Boston in 2004 - The Second NFTGA-USA Conference
In February 2004, tourist guides from across the USA returned from Boston enriched, energized, educated, enthusiastic, and delighted that the second NFTGA Conference was a positive experience for everyone. Our hosts, the Greater Boston Tour Guide Association, rolled out red carpets everywhere and planned not only a fine conference, but excellent tours during the five days.
For three days of the conference, the biggest "stress" was deciding among workshops offered at the same time -- Voice Production, ABCs of Being Self-Employed, Coach Safety, Guide Certification and Architecture 101. The final day offered an Emergency Medical Training workshop and panel discussion on Getting Around Your City.
Plenary sessions on Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities, Guiding Across Cultures and The Art of Storytelling, all provided valuable perspectives with universal applications. In addition, foreign language guides had an opportunity to share matters of concern at a breakfast forum.
Tours and Special Events
Saturday arrivals toured Trinity Church, The Boston Public Library, and several other historic buildings. The "Grand Reception" set the tone on opening night and established connections among tourist guides from across the country and Canada-New Orleans, San Antonio, Boston, Phoenix, New York, San Francisco, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Cape Cod, Chicago, and Toronto. With a common bond of guiding and striving to be the best we can be, friendships were sealed.
Sunday's dinner at the U.S.S. Constitution Museum during Super Bowl in the Patriots' city offered a thoughtful overview of the role of "Old Ironsides."
Monday's lunch at Quotes at the Christian Science Library and Mapparium was an eye-opener, literally and figuratively. Mary Baker Eddy was quite a women's libber!
Monday afternoon included tours of Boston, and of Cambridge and Harvard Natural History Museum's Glass Flowers. Dinner at the Old Union Oyster House, oldest restaurant in Boston was followed by a walking tour of historic Boston bringing us back to the luxurious Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.
Post-conference tours included outstanding tours of Lexington, Concord, and Lowell, and "Presidents, Old and New" (presidential birthplaces and homes of John Adams and John Quincy Adams and John F. Kennedy Library).