Becoming another face in the crowd among 8 million people is not hard in New York, and for businesses holding incentive meetings, team building conferences and special events, being a small fish in a big pond is the new trend for 2009. With criticism of business meetings at a fever pitch in Congress, New York City has ironically become an ideal location for businesses to offer unique incentive travel experiences and create high-impact events that do not make headlines nor end up in a floor speech at the US Capitol.
At Shackman Associates New York, our 2009 corporate events and meetings still reflect the New York's logical and continued importance as a world business capital. However, instead of lavish affairs at high-profile venues, our attendees are opting for programs that are economically productive and give back to the community. For example, we are managing Realtors focused on repairing the country's housing market and touring innovative development in Harlem, team builing clients building bikes for school children in the Bronx, and after-hour events at one of Manhattan's unique bowling venues. "Exotic menus" in 2009 often consist of our city's famous pizza and rare varietals from far locales have given way to the many fine wineries we have right here in upstate New York and Long Island. With more venue choices than other locales, the willingness of Manhattan hotels to renegotiate room rates, and exceptionally low airfare options into the region's airports, I expect New York to be a preferred destination for any business serious about keeping important meetings and events on their schedule in 2009.