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.