Thursday, December 19, 2013

Event Venues: The grass is much greener for Randall's Island in 2014

Located where the East and Harlem Rivers merge, Randall's Island is the site of many huge concerts and via Icahn Stadium, sporting events.  Using water taxis from Midtown East, the journey there can be half the fun.  This unique combined experience is why meeting planners frequently consider Randall's Island as a venue for major corporate events and galas.

Until recently, it has also been a venue for unwanted water.  Lots of it.

During this year’s Governors Ball, torrential rains and three days of music destroyed the grass fields of Randall’s Island, leaving the grounds in a state of disrepair.  Afterward, Governors Ball organizers helped restore the grounds to a substantially better condition than they were before record setting rains and thousands of fans turned the island into a mud pit. Working with the NYC Department of Parks, organizers laid down over nine acres of brand new grass and made important infrastructure improvements to prevent future flooding.

There might not be much green to look at on Randall's Island in December, but your outdoor event will have plenty of it there to enjoy in a few short months!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Broadway Update: Neil Patrick Harris goes transgender in 2014

The gritty rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is coming to Broadway.  Starring Neil Patrick Harris as a transgender German singer, the production will open performances March 29, 2014 at the Belasco Theatre. Directed by Michael Mayer, the new production features Emmy-nominated choreographer Spencer Liff from "So You Think You Can Dance."

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical comedy about a fictional rock 'n' roll band, fronted by Harris' character, Hedwig, a transgender woman and "internationally ignored song stylist" from East Berlin. The score includes memorable tunes "Tear Me Down," "Wig in a Box," "Wicked Little Town" and "Angry Inch."

Shackman Associates regularly provides association meeting, destination incentive and corporate meeting groups with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Corporate Events: Your logo and attendees mingle with U.S. Presidents

The New York Historical Society doesn't get the same headlines as The Museum of Natural History - its neighbor across the street - but it offers corporate meeting planners a very unique backdrop of American history with companion exhibit technology that can be customized for events.

The Historical Society also has opened a funky new restaurant - Caffe Storico - which features a robust Italian menu for private events by Steven Starr.

As we have said many times, destination meetings in New York do not have to settle for "the chicken" or "the beef" when planners can choose delicious options like Starr's antipasti and artisanal pastas.  However, our favorite is the slightly cheesy and creamy and extremely flavorful lobster!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Take a dip in a 107-degree Roman Bath with 25 of your meeting attendees

Destination corporate meetings are helping attendees take some serious stress away with an idea that is as old as Julius Caesar.

The new Russian- and Roman-inspired baths that have popped up in Manhattan are more luxurious and sexier than their predecessors. It's huge departure from the tech-driven team-building games, but why work so hard when your meeting can opt for some old fashioned hedonism?  We recently found a 16,000-foot underground brick-and-glass den in New York City's TriBeCa. Options include vast electricity-free villas to bathing coaches that hand-pour olive oil, red wine, or cava upon request. The hottest dipping pools are 107 degrees and the cold plunges are quite refreshing icy at 50 degrees. Also included are gauzy curtains, heated marble floors, terra-cotta lanterns and a no-talking policy that transforms turn a pretty basic thing like floating in water into a ridiculous pleasure.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Speakeasy 3.0: Drinks are no longer the only draw

It's no secret that speakeasies are a huge trend for destination corporate meeting groups.  And just when you thought they might get stale, new venues are reinventing old formats into different kinds of speakeasies that do more than please your creative tastes.

These new venues are often incorporating supper club components, going all-out in wardrobe, bringing in old-school jazz performers, and in some cases, even importing steam that looks like smoke.  Your attendees will feel like they are living in Boardwalk Empire!

Monday, December 09, 2013

"X-Men" stars take on "superhero" schedule with two Broadway productions

Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart - both no strangers to superhero roles that include Gandolf in "Lord of the Rings", Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier in "X-Men", and Captain Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation", are working a "superhero" schedule on Broadway and starring together in simultaneous productions of Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."

The plays, directed by Sean Mathias, have a revolving Broadway schedule. For

The plays, directed by Sean Mathias, have a revolving Broadway schedule. For example, "No Man's Land" plays Wednesday evenings through a Saturday matinee option, while "Waiting for Godot" runs from Saturday evenings through a Wednesday afternoons.

While the plots behind both plays are mysterious and delightfully absurd, the gold here is watching two distinguished actors in action.  In our opinion, McKellan and Stewart could be reading the classifieds and you'd still be captivated!

Shackman Associates New York provides corporate meeting, destination incentive and association meeting groups with unique Broadway experiences that regularly include backstage tours an interaction with key performers.

Corporate Events in Harlem: Chowing down in Uptown

Harlem's renaissance as a destination for foodies is leading corporate meeting groups to try some of the newest and coolest dining and event options in the neighborhood.  It is also an attracting intriguing venue owners such as former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons. 

From cinnamon-scented fried Guinea hen to oxtail dumplings, Harlem is coming up with new twists on the cuisines of Africa and Asia.  And now, venues are leveraging their unique cuisines to launch other kinds of experiences such as jazz clubs that are located next door.

According to meeting planners, "We love jazz, and European visitors in particular have always had a very romantic perspective about Harlem."

Friday, December 06, 2013

Warrm up to afternoon tea at your next New York corporate meeting

It's about to get really cold soon in New York and as many of our friends in the UK can attest, nothing beats hot afternoon tea to warm the body and soul.

Meetings venues here in Manhattan have taken notice and are incorporating afternoon tea breaks in to their packages for corporate destination travel groups.  And we're not just talking about green tea.  Offerings are becoming more exotic and complex and meeting groups are often treated to "fusion" tea menus.  Popular flavors include pomegranate, grey vanilla creme, bubble tea and even "mojitea".  Combine this with one of New York City's many options for macaroons and you will have a meeting group that is feeling great just when it might be that time of day to hibernate!