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horrible is this, why would anybody attack an event like this — to then, okay, now we have to make sure our clients and customers are taken care of.”


THE DAY AFTER The Hynes remained in the thick of things. That first night after the bomb- ings, Boston police used the facility to store and process evidence as they collected it, until the FBI took over the investigation, Rooney said, and “all that evidence was moved to an undis- closed location the next morning.” The FBI also reviewed footage from the Hynes’ security cameras, look- ing at street activity surrounding the bombings. ASCA’s move-in continued on Tues-


day, with some adjustments. The Hynes fronts onto Boylston Street, which was still locked down, meaning no one could enter the building through those doors. So ASCA’s move-in proceeded on the south side — through the Hynes’ loading dock and the adjacent Shops at Prudential Center, which is connected to the building on its first floor. “Given all the uncertainty around


things, we quickly put in a series of heightened security measures,” Rooney said. “We actually moved some metal- detector equipment into the Hynes. We set up areas for any bags or anything being carried in to be checked — back- packs, pocketbooks, that sort of thing. We already have some pretty solid secu- rity precautions at it relates to badges, but we were more strict in the enforce- ment of those things.” The MCCA also had bomb-sniffing


dogs patrol both the Hynes and the BCEC during ASCA and Experimental Biology. “The first priority was public safety, among participants in the shows and our own employees,” Rooney said.


“Had there been any credible threats or concerns, we would not have allowed them in the buildings.” Over at the BCEC, Experimental Biology convened a pre-con meeting


PCMA.ORG JUNE 2013 PCMA CONVENE 17


A BOSTON ATTENDEE


‘The Whole Tone Just Changed’ Margaret Adams, group vice president of Nueterra, a health-care- services company, attended ASCA 2013 at the Hynes Convention Center on April 17–20.


I got off the plane and everything was fine. I got a cab to my hotel. The cab driver couldn’t pull up to my hotel directly, because that street was blocked off. I’m not sure if it was National Guard or Army person- nel, in fatigues with machine guns. They had full armored cars. They were guarding the area. I had to show my ID to get past the barricade they had set up. Then I had to walk 100 yards to the entrance to my hotel [the Hilton Boston Back Bay]. I was questioned by the guard before they let me through.


Then I had to cross the street to the Sheraton [Boston Hotel], which was connected to the Hynes center and the Prudential Center [shop- ping mall], in that big conference area. It was okay to just cross that street, although no trafic was allowed down there. I walked in and things were pretty normal. The mall was open. People were shopping and moving about. There was no access to [Boylston] Street, where the bombing occurred.


People felt confident that the police were doing a great job. Every- body was really cooperating. It wasn’t until Thursday night and Friday that things were pretty dicey, or much more intimidating, with the [lockdown] situation. When we went to go to the meeting on Friday morning, I walked over into the mall area. The whole mall was shut down. There were police walking through with bomb-snifing dogs. We had the same thing going [on] through our conference center and our exhibit hall. The whole tone just changed completely.


I could get into the convention center from the hotel where I stayed. People who were on the other side of the Prudential Center were de- nied access to that mall entrance. There was just such a different vibe in the air because of the even stronger police presence going through the actual buildings with the dogs. The president of the association was giving updates after each speaker about what was going to hap- pen with the events that night and how we were going to be served. We couldn’t be served lunch. We had to do this buffet thing. There were regular updates any time anything was announced. I don’t think one person was disappointed with the communication. If anything, it was over-communication, which is never a bad thing in a situation like that.


Because things were so locked down, we were pretty much stuck within our professional group. Everybody there was so empathetic to what Bostonians were going through. We were very supportive of the job the hotel workers and oficers were doing. The hotel had extra people on. I don’t know how they got them in and out, because so much was locked down. A lot of customers or people staying at the hotel were bussing tables where other people left stuff behind, be- cause they didn’t have enough staff in to do that. People were pitching in and doing what they had to do.

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