Best of Boston Moves to Fan Pier, Highlights Nearly 200 Winners

Boston magazine celebrated its 37th annual Best of Boston issue with a 1,200-guest party on Fan Pier last Tuesday night. The outdoor venue's seaside views set the backdrop for a four-hour fete of food, drink, music, and summer-themed games that pulled in the sponsorship of Patron, Stella Artois, Smartwater, JetBlue, Infiniti, W Boston, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and Arts Emerson. 

“This is our signature event of the year,” said Robin Ruttle, the magazine's senior marketing manager. “We wanted it to be representative of our brand and to allow sponsors to extend marketing beyond an ad.” The challenge of creating an event so large in scale and representing the magazine in innovative, interesting ways each year is finding the right venue, according to Ruttle. “Fan Pier is a blank canvas and worked really well for us to highlight sponsorships and make them interactive.”

PBD Events president Michael Nedeau designed the event, creating multiple niches out of the raw outdoor space. The magazine aimed to bring in more seating, activities, brand exposure, and food vendors than years past, according to Nedeau.

Guests entered through a large white tent with several areas meant to underscore the sponsors and honor the Best of Boston winners. New this year was the “Wall of Winners,” a gallery-like space with photos and names of all the people and places dubbed “Best” of 2010.

Event sponsors were prominent throughout the party, most notably in the Infiniti event dome, where guests could sit and take pictures with the newest Infiniti models. The W lounge highlighted all three venues at W Boston—Market restaurant, Bliss Spa, and forthcoming club and lounge Descent—and mirrored the sleek, modern aesthetic at the hotel itself with black seating and small cube tables. Bliss had a mini-massage station for guests to get pampered by Bliss staffers in signature blue T-shirts. An outdoor summer-themed game area included volleyball with W beach balls and a Vitaminwater-sponsored bag toss.

Patron hosted several bars inside and outside the tent and offered a photo area for guests to snap shots that were then projected onto the tent and displayed on flat-panel televisions. PBD pulled sponsors into decor, too, with white florals popping out of Patron-bottle centerpieces accented by lime-green linens on outdoor tables.

Midway through the party, local band Mystery Roar took to the stage for a live set.

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