First Event 2020: Hotel Reservations and Workshop Submissions Now Open!

Need a room at First Event 2020 or interested in submitting to present a workshop?  The information below will help you with both!

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

FirstEvent 2020 Transgender Conference Boston MA    Discounted hotel reservations are now open for First Event 2020!  Enjoy your conference in style with a great rate at Boston’s historic Park Plaza hotel.  Follow this link for details and to register for our discounted rate!

WORKSHOP SUBMISSION

First Event 2020 Workshop Submission  We are now accepting workshop submissions for First Event 2020.  Our attendees are interested in a very wide variety of topics related to the transgender community.  From youth and family topic, to packing, top surgery, how to create a wardrobe, deportment, career topics and more.  Please follow this link  and then scroll down the page to submit your workshop!

Check out the First Event 2020 Schedule

First Event 2020 will be held January 29th to February 2nd at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. We are planning the biggest and best First Event yet as we celebrate our 40th anniversary!

The schedule for First Event 2020 is really starting to take shape. Everything you loved about previous years is back, including workshops, the banquet, fashion show, vendors, and lots of dancing. Much of the newer programming is also back, including the wellness track, the ball, and the job fair. And we are bringing in exciting new programming. While many details are yet to be confirmed, we are announcing a special showing of the documentary Jack & YaYa and an art show featuring the work of transgender and non-binary artists.

We are really excited about the new opportunities for First Event 2020 thanks to our much larger location right in downtown Boston. We are working on excursions around Boston to give you a chance to explore the finest our fair city has to offer. We are working to take our evening entertainment up a notch or two – there’s a lot brewing, but nothing I can share with you just yet.

Another highlight of the new location is that our large number of conference rooms allows us to pack our workshops all into three days, so no more racing from Youth & Family workshops to catch the Superbowl! We are so grateful that we can fold our youth and families back into the heart of the conference on Saturday, with access to all the vendors, the general medical workshops, and the great community.

So, check it out and tell us what you think below:

http://firstevent.org/schedule/

First Event is moving to Boston!

Boston Park Plaza Entrance

First Event 2020 will be held at the Boston Park Plaza in downtown Boston, from January 29 – February 2. This is the first time in 40 years that First Event will be held in Boston instead of in neighboring suburbs. This FAQ intends to explain why we are making this change and to give a sense of what to expect.

Why is First Event 2020 leaving the Best Western in Marlborough?

We outgrew the Best Western in Marlborough – there were just too many compromises to serve our growing community. The space crunch led to Sunday workshops, turning away vendors who want to support us, and a rather uncomfortable dining experience at the fashion show.

So we had to leave the Best Western, but why downtown Boston?

We had 3 “must have” requirements for our new location:

  1. Sufficient space for programming, including workshops and social events
  2. Accessible by public transit from Boston so that the greatest number of people could attend, including those without cars or with insufficient means to take private transportation
  3. Affordable, allowing us to offer comparable prices to First Event 2019

We ran an exhaustive search process, engaging in deep discussions with transit-accessible hotels in less-crowded Boston neighborhoods and in the neighboring suburbs. It might be surprising, but very few of these hotels had sufficient programming space. And those that did, like the Newton Marriott and the new Encore Boston Harbor Resort were way too expensive for both hotel rooms and conference costs.

Will it really be affordable? Boston is SOOO expensive!

Yes, it will. And there will be more options at different price points.

Hotel rooms will cost $109/night (cozy rooms) and $139/night (superior rooms). In addition, we have arranged for beds at a nearby hostel for $34/night. For reference, rooms at the Best Western cost $132/night.

Registration fees will be as close as possible to 2019 registration fees. While we haven’t worked out the final numbers, we expect to keep workshop prices steady and evening events within about $5.

Food and drinks on your own may be a bit more expensive at the hotel, but the beauty of being in the city is that there are so many options right at your doorstep.

We also are finding that our downtown location is making us more appealing to conference sponsors. Sponsors cover a growing percentage of the costs of First Event, allowing us to keep costs as low as possible for attendees.

But what about parking? Parking in Boston is dreadful!

You are right. Parking in Boston is brutal. There’s no way around it – you won’t find the combination of price and convenience of parking at a suburban hotel.

We are actively exploring multiple parking options, including:

  • Negotiated rates with nearby garages.
  • Free or cheap parking farther from the hotel, with some options for getting to the hotel like transit, a shuttle van, or coordinating shared ubers/Lyfts.

Is there anything good about being at the Park Plaza in Boston?

You bet! We are super-excited about our new location, and really hope you love it as much as we think you will. Here are the 10 best things about our move:

  1. No Sunday workshops
  2. Easily accessible by public transit
  3. O’Connor’s Pub is next door
  4. Shopping on Newbury Street
  5. Easy to get to from Logan
  6. More welcoming to more diverse (age, race, gender identity, financial means) attendees
  7. Expanded evening programming (stay tuned!)
  8. More interest from potential conference sponsors, vendors, and workshop presenters, bringing more resources to the trans community
  9. They don’t call Boston the “hub” (of the universe) for nothing! Boston’s got spahts and cultcha like nobody’s business!
  10. This is where we’ll have the fashion show and banquet. For reals!

Tell us what you think

We would love to hear what you think about the move. What are you most excited about? Any lingering questions or concerns? Post your thoughts below.

16 Companies Confirmed for Job Fair

The following leading Massachusetts employers are confirmed for the first First Event Job Fair, presented in partnership with the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce. These companies are committed to building a diverse workforce and are actively recruiting for a wide range of professional positions:

  • Eastern Bank
  • Hanover Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Harvard Pilgrim
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • MassMutual
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Brown Brother Harriman
  • PTC
  • Northeastern University
  • Thermofisher
  • Vertex
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • TD Bank
  • Trip Advisor
  • Jet Blue

What’s new at First Event 2019?

Thanks for asking! There’s lots new at First Event 2019 as we build on our great successes over the past several decades and continue to expand our reach to support the broad transgender and gender non-conforming community.

Here are some of the new things we are most excited about:

  • New programming by and for transgender people of color.
  • Enhanced transmasculine programming.
  • The First Event Ball, presented by New England Mother Legendary Athena West, 11pm-2am Saturday night. This is NOT to be missed. Want to know what to expect? Check out Athena’s World Aids Ball or watch the new FX show Pose. Even better – attend Athena’s Ball December 1st in Roxbury, sponsored by TCNE/First Event. 
  • A transgender wellness track on Saturday, with free HIV/HCV/STI testing and a full day of workshops dedicated to our physical, emotional, and mental health.
  • Sunday workshops and vendors. Our conference is just getting too big to wrap up Sunday morning, so we have extended more programming into Sunday. 

We are always tweaking existing programming to better serve you and to make room for all of the great new stuff. Some key changes this year:

  • Youth and family track is moved to Sunday. In addition to the dedicated day on Sunday, youth and families are encouraged to attend workshops and events throughout the conference.
  • More mingling at the fashion show. The fashion show isn’t just about our models – it’s a chance for all of us to see and be seen. We’ve switched to a social dinner reception format to allow us to eat and mingle together.

What do you think? Let us know with a comment below.