looking for destinations that are closer to home,” she said, adding, “We don’t have a dense population, and that’s another reason why people should consider Boise. We have a clean, vibrant, safe downtown.”

Key Upgrades for Hybrid Meetings at the Boise Centre

Rodgers said that during this interim period, Boise Centre has made some improvements to its virtual capabilities, adding more allure to the recently expanded center, which received a $47.5 million renovation and expansion in 2016.

The venue plans to increase its internet and Wi-Fi bandwidth to 2.5GB, burstable up to 5GB bandwidth based on availability, which will greatly improve its ability for live streaming events.

View of the mountains from Boise Centre meeting room
Photo: View of the mountains from Boise Centre meeting room. Credit: Boise Centre

Additionally, Boise Centre added a studio room with lighting and cameras specifically designed to stream programs from the building to virtual attendees.

This new feature will set the venue up well for the “hybrid” event model that many professionals in the field think will be the norm until a vaccine for COVID-19 is widely distributed.

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The city of Boise is currently in Stage 3 of reopening, and Boise Centre’s rooms are open to accommodate gatherings of up to 50, with proper physical distancing and precautionary measures.

Until the pandemic subsides, additional precautions are in place at Boise Centre to make attendees feel safer. Initiatives in place include prepared bento boxes instead of catering, a partnership with the city to utilize the outdoor plaza for spread-out events, and seating diagrams that follow social distancing guidelines for event planners to reference.

Additionally, Rodgers added that the Boise Centre also has an outdoor terrace overlooking the plaza, which is another added outdoor space option.

“There’s the historic Basque block with really neat landmarks, that can be rented for a block party,” she added, as another option for an exclusive outdoor space that can be made available to groups post-meetings at the Boise Centre.

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