Teamwork and preparation: Five questions with our First Night Boston Event Director

By January 23, 2019 Event Planning

Now that the last piece of confetti has been picked up, we decided to sit down with the event director of First Night Boston, our very own Alecia Marino, to get her reactions to the event. Over 400,000 people attended the event that lasted more than 12 hours throughout Boston’s Back Bay. Despite some evening raindrops, all programming proceeded as planned and on schedule. Marino led the Conventures team through each planning meeting, and kept the project on track each step of the way.

Well, it’s here. Now that 2019 is upon us, tell us a bit about First Night.
AM: Since Conventures has been involved with the planning and production for First Night Boston, 2019 might have been our biggest year yet. We had more performance venues than ever before, and the most diverse entertainment. Our ice sculptures turned into a massive ice pavilion, and our People’s Procession crowds rivaled in size to our championship parades. We drew a consistently large crowd throughout the entire day/night despite the evening rain. We had non-stop entertainment from 12:00 noon – 12:30 AM. AND we introduced a new Charity Partner Program. I’d like to think it was a very successful year.

As the leader of the team, it’s sometimes fulfilling to see everyone work together. What’s a moment of collaboration that stands out in your mind?
AM: I could not be more proud of our team and the work that they put in on the day/evening of the event and during the weeks leading up to the big day. Every single one of our team members really stepped up and owned specific aspects of the event, which allowed me to focus on the bigger picture to make sure the entire event ran smoothly. When the rest of the team arrived in Copley Square on New Year’s Eve, everyone knew their role, timing, and assignments. Everyone worked together as a team. And when the rain started, our team marched on. Our team members were prepared and they never cease to amaze me. 

What was the busiest part of the event in your view?
AM: Honestly, I couldn’t pick one specific area that was the busiest. The Boston Public Library was completely packed and offered indoor entertainment for anyone that wanted to escape the outdoor elements. The ice pavilion was certainly a crowd favorite this year. The main stage entertainment in Copley Square was rocking the entire day and had all of the guests dancing along. The People’s Procession had the highest attendance of all of the years that we have been involved with First Night Boston.

Who was your MVV (Most Valuable Vendor)?
AM: First and foremost, NONE of this would be possible without the support of Mayor Walsh and his team in the Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment; the Parks Department; the Boston Police Department; the Boston Fire Department; and EMS. I wouldn’t be able to choose just one other valuable vendor since all of our vendors are so integral in the planning and the event day—to name a few:

Any big plans yet for First Night 2020?
AM: Hopefully 2020 will be even bigger, brighter, and broader. I don’t want to give away our surprises this early. So, make sure to follow along on our website and social media pages for hints and teasers throughout the year.