Thursday, November 19, 2015

Broadway: King Charles III would make Shakespeare Proud

If you have scheduled a destination corporate meeting in New York City over the next 11 weeks, you might want us to help you check out King Charles III on Broadway. 

The play will take your attendees to the not-to-distant future where Charles, Prince of Wales, finally becomes King of England. He's an idealist, but is surrounded by vultures: a treacherous family, sneaky politicians, and a disloyal court.

What begins as a satire on the royal family and the English transforms into a production with the royals behaving much as their public personae. But the plot deepens into something Shakespearean in its intensity. In fact, there are many Shakespearean allusions, including an unexpected ghost who is one of the forces against Charles. Then there is the Duchess of Cambridge, played by Lydia Wilson, who has learned her trade at Lady Macbeth's knee, and children you would swear were King Lear's.

King Charles III is a fantastic, mature play with a limited engagement.

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

A Farm-to-Table Destination Meeting Menu Makes History as Animal Welfare Approved

New York City has seen explosive growth in farm-to-table menus for destination corporate meeting dinners, and now your attendees can experience a unique "upstate" taste in Manhattan at the only Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world.

Animal Welfare Approved is the most rigorous certification we have found for humane treatment of animals, and it's awesome to be able to enjoy delicious gourmet meat that don't require innocent animals to suffer so your group can eat them.

The burger menu is quite good - juicy, flavorful, well-seasoned, with a fantastic balance of flavors in the toppings. We tried the Uncle Dude, which is a standard 6 oz. (grass-fed and finished) beef-burger with cheddar, bacon, carrot jalapeno relish, and chipotle mayo.

However, if you want something more experiential, try a pig heart tasting!

The story behind this venue is also intriguing as the proprietor/farmer was once primarily responsible for developing the W brand for Starwood Hotels.

A Corporate Event in a Candy Shop is a Sweet Idea!

If your destination corporate meeting attendees have sweet tooths, we have found a meeting and event venue in Harlem that will deliver because, well, it's a candy store!
This is where Willy Wonka would shop for candy if he lived in New York City, and it's an ideal option for a daytime meeting or small lunch event where your corporate group can collaborate in an incredibly festive and delicious private room.

This is a bright and colorful candy shop that really throws one into nostalgia-land with a pretty extensive assortment of candy items. Some are a real blast from the past. Your attendees can enjoy a mix of today's candies and sweets that include chocolates, gummy bears, sodas, ice creams, hard candies, and gumballs. But the retro candies are what we like the best. This includes Candy Cigarettes, Abba Zabba, Double Bubble, Tootsie Rolls, and Peanut Clusters.

The Meeting Break Coffee That Looks Like Beer

If you are attending IBTM World and are wondering if this post is about eight hours too early, think again.

The newest coffee trend in New York City might look like a pint of beer, but it isn't. It is Nitro cold-brew iced coffee, and you can supply at meeting breaks with chilled cans that look like PBRs (Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is a cult classic brew in the US).

What exactly is nitro cold-brew iced coffee. The secret is adding nitrogen to cold-brew coffee and then pulling on a a pressurized tap, which creates a bubbly drink that has a head of foam.

The nitrogen completely changes taste of the coffee, but it doesn't taste like beer. Instead, your destination corporate meeting attendees will enjoy a creamy flavor that finishes with notes of chocolate and coffee. Ironically, we are told people who typically take milk with their coffee tend to drink the nitro version black.

Bottoms up at 9am!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cheeky, Sexy Burlesque Event Ideas in New York City

Burlesque shows have become so popular as an event idea that the inventory can make choosing one a little tricky. The good news: we are always looking too, and have found a great venue in the Lower East Side.

Quality of burlesque is ridiculously good, which include wonderful costuming, exceptional theatrics, beautiful dancers of great skill and grace, with top showmanship, fabulous storytelling (there is Tinkerbell having a sexual hissy fit at Peter Pan and his interest in Wendy) and energy.

It gets weird and and quirky without going over the top.  For example, it features two men who do the Top Gun outfits/music and simulated making love/courtship via aerial gymnastics; it's fun, cheeky, sexy, and without being skeezy.

Want to get in the act? We have found burlesque classes that are awesome team-building ideas!

The World's Most Top-Secret Workout Class Comes to New York

As destination corporate meeting attendees are continually looking for ways to find more options for fitness and healthy activities while on the road, New York City's hotels and luxury gyms are rolling out unique new programs to meet the demand.

One of the hottest, and most secret workouts has been instructed by Russell Bateman, whose clients include some of the world's top models and acting talents. Although many of his super-intense classes have been invite-only, Bateman is is introducing his concepts to gyms in Manhattan.

Some of the key workout moves your attendees will learn are the crab walk, inverted call climb, partner leg bicycle, and delayed push-ups.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Boutique Hotel Provides Triple Flexibility for Small Destination Meetings

With so many hotels, meeting options and dining venues available to destination corporate meeting attendees in New York City, convenience at one location sometimes underrated.

The challenge, of course, is delivering on diverse and specific needs of each group.

We have found one boutique hotel in Midtown that provides luxury, style and flexibility small meeting groups are seeking. It features Library meeting rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking 44th Street that accommodates 10 guests. It also provides a private suite ideal for breakout sessions with a private dining option for 15.

Need something a little larger? Your attendees and enjoy space accommodating up to 20 guests for private dining events, 30 guests for cocktail receptions and up to 25 attendees for meetings.

Overall, New York's boutique hotels are becoming more flexible than ever for meeting groups while creating the intimate vibe attendees love, especially when it's a short walk from major attractions such as Times Square!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Heat Up Corporate Cocktail Hours with Charred Ice

One of the hottest drink trends in New York City is charred ice cubes in summer cocktails. If you choose to serve bourbon or anything that features honey or lemon, try adding a one of these cubes.

They are as black as you would think they would look!

Mixologists are using smoke guns to burn wood chips and they are then hosing the smoke into plastic bags half-filled with water. The bag then sits for about 12 hours to infuse the water. Add in a little burnt sugar, and your attendees will enjoy a unique summer drink experience!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Add Spice to White and Red by Serving Orange Wine at Corporate Events

Orange wine might sound like someone overthought the room with a new trend, but these varietals are ironically centuries old, and are becoming a hot drink idea in the US.

Orginally founded in the Republic of Georgia, orange wines are like nothing you might imagine. We tried a few and our favorites are one that tastes a little smokey and one that hits with flavors of honey that transform into a grapefruit. Wow!

The critical component to these wines is pairing them with the right food, ideally cheeses and cured meats. We have found multiple venues in New York that are specialists in this category, and at the very least, this is an event idea your attendees will certainly talk about!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A Luxury Touch of Paris Coming to NYC?

We are hearing that the Sony Building on Madison Avenue could become New York's version of the Bristol Hotel.

Hôtel Le Bristol is a world-renown five-star property located in Parid in the heart of the fashion, design, and art district. Hôtel Le Bristol opened in 1925 and is famous for its historic architecture and luxurious interior. The hotel is part of the Oetker Collection, Masterpiece Hotels which is owned by one of Europe's richest families.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Manhattan's Pier 57 Becomes a Food Playground for Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdiain, the world's most famous traveling foodie, is opening a major dining and food venue at Pier 57 in Manhattan. Bourdain's food hall will be located on the corner of West 15th Street and the Hudson River, and will include a farmers market with an oyster bar, bakery, tapas bar and more.

According to Eater, the food hall, opening in early 2016, will also feature 100 vendors, some as permanent fixtures and others rotating in for a few weeks at a time. Bourdain's group is also planning a rooftop beer garden and says the entire venue will be highly experiential for people visiting New York.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Spotted Pig Owners Scale Up in Downtown Manhattan

What a difference seven years makes! The infamous AIG Tower, one of the symbols of the 2008 financial crisis, has been overhauled into luxury rental apartments. And more. It now has top chef April Bloomfield from the Spotted Pig as the operator of an ultra-dining and drinking venue on its top four floors.

Besides its incredible gourmet burgers, The Spotted Pig, located in a very quiet area of the West Village, has been a regular establishment for celebs. Bloomfield and her partner, Ken Friedman, also operate The Breslin and John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel.

The new restaurant will feature 7,500 of indoor dining space and around 2,500 square feet of terraces. The venue will also operate a 1,000 square-foot lobby bar. We expect this to be an incredible venue that will accommodate destination meeting groups of all sizes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meeting Breaks: Socially Responsible Craft Coffee Now the King of Hot Beverages in NYC

Tired of bland coffee during meeting breaks? Don't like the long lines at Starbucks around the corner from your hotel? Boutique coffee shops are popping up everywhere in NYC. Their growth is so explosive that they are becoming as big as the craft beer industry.

Two of them in particular have gotten our attention:

1. Bluestone Lane. Its first location on Greenwich Avenue is accessible to hotels in the Meatpacking District, includes outdoor tables, an indoor courtyard, and has the vibe of a local English pub. Its other locations include: one across from Bryant Park, close to most Midtown Manhattan hotels; one near the Guggemheim and Metropolitan Museums, and an upcoming store in Dumbo, which is close to Brooklyn's trendy boutique hotels and the Tech Triangle.

2. Think Coffee. With locations throughout Manhattan, this unique roaster provides coffee fanatics with single source options on the menu, which means beans are farmed from the smallest geographic region possible. Think Coffee has an incredible give-back program that includes student empowerment in developing countries, helping war-torn communities, and installing solar panels in Central America. They also use compostable cups!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bruce Willis Heads to Broadway via Stephen King

Action star Bruce Willis will make his Broadway debut this this fall in a stage version of Stephen King's "Misery."

Willis will play the role of hostage-author Paul Sheldon (played in the 1990 movie by James Caan), and Elizabeth Marvel will play Annie Wilkes, Sheldon's self-proclaimed biggest fan who captures him after he's in a car accident and forces him to rewrite his new book so it's more to her liking. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her performance as Annie in the original movie.

Shackman Associates provides destination corporate meeting, association convention and incentive travel program attendees with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nitro and Bottled Cocktail Hours: Explosive Flavors From Science and Speed

We are seeing two big trends in New York City mixology that are transforming cocktail hour events at destination corporate meetings.
Bottling cocktails. Hate standing in line forever at an event? Bottled cocktails cut down on time and produce quality cocktails in seconds when attendees are thirsty. The key to a good bottled cocktail is creating something that has the perfect balance between alcohol and citrus or sugar that’s added.

Nitro Infusions. A Nitro Infusion is molecular mixology where bartenders are becoming deliciously mad scientists! They are manipulating shakers to create new flavors, textures, and unique cocktail presentations that enhance the overall drinking experience.  Some of the most popular infusions include the use of foams, gels, mists, heat, and solidifying liquids.

These drinks can get a little crazy. They include cocktails with suspended elements, cocktail gums, paper cocktails, solid cocktails, cocktail marshmallows, flavored ice spheres, frozen ‘nitro’ cocktails, cocktail popsicles, and even cocktail glasses filled with cotton candy!

The secret formula is really about equipment, especially among mixologists who work at molecular gastronomy restaurants. They are piggybacking on the the expensive items used by the chef to create incredible cocktail experiences!

Hotel News: Marriott Goes Boutique in NYC with Edition

Marriott's first New York City boutique hotel, Edition, is opening in the renowned Clock Tower by Madison Square Park. This is part of a trend where major hotel chains are either opening their own boutique properties or acquiring independent ones.

Edition offers approximately 2,100 square feet of flexible meeting and event space that ranges from an executive boardroom to studio space.  It also has three 1,350 square foot penthouses that feature views of the city and are ideal tor private events and gatherings.

Under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, The Clocktower restaurant can accommodate  larger events and galas. The decor includes mahogany wood paneled walls and specially curated art.
Your destination meeting attendees can enjoy a fresh experience at boutiques like Edition while leveraging the advantages of loyalty programs. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Make Your Cocktail Hour a Rooftop Jazz Event

New York City's rooftops are always a hot idea for the destination meeting happy hour. The challenge is finding one, especially on short-notice, that isn't packed or booked well in advance.

We have found one of the most unique rooftop venues in Manhattan that provides a sophisticated vibe, amazing views looking both west and east, and a jazz component for a chill experience.

We have previously blogged about the explosive growth of jazz throughout the city, and when we checked out the rooftop venue in Tribeca, one the industry's up-and-coming artists (on Billboard) was performing. This kind of talent is available for your event specifically because Manhattan provides more opportunities to earn money on a regular basis.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bottle Service in Bed at a NYC Hotel in 2016

Ever wondered if you could get luxury bottle service in bed? You'll soon find out what it's like!

The Tao Group nightlife company, which runs the massively popular Tao nightclubs in NYC and Las Vegas, is opening its first ever hotel in the Meatpacking District in New York City.

The Tao-branded hotel will be located at 414 W. 15th Street in a new 23-story building and open in Summer 2016. We hear there will be a rooftop lounge that can accommodate 240 people, a 23rd floor lounge for the same amount of people, and another lounge and terrace on the second floor. We are expecting Tao's pan-Asian cuisine to be served in the rooms, which is already being done at the Maritime Hotel around the corner. Tao also runs the Tao Ink bar at the Maritime, so expect a similar concept for the Tao Hotel.

Friday, May 08, 2015

A Big Bang for "God" on Broadway

Jim Parson, the most popular science nerd on TV, is taking on a more heavenly role as the voice of God on Broadway. 

The 41-year-old "The Big Bang Theory" star is the lead in "An Act of God",which began previews yesterday and opens at the end of this month. The comedy production is based on the critically acclaimed book written by "God" and transcribed by "The Daily Show's" David Javerbaum.  While Parson may be best known for his role on TV, he told "Today" that Broadway is really is home. His last performance was in the 2012 revival of Harvey.

Shackman Associates New York provides destination corporate meeting, association convention and incentive travel program attendees with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Broadway: Watch the Magic of Penn and Teller

Penn and Teller might be the world's most famous magicians, and they have been bringing their radical brand of legerdemain to audiences for years. From July 7 to Aug. 16, they will be on Broadway with a limited engagement at the Marquis Theatre. 

Shackman Associates New York provides destination corporate meeting, association convention, and incentive travel program attendees with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Soccer Team-Building in Manhattan with a Unique Twist

International corporate groups attending destination meetings in New York City already know how big futbol (soccer) is in their own countries, and even without a World Cup this year, it has also become bigger than ever here in the US.

As more of the world's top talent plays here, experts who teach and train them are coming here as well. These experts can help provide your meeting attendees with a unique team-building idea at one of New York's fields. One of the most unique venues is located on the Hudson River near Houston Street. With two outdoor regulation fields located in the middle of a parking garage, your attendees can refine their skills on the soft turf with an amazing backdrop of the World Trade Center in the background!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New on Broadway:" It Shoulda Been You" is a Hilarious Dysfunctional Wedding

We love everything David Hyde Pierce (Frazier) has been in, so wouldn't it make sense that he would direct something on Broadway that is hilarious? With "It Shoulda Been You", we were right on the money.

The show starts off by roping you into thinking that this could be just another boiler plate Broadway musical, then it blows up with so many twists and turns that you are left breathless. The production has an amazing cast, led by Tyne Daly, who make the most dysfunctional wedding you have ever attended look like a piece of cake. No pun intended! However, the families in this show are about crazy as they come.

Shackman Associates provides destination corporate meeting, association convention and incentive travel program group with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Luxury Event Lighting to Keep Earth Day Alive All Year

With warmer weather (hopefully) here to stay, holding a corporate event or gala outdoors is a great idea. We have found a lighting option for these kinds of events that offers both a touch of luxury and sustainability.

After all, it's Earth Day!

We recommend using inflatable solar lanterns and best one is the Luci Lux by MPowerd, located right here in New York City. Its sleek, frosted design creates a brilliant but warm glow for any type of corporate gala or cocktail party. More importantly, Luci solar lights are helping children in developing countries read and study at night!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Event Photos Where Attendees Can Let Loose in Front of the Camera

Photo booths have been increasingly popular at corporate events, and they are getting more creative and exciting than ever.

We are using one next week at an iconic New York City venue, and one of the cool features that sold us was matching backgrounds with the time of day. So if your event is in the evening, photos of attendees against a skyline backdrop will show the early evening sun that is typical in late April.

You can brand the photos with your corporate logo or themes from the meeting, and your attendees will receive a web gallery of images that can be downloaded and shared in 2 to 3 business days. And some of those images can get a little crazy! With tables of crazy hats and wigs by the photo booth, your group can really let loose in front of the camera!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sip the South Bronx at a Hip New York Brewery

If your destination corporate meeting group is looking for a new kind of tasting experience, try heading north to the Bronx Brewery. It's a really cool venue located in an industrial area of the South Bronx. One could imagine it's exactly what Williamsburg used to look like before gentrification.

We recommend a flight  (5 tastings each) plus a growler to get your event rolling. The Belgium beer is great, but our favorite is a more unusual brew infused with sage. The bartenders are detailed in describing each type of beer, and although it is usually reserved for Saturdays, we might be able to help you add a tequila tasting as well!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dr. Zhivago Opens on Broadway

The wait is over! Doctor Zhivago, based on Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize-winning 20th-century epic Russian masterpiece, opens on Tuesday, April 21.

The production stars Tam Mutu (Donmar Warehouse’s City of Angels), who is making his Broadway debut as the passionate Doctor and poet Yurii Zhivago, Kelli Barrett (Wicked) as the alluring Lara Guishar, Tony Award nominee Tom Hewitt (Rocky Horror Show) as the cynical bourgeois magistrate Viktor Komarovsky, Paul Alexander Nolan (Jesus Chris Superstar) as political radical Pasha Antipov, and Lora Lee Gayer as Tonia Gromeko, Zhivago’s devoted wife.

Doctor Zhivago will be directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), with a book by Academy Award nominee Michael Weller (Ragtime), music by two-time Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden), lyrics by Tony Award nominee Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Emmy Award nominee Amy Powers (Ella Enchanted), and choreography by Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine (Rocky).

Doctor Zhivago, an epic romance, is based on the search for love during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the Russian revolution. Despite his aristocratic background, Zhivago is a political idealist whose life is influenced by the history around him. He is torn between a life with his devoted wife, Tonia, and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar. However, Lara is being pursued by many others as well. For Zhivago, he cannot live without her! 

Shackman Associates provides destination corporate meeting, association convention and incentive travel program groups with unique Boradway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Play Ball and Eat Well!

After a week at home for the New York Yankees, the city's other team, The Mets are playing their home-opener today in spectacular Spring weather, and experiencing a day or evening at the ballpark is a fan favorite of destination corporate meeting attendees.

In 2015, the experience is getting even better, especially when your attendees get hungry.

Citi Field has especially ramped up its game with dining options that include gourmet panini, grilled cheese sandwiches from Pressed by Lure chef Josh Cappon, s'mores-dipped bacon from NYC's Pig Guy, and seafood sliders. However, we're the most excited to try the new Mac and Cheese Frites!  

Shackman Associates New York can help your destination corporate meeting, association convention or incentive travel program group create unique sports experiences at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field that include cocktail receptions on the field and team-building activities in batting cages.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Experience the Story Behind the Story of Peter Pan on Broadway

"Finding Neverland" is becoming one of Broadways hottest tickets. The productions follows the life of playwright J.M. Barrie as he writes the story of Peter Pan. Although Barrie was already a well known writer, he got into slump. He then finds the inspiration he's been missing when he meets a beautiful widow, Sylvia, and her four young sons: Jack, George, Michael and Peter.

Barrie's relationship with a woman other than his wife becomes a scandal, but he loves watching her boy's adventures. This leads him to create the magical world of Neverland, and rolls the dice by writing a play unlike any the high-society London theatergoers have ever seen. It's a tremendous risk.

Peter is the child that he names the character of his story after. He's a little boy who is growing up way too fast and reminds Barrie that "life is too absurd, to take so seriously." Barrie wanted to write a play that reminded people that we all have an inner child screaming to get out again.

"Finding Neverland" is funny, romantic, and even a little tragic. The play stars Matthew Morrison (Glee) as James M. Barrie, Kelsey Grammar (Frasier) as Captain Hook and Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Davidson.

Shackman Associates New York provides destination corporate meeting, association convention and incentive travel program groups with unique Broadway experience that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Healthy Food Delivered to Your Destination Corporate Meeting

Did you have a quirky aunt who called you a "good egg" when you were young?

While that experience is completely unrelated to this blog post, the phrase "good egg" is altering how destination corporate meetings in New York City eat healthy. Your attendees can use an app with the same name for a lunch where they can select from packages such as Fruit and Veggie Medley with seven kinds of seasonal produce, packaged healthy meal preparations, and hundreds of a la carte items that include everything from kale chips to tofu.

All delivered.

These services are fitting with a trend of on-site private kitchens during business components at destination meetings. This is especially relevant when meeting at one of New York's evocative meeting venues.


Thursday, April 02, 2015

New French "Eataly" in NYC Features an Invitation-Only Dining Experience

We recently checked out the opening of LeDistrict in Lower Manhattan. It's the French equivalent of Eataly and has a few interesting twists.

Besides its waterfront location across the street from the new World Trade Center and the W Downtown, LeDistrict is rolling out a dining option at L'Appart that is ideal for corporate incentive groups. It's a highly intimate experience, away from the rest of the market, where the chef assembles dishes from a seasonal, rotating menu. It's invitation only, which is what we are here for!

In addition to L'Appart, we also like LeBar, which could be a great summertime after-hours option for your attendees.

Experience New York's First Ever Cider Tasting Destination

We recently checked out an exciting new venue in Manhattan's Lower East Side where your destination corporate meeting attendees can enjoy the city's first-ever private cider tasting experience.

How big is cider-tasting getting? One year ago, you could have experiences every single high-end cider that was available. The number of ciders has increased so rapidly that your attendees can be choosy and creatively put a list together that has diversity. We recommend American ciders, especially the Farnum Hill Semi Dry, Spanish ciders from the Basque region of both sides of the Spanish/French border, and Breton ciders from northwestern France. You can also try ciders from Savoie in France, Canada, Germany, the UK, Ireland, and Chile. Even Japan is getting into the act!

If your attendees like beer tasting, they will love some of the beer-inspired ciders blended separately with different yeasts and then aged. Your group will also get an inside look on how ciders are made. Experts will explain how each cider goes through the fermentation process and how they are all different. They will also show how to avoid turning cider into vinegar if your get inspired to try it at home!

It's a really cool experience that is enhanced with a vegetarian food pairing for each cider.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

World Trade Center Observation Deck About to Open

The observation deck at One World Trade Center will be opening soon, and we got a sneak peek of its spectacular views and amenities. Incredible!

It will also become a top luxury destination to host special events in New York City. Overall, Lower Manhattan is booming both with hospitality and event spaces.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Destination Meeting Hotels: A Local New York Vibe with a "Wow" Indoor Pool

We are being frequently asked by destination meeting and incentive travel program planners how to incorporate the "local vibe" of New York City into more elements of their attendees' experiences. What if the local experience surrounded them everywhere at their hotel?

The Marmara Park Avenue is doing just that.

Opening in April, this hospitality venue is going "experiential local" everywhere it can. Whether it is the lobby’s 14-foot fireplace, its steel vestibule, or its handpicked furnishings, they are all custom-designed by artisans in the five boroughs and led by New York artist and designer Joe Ginsberg.  It's chic Manhattan with high ceilings, spacious layouts and private terraces in 40 of the 128 guest rooms.

The Marmara Park Avenue features 1,375 secluded square feet of event space that can be divided into two separate rooms of 825 and 550 square feet. It also has a private kitchen!

And then there is the indoor pool. Oh, wow. With an incredibly chill vibe, a combination of Roman and Asian design elements, and a hardwood high-ceiling, it's a spectacular amenity that deserves plenty of off-hours attention!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Think Pink and French All Year for Wine at Corporate Galas

There was a time when wine snobs would thumb their noses at rosé. It was too unsophisticated unless it was an $850 bottle of Garrus.

"A summer-only drink," some would say. Well, not anymore, and it's a F&B  idea to consider serving at your next corporate gala or incentive dinner.

Rosés have exploded in popularity and most every wine-making country makes them. Rosé sales in the US grew by 25.4% last year and the wine has become more diverse, rich and sophisticated than ever. It is also more moderately priced, which makes it work as an option at galas, dinners or other major events.

Also, New York City chefs are coming up with more pairing ideas that make it even work with meat. That's something you might never thought could happen.

And then there are some chefs that are so obsessed with rosé that they are encouraging people to drink it all year with incredibly creative pairings like eggplant ribs and rabbit sausage. One venue, ideal for small corporate incentive programs, is doing just that. They even have "Winter Rosé" categories!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The New Craft Drink at Events is Wine

With every kind of beverage imaginable going "craft", it's about time for wine-makers to join the party.

We have found a venue in New York City that specializes in serving craft tap wine out of the barrel. There is a growing perception that this kind of wine is both fresher, and without the bottles, better for the environment.

It doesn't end there. Your destination corporate meeting group can take team-building classes on how to pair different kinds of craft wines with everything from spicy foods to sweeter ones. The craft beer venues down the street have taken notice and will be soon offering classes like that too!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring! Take Your Meeting to the Water

Who cares if it is snowing on the first day of Spring! It's a great season for meetings in New York, and as the days get longer and warmer, we suggest taking your meeting to the beautiful Hudson River.

A few years ago, we ran a 10-boat flotilla for a major association convention that featured LED lighting themes on each boat and a fireworks show by the Statue of Liberty. Whether it is major event of that size, an after-hours cocktail party on floating restaurant, or something more intimate, your destination meeting has more choices than ever for a water event.

Your meeting can even run business components such as confidential presentations, conferences, and product launches on the water!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World on Broadway

The hit show "Mad Men" is ending soon, and Elizabeth Moss, its biggest star outside of "Don Draper" is headed to Broadway to star in the  revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles.”

The production also features Jason Biggs (“Orange is the New Black,” “American Pie”) and Bryce Pinkham, the Tony-nominated co-star of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” and Off Broadway regular Tracee Chimo (“Bad Jews,” “Orange is the New Black”). Pam MacKinnon, who won a Tony for her direction of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is the director.

"Heidi Chronicles" is one of the best-known plays written by the late Wasserstein and follows the title character from her 1960s high school days through her career as an art historian. It hasn’t appeared on Broadway since the initial 1989 transfer of the Off-Broadway staging at Playwrights Horizons.

Shackman Associates New York provides corporate meeting, association convention, and destination incentive travel program groups with unique Broadway and Off-Broadway experiences that frequently include backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Corporate Team-Building: Laser Tag is Back!

Laser tag is back! The 2015 version of this thrilling concept is a game of  world domination that plays out throughout neighborhoods in the city.

While one army advances from Wall Street, another swoops in from the Brooklyn Bridge, guns drawn.
Your destination meeting attendees can fire their lasers into the skyline and retreat behind the Washington Square Arch while they plan your next move. This is not some post-apocalyptic version of New York, but as the only laser tag venue in Manhattan, it's an intense corporate team-building idea!

The new 3,000-square-foot, NYC-themed indoor complex opened in December with re-created city icons. Competitors are briefed in a room painted like Central Park and then move around the arena under city street signs, a Statue of Liberty mural, the Washington Square Arch and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Team-building: Become a Spy and Rescue Your Kidnapped CEO

Scavenger hunts are hitting a new level in New York City and the item to be found is your "kidnapped" CEO!

Even if it is someone besides an executive in your destination corporate meeting group, this person will be the star of up to 4 video clues delivered to your teams via their mobile devices. The clues outline a sinister plot against your company, and your group is on a race against time as spies to find secret information (which can be physical items hidden in public or beacons) that rescues your colleague and saves the company!

If you remember the wild goose chase around New York City in the movie "Die Hard with a Vengeance", then you will love this team-building challenge!

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Uber of Chopper Service Launches in NYC, Transforms Airport Travel

While it's common to hear about CEOs using helicopters to speed their commute to New York City's three area airports, it has not always been an option for meetings on a budget, especially when the price is $2,000 per ride.

Until now.

New chopper services are opening the window to travel for destination corporate meeting attendees. Flights with high frequency run anywhere from $99 to $199. UberX can be just as expensive. So doesn't it make sense to cut your travel time by as much as an hour, and maybe more during rush hour?

With multiple terminals in Manhattan, passengers are also treated to in-flight food and leather seats. That sounds more comfortable than amenities on many airlines!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Chill, Relax, Sip, Jet and Revitalize at Destination Corporate Meetings

Meeting planners, you know your destination meeting attendees work hard, so what if they did nothing on their trip? Well, not nothing, but instead, about 6 hours of sweating, steaming, and zoning out in a robe. We have found a venue 20 miles from Manhattan that provides exactly that.

Your attendees can work out for an hour, shower, get a great steam, relax in a 70-minute facial, decompress with jacuzzi jets on their backs, and then enjoy unlimited time in a "relaxation room."  This is the kind of place where attendees can sip organic teas on lounges, enjoy amazing views with floor-to-ceiling windows, and occasionally pick at a few vegetable spring rolls. In robes.

Destination meetings don't just have to be about work!

One-night Theater a Huge Entertainment Trend in Manhattan

While Broadway has increasingly added limited-run shows where ticket-demand is high, what would you do if a great show was running for only one night?

We recently caught a production in this category and it was amazing. It was directed by one of the actors from the HBO hit series "The Sopranos" and fellow cast-members were in attendance. Based on Marlon Brando, it's the kind of show that could make a serious run on Broadway, but it didn't, and that's ok.

Sometimes less is more valuable and rewarding.

Shackman Associates New York provides destination corporate meeting, association convention, and incentive travel program groups with unique Broadway and Off-Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Hugh Jackman Planning a One-Man Show for Broadway Return

When Hugh Jackman wraps up a Broadway run like he did last month with "The River", we are always left wanting more. And as usual, Jackson is already planning a return with a one-man show that is focused on dance. He is working again with Warren Carlysle, who staged "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway."

The idea around the production is also intriguing, even if it didn't include Jackman. But the actor's fingerprints are all over it, because his upcoming production is based on his 1998 role in "Oklahoma," a London revival where he and Carslyle worked together. There is one scene where a chorus boy did a solo that ended in a split. On the production's final night, Jackson did the split himself!

It should be noted that Jackman is also one of Broadway top philanthropy draws. The shirts worn by him  during performances have been auctioned off for as much as $5,000 each, which in-turn helped bring in $550,000 of the $5.2 million raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

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

New York Sports Bars Grow Up for March Madness and Corporate Events

With March Madness only 2 weeks away, New York City's sports bars are getting ready for one of their biggest months of the year.

But if you think they are simply loading up on plastic cups, cheap beer and white ping-pong balls, think again. Sports bars are growing up, and the tipping point might have just happened at one of the city's flagship venues in this genre. It is leaving it's longtime home on Amsterdam Avenue to move to a larger, more upscale location around the corner.

With 4,500 square feet of space (and a lot more spare room between you and the next table to eat amazing spare ribs), it's not just an after-work option; it's an after-hours idea for your destination corporate meeting attendees.

Other bars are going even further with fusion concepts that include sophisticated event spaces, amenities for charity fundraisers, and private dining rooms. These venues are creating a vibe where the only Madness you will experience while watching March sports is in your attendees' brackets.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Real "Oldest Bar in New York City" Might Have Been Found by "Goodfellas"

Have friends or colleagues told you to get a beer at McSorley's in the East Village when you visit Manhattan? Or maybe you have done it yourself on a previous trip.

That's because it's the oldest bar in New York City, right? It's looking like that's wrong.

The Queens Historical Society says it has found a drinking venue, still in operation, that first opened in 1829. That's 30 years earlier than McSorley's. First known as the Old Blue Pump House, it was once a watering hole for Mae West. It's current proprietor is a FDNY lieutenant. He has refinished the old mahogany bar and even fixed the original tap.

But that's not all. This venue was scene of the legendary post-Luftansa heist party in the movie "Goodfellas."

We have blogged about the popularity of craft beer and distillery tours as a unique off-site event for your destination corporate meeting attendees. We can now a little twist of history and cinematic greatness!

Event Menus and After-Hours Dining: Try a New Twist on Fusion

With the explosive growth in Asian Fusion, chefs in New York City are trying versions that have are including Chinese-Mexican tapas and Mexican dim-sum. Additionally, one of the most successful fusion venues in New York, Mama Sushi, is expanding into new locations throughout the city. We would equate it to a mix of Dominican cuisine and your favorite sushi roll!

Shhh! Book an Artistic Secret Room for Corporate Events

Some of the best event venues in New York are under-the-radar. Others have taken it to a new (or should we say quieter) level. That's because they are secret.

Our favorite in Manhattan is a secret room behind a rotating bookcase. Located in a very trendy hotel, this event venue provides meeting planners with plenty of space for live entertainment and increasingly fresh, original art throughout the space.

It's just another angle on a trend where experiential art is the kind of decor destination meeting attendees seek because it fits their personal senses of style.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Make Your Corporate Meeting a Lifesaver for Innocent Dogs

Your CSR program can do more than just give back. It can give new leases on life to rescue dogs.

That is exactly what is going on in New York City, and your destination corporate meeting attendees can be a part of one of the most rewarding experiences in their lives. We have developed relationships with some really incredible people and accredited non-profits who are rescuing dogs from kill shelters all over the US, fostering them here in NYC, and finding new homes for them locally and with one program, in France.

Your meeting doesn't necessarily have worry about physically fostering dogs because the process is so complex that it really takes an entire team of people to help with crates, food, doggie sweaters, walks, veterinary paperwork, and coordinating adoptions on Facebook. The process can last just a few days or can continue when your attendees return home.

One person in our office recently participated in a rescue that included short-notice coordination with international flight attendants at JFK. While transporting 3 chihuahuas to adoptive homes near Paris, it got wild when shrink-wrapped crates had to be assembled within 5 minutes to get the dogs on the plane. And it obviously takes more than one person to keep them calm when the TSA makes you take the all the crates apart minutes after you get the dogs settled in them.

Worth every second of chaos!

Put Down the NYC Rooftop Cocktail and Pick up a Spear Instead

Most business travelers and corporate meeting attendees tell us that they specifically look for hotels with gyms that fit their lifestyles. But what if your lifestyle is trending a little Spartan?

We found a workout and potential team-building venue that is training people of all shapes and sizes for Spartan races. The sport exploded in 2012, and is expected to attract one million competitors in 2015. The challenge, of course, is being able to practice any of the extreme race requirements in a major city.

Now you can. We bet that at least one of your millennial destination meeting attendees has either competed in an extreme race or is thinking about it.

The workout includes circuit training, squats, burpees, and amazingly, spear-throwing on the rooftop. Not something you can say someone can do everyday on a rooftop in NYC!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Corporate Galas and Events: Fall in Love With Falling Off the Bone

One of the hottest and tastiest menu items you can offer at corporate gala is short ribs. Chefs in New York City are finding new ways to serve it, and we would argue it has become the equivalent of hand-crated beer for foodies.

If you are a meeting planner with an international group coming to New York, experiencing the creativity behind some of the best short ribs is really an experience that is most unique in the United States.

Short ribs are made from large, lean meaty ribs, are braised, and then slow-cooked for hours so they fall off the bone when you eat them. Some of our favorite versions we are seeing are fettuccine short ribs, short ribs mixed with mushrooms and Holsin or Guinness, short-rib and potato pizza, and of course, the traditional southwestern-style version.

Short ribs are also incredibly versatile with wine and beerpairings, so your attendees will be able to customize the dinner's complete experience!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sweeten Your Destination Corporate Meetings with Rugelach

They are not overly sweet, have centuries of urban legend surrounding them, and have mostly ended the recent insanity of people over cupcakes and macaroons in New York.

Try serving rugelach at your next destination corporate meeting. With a crackly exterior and a soft, sugary, buttery, and nutty interior, attendees will find them perfect in every way.  There is one NYC venue in particular that is considered the Rolls Royce of rugelach, and quite frankly, many locals think it is the best bakery in America.

Here's the best part. They will deliver directly to your meeting!

The history of rugelach, which is most notably served on Jewish holidays, is similar to the French croissant. Or is it? While many believe both treats emerged around the Battle of Vienna in 1683, there is an urban legend that both the rugelach and its supposed ancestor, the Kipferl, pre-date the Early Modern era, while the croissant in its modern form did not originate earlier than the 19th century.

So what's exactly inside rugelach? Your attendees can choose from fillings that include raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, chocolate, poppy seed and fruit preserves. .