Boston Athenaeum Beyond the Boardroom

Experiential Meetings & Conferences

The Boston Athenaeum, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is known for its rare books, manuscripts, and art collection. The venue and its recent architectural expansion offer opportunities for unique events.  

Non-traditional meeting styles have gained popularity as people seek unique and immersive experiences beyond the traditional conference setup. Immersive events provide a multi-sensory environment that stimulates creativity and encourages out-of-the-box thinking.  

By breaking away from traditional meeting styles, immersive events can inspire attendees to think creatively and collaboratively, leading to innovative ideas and solutions. 

Moreover, immersive events offer attendees much more than basic amenities like coffee, donuts, and branded pens.

The Catered Affair Event Producers will customize the program, allowing attendees to engage in history-rich team experiences.  

We’ve taken the guesswork out of planning immersive and inspired meetings.  

Conferences at Boston Athenaeum

Sample Experiential Meeting Agenda:  

8:00 AM Guests arrive via Beantown Trolley to Boston Athenaeum
8:15 AM Breakfast of made-to-order smoothies, fresh juices, and pastries from local bakeries, Leventhal Lounge
9:00 AM Morning Session, Leventhal Conference Room
10:45 AM Morning Break, pre-selected historical activity:   

  • Exhibition lectures: Learn more about special exhibitions from experts.  
  • Art & Architecture Tour with a docent focused on the history of the Atheneum, the iconic building, and remarkable collections. 

12:00 PM Lunch, Leventhal Lounge 
12:45 PM Afternoon Session
3:00 PM Afternoon Break; sweet and savory Beacon Hill-inspired treats. 
Organize guided walking tours of historic Boston, starting from the Athenaeum and exploring nearby landmarks and neighborhoods. 
6:00 PM Strolling Cocktail Reception, Bow Room, and Henry Bayard Long Room  
Inspired cocktail parties provide the ultimate in social revelry and culinary exploration. Feast on endless passed small plates, hand-crafted hors d’oeuvres, and bountiful food stations.  

Sample Menu 

LAMB LOLLIPOPS | cilantro-mint pesto
NATIVE LOBSTER ROLLS | drawn butter, lemon, micro celery
CUCUMBER CUPS | avocado mousse + mango-chili salsa 

ROASTED CHICKEN | parmesan polenta, charred corn succotash, heirloom tomato pistou
SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS | vidalia onion puree, mango relish + lime beurre blanc
FRESH GNOCCHI | asparagus, spring peas + wild mushrooms, chervil butter, ricotta salata 

MINI ESPRESSO-TINI | vanilla vodka, kahlua, crème de cacao, espresso
SALTED CARAMEL BUDINO | chocolate crumbs, whipped cream
MINI JAR PIE | boston cream pie  

Live Entertainment Ideas:  
  • The Traveling Poetry Emporium offers live bespoke poetry on antique typewriters.  
  • TEN31 offers exhilarating performances, creations, and experiences. 
  • Special Collections Viewings. Priceless books and ancient materials are held in trust for the understanding and enjoyment of patrons today and for those in generations to come. For more information, visit here. 

Conferences at Boston Athenaeum

These events offer attendees a unique and valuable experience beyond the typical conference format. 

Boston Athenaeum is a member-supported library, museum, and cultural. Please consult with The Catered Affair and the Boston Athenaeum to ensure that any event aligns with policies, availability, and specific rules and regulations.  

To schedule a tour and begin planning your event, please e-mail [email protected] 


Written by: Kori Carter Gillespie is the Director of Brand Marketing @thecateredaffair in Boston, Massachusetts. Kori is a content writer passionate about crafting brand stories for lifestyle companies.