As they closed out their convention Thursday after four days of meetings, panels, and parties that drew more than 16,500 industry professionals to Boston, leaders of the Biotechnology Industry Organization said they want to come back later this decade — if they can get more exhibition space and other accommodations.
“We would love to return to Boston,” said organization president James C. Greenwood. “It is a great biotech community and a great host city, but we have not locked in a date yet as we need the expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center before making a commitment.”
Next year’s convention will be held in April at Chicago’s McCormick Place, which is much larger than Boston’s facility.
Jim Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, said his organization has a contingency agreement with the organization to host the convention in 2018. But the deal contains a “walkaway clause” that would let the group go elsewhere if the authority cannot add space for exhibitors and programs, as well as more hotel rooms in the South Boston waterfront area.
While this week’s main BIO convention was centered in the 2.1 million-square-foot convention center — the largest building in New England — spillover events were held at the World Trade Center, the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay, and the Westin Waterfront Hotel because the convention center itself wasn’t big enough to accommodate all events, Rooney said.
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