'Boston' Does Boston

My name is Lauren Boston and I’ll be at the 2012 NAA Education & Exposition June 28-30…in Boston. Let’s just get that joke out of the way right now.

In addition to visiting a city that shares my last name, I’m excited about everything else Boston—and the conference—has to offer.

For starters—or should I say ‘stahtas’—there’s the food. When I visited Boston three years ago, I ate my body weight in gnocchi in the North End, enjoyed every last spoonful of clam chowder at the historic Union House restaurant and got a Boston cream pie donut from a local 7-Eleven (we didn’t have time to stop by an actual bakery—or even a Dunkin Donuts, for that matter).

After spending a good 15 minutes on the Mike’s Pastry website—strictly for work-related purposes—I’m looking forward to returning to Boston for some more good eats, hopefully none of which will be purchased at a convenience store.

In addition to the great food, I’m excited about the amazing hotels we’ll be staying in during the conference. My first time in Boston, I booked a room in what can only be described as a halfway house for troubled women. I was trying to save a little money, but my travel companions were less than pleased when a fellow resident began screaming that the hostel wasn’t serving French toast, as previously promised, and almost punched an employee in the face. This was one of several distrubing incidents during our short stay.

While there’s no telling whether one of our members will get incensed over a forgotten sausage patty, I’d like to think our accommodations on the Boston harbor will provide a beautiful, peaceful homebase during our time in Boston.

Then again, how much down time will we really be spending in the hotel? Touring Fenway, enjoying a swan-boat ride in Boston Public Garden, taking a day trip to Salem where you hide among witch mannequins and see if passersby can spot you—just me on that last one? Anyway, the point is there is so much to do in Boston. The hardest thing is figuring out how to cram it all in and still eat 12 cannoli.

But let’s not forget about the main event—the reason we’re all coming to Boston in the first place, aside from paying homage to a place that has over 100 Dunkin Donuts: NAA’s 2012 Education Conference & Exposition!

More than 6,000 apartment professionals will be in attendance for the annual event, as the best and brightest in the industry network with one another, attend more than 40 breakout sessions and connect with more than 323 suppliers on the tradeshow floor.

Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism—and, let’s be real, a silver fox—will entertain attendees with his insights from more than 40 years of firsthand experiences talking to everyone from world leaders to average citizens in the midst of life-changing events.

If that isn’t cool enough, star athletes Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra are teaming up for the Friday General Session. Another attendee favorite, the sixth annual Maintenance Mania championship will be held during the conference, reminding the vast majority of us just how useless we are with a wrench and a plunger.

And if you really need one more reason to attend the conference, how about the opportunity to meet Lauren Boston in—wait for it—Boston.

To register for the conference, go here.