Friday, February 11, 2011

Been there, done that? 3 Ideas to Keep Your New York Meeting Fresh!

Even if your company is meeting in New York for the first time, there’s a good chance your attendees have been there before in some capacity.

Here are 3 unique ideas to keep the wow factor alive in the city that never sleeps:

#1 - Enhanced Orientations

We have developed the sightseeing component into a different dimension that allows guests to explore areas which are not necessarily on "the beaten path". Your hotel might be well-known, but the tour stops don’t have to be! Venues include the Cloisters and more “local” sights north and south of Midtown Manhattan. We like to include fantastic lunches at neighborhood venues not usually frequented by tourists. On one occasion, our client required a final night “wow” event to keep with their standing in the industry. An exclusive event at The Metropolitan Museum was the ideal solution. The cocktail reception was held in the Charles Englehard Court and to further personalize the event, we added an element of iconic ‘living statues’ – great for pictures – to the ones already in place.

Photo of The Cloisters courtesy of Washington College

#2 - Manhattan in a Room

If the right venue is chosen, three major, yet thematically diverse evening events at a host hotel can accommodate numbers, budgets and thirsts for an authentic New York flavor. We have transformed the same ballroom into something very unique so guests would not feel that they were in the same space on three consecutive nights. On Night One at one meeting, we recreated the Manhattan skyline with the building tops functioning as performance stages on which we featured a cross-cultural snapshot of the city relating to a variety of dance styles, music and performance art. Night Two was awards night which required very formal elegant gold tones with heavy use of floral design and candelabras reflecting the seriousness of the evening. Night Three was “let your hair down time” and, since we were in Times Square, the theme was reminiscent of a big Times Square dance party replete with neon, glitter and confetti and two fun bands.

#3 - New York without 11 million people

We recently worked with a flooring association convention where afterwards, we arranged for the association's corporate executives to meet at the Mohonk Mountain retreat in upstate New York. Only two hours from Manhattan, Mohonk is a spectacular business meeting venue that offers privacy and a host of amenities for spouses and the executives themselves (on an after-meeting-hours basis). Our effort to combine the convention and retreat into one trip not only made sense economically, we also helped key association members get away from frantic pace and lights of the big city into a location that helped them think clearly and develop strategic initiatives that the association reports is helping the industry as a whole emerge strongly from recession.

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