HomeDestination FeaturesITTN's Exclusive Interview with Martha Sheridan - CEO of Meet Boston

ITTN’s Exclusive Interview with Martha Sheridan – CEO of Meet Boston

Martha Sheridan touched down in Dublin for a short stay in the city. ITTN was delighted to have the opportunity to interview Martha Sheridan, CEO of Meet Boston (formerly known as Greater Boston CVB), the sales and marketing organisation comprised of over 900 companies in Boston, Cambridge and across New England.

Boston, Cambridge & across New England

Boston Never Gets Old

Shane: “In terms of history, with Boston, you’re blending everything from the centuries of history that helped form the United States today, you have the innovative college scene, vibrant city, culinary offering and microbrewery scene. In fact, there is so much to Boston – maybe you could tell us a little bit about the area?”

Martha: “We’ve launched a new campaign, it’s called Boston Never Gets Old. The premise of the campaign is that Boston was founded but never as never settled. It’s a city constantly in motion, and that’s true, that’s not just some moniker or some tagline that we’ve made up.”

Freedom Trail, Trolly & Boston Duck Tours

“The fact is that from our early days, as part of a major colony to now, the city continues to and has continued to evolve. So now you’ve got a beautiful juxtaposition of the history of Boston, which is obviously articulated in tours, like the Freedom Trail Tour and the Trolley Tours, the Boston Duck Tours and those are all great and they do talk about the city’s founding and you know how we were a major major catalyst in the country’s fight for independence. Beyond that, we also want to make sure people understand that we aren’t just stuck in that era. We, to this day, continue to develop new products, new activities and break barriers that make us a really unique destination.”

MIT & Harvard

“Some examples of that are Cambridge. We talk about MIT and and Harvard. It’s also home to some major technology companies Google and, of course, Kayak and Moderna which are revolutionary in their own right?”

“Back over on the other side of the river you’ve got the traditional historic district. We call it Fenway to Faneuil Hall, which is an amazing area.”

Seaport Area – Eateries & Activities for All

“We’ve also got the new Seaport Area which is like Emerald City. It just sprung up out of nowhere over the last 10 years. It is kind of controversial, somewhat, but has beautiful gleaming towers that house residents but also major businesses such as Hub Spot.”

“Also on the street level, you have got an extraordinary plethora of unique shopping options, amazing restaurants from food from well beyond clam chowder and lobster rolls – very ethnically diverse food and then you’ve got nightlife, incredible live music venues in the Seaport Area as well as fun activities like axe throwing and darts and Put Shack and all these really fun things. You’ll never get bored in Seaport.”

The Juxtaposition of the Old Boston with the New

“We love to talk about that as sort of the juxtaposition of the old, Boston, with the new. We also want to talk about Boston beyond the central core because we have incredible neighbourhoods places like Roxbury, which is one of our very highly regarded black communities with extraordinary history – great African American history. Many people don’t know that Martin Luther King met his wife Coretta while in Boston when studying there. There was a walk that went from Rocksbury to the Boston Common. Now on the Boston Common, there’s a beautiful monument called the Embrace that memorialises their union in Boston.”

“We have Dorchester which is this really ethnically diverse area from the Irish to the Polish to Black Americans. [This has] incredible different foods.”

How Bostonians Live

“We want people to get beyond Fenway to Faneuil Hall and see how to Bostonians live. What do we experience? And the fact that things are always changing, even in the tried and true neighbourhoods.”

View Boston Observatory

Shane: “When I was in Boston with Tony Lane last spring, you were just launching a brand new observation deck as well. Can you tell us about this?”

Martha: “Yes, View Boston which is spectacular. That’s at the Prudential Center. They always had the top of the hub, it was called, which is one of those iconic mid-1900s rooftop, dining venues. It evolved over the years but it was time for a rethink.”

“Now, if you go to the View, they’ve done a great job of actually articulating the narratives of the various neighbourhoods. You can actually start your visit to Boston there. You can not only get a bird’s eye view, literally, of the city – it’s a beautiful stunning view – you can also explore digital apparatus to see where else you want to go while you’re in the city. You can learn about the city. It’s like a beautiful visitor centre in the sky so it’s very popular. They do have a restaurant. You can have a drink up top there and really get a spectacular vision of what Boston is.”

Shane: “I love the fact that when you go, there is cutting-edge technology, that you can create the exact itinerary you want in terms of sites and activities you want to visit. You can select what you want to do and it will email you the itinerary tailored to your exact preferences.”

Martha: “Exactly, create your own itinerary – [View Boston] is a great spot.”

Shane: “And then, of course, coming up to Halloween, we’ve got the town of Salem close by as well.”

Martha: “Salem is well known for the witch trials, obviously. It’s about a 35-minute ride north of Boston. You can also take a ferry right through October there. October is a very busy time in Salem. So if you want to experience it with a little bit less congestion, we would recommend maybe September or November but it is fun. They have a museum there. And the city really dresses up for the Halloween season.”

250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

Shane: “Speaking of history, you’ve got a very important anniversary coming up?”

Martha: “We do. That’s the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, which was really, in many ways, the event that really launched the American Revolution. It will take place on December 16th. There are a number of activities surrounding that commemoration such as a reenactment of the meeting of the people, and processions through Boston to sort of mimic what the town and the Boston folk would have been doing on that very day. And then, of course, a full reenactment of the tea going into the water. And the tea is from the East India Tea Company which it was then and is now. They’ve donated tea for us to throw into the harbour. So it will be a true reenactment and should be a lot of fun.”

Information on the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary commemorative year, in addition to updates on all events and programming throughout the year, will be available at www.BostonTeaParty250.com.

Meet Boston or Come Meet in Boston

Shane: “And you have just undergone a rebrand. Do you want to share about it?”

Martha: “Yes. So we’ve gone from the Greater Boston Convention Visitors Bureau to Meet Boston. A lot of that is about if you think you know Boston and you’ve been here before come meet us again. We use the words Meet Boston sort of as a double entendre. One, if you want to come meet Boston, do. If you want to come and meet in Boston by all means you can do that too. We’re just really trying to show the world that this is not your grandmother’s Boston anymore.”

Incredible Intellect, Innovation, Culture, Culinary Scene…

Martha: “We are an ethnically diverse city with incredible intellect, incredible innovation, amazing arts culture and, of course, always emphasising our culinary scene as well. “

Finally, Meet Boston will be launching a new website next month (November 2023) which will have itinerary-generating capabilities so stay tuned for more. If you want to delve into Boston and surrounding areas, Tony Lane is always on hand with expert knowledge to lend a hand.

If you need more information on Meet Boston or would like to set up a staff training session, please get in touch with Tony by email at [email protected]. Also, check out this stunning region with our ITTN videos from New England – https://ittn.ie/features/discover-new-england-summit-2023/.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.

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