One of the funniest films ever and one of my favorites is This Is Spinal Tap, the 1984 mockumentary about the misadventures of a fictional rock band. It includes a number of classic lines including this gem of an exchange between the group's manager and its guitarist/singer:
Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been cancelled... David St. Hubbins: What? Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's not a big college town.

Of course, the line is absurd given the city's status as the preeminent college town. Beyond the youthful vitality its students bring, the steady stream of well-educated graduates available for the regional workforce, the valuable research that is conducted, and many other benefits that the wealth of schools makes possible, the colleges and universities offer an additional, perhaps under-the-radar resource: conference host. The organization, Campus Conference Solutions, capitalizes on the concept by partnering with a number of schools in the region and offering a full range of services to meeting planners. Let's say you are responsible for putting together a conference and have targeted Massachusetts as the location for your event. Imagine inviting your attendees to spend a few days at Wheelock College, Babson College, or Stonehill College, to name a few of the schools that CCS represents. The organization can help you identify a host university, coordinate meeting spaces, arrange for audio-visual equipment and services, secure overnight accommodations (in lovely dorms, suites, and townhouses no less), and plan tours and activities in and around Boston.

Consider taking advantage of the city's reputation as the foremost college town for your next conference. On a 10-point scale for unique and memorable ways to experience Boston, the rating for a meeting coordinated by Campus Conference Solutions would, as Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel might put it, "go to 11."

Photo: Campus Conference Solutions