Wondering what there is to do near our venue? Recommendations and ideas here!
We are excited to welcome Jessica Stucke to our HELEN MILLS team! As our new Event Sales & Operations Coordinator, she will be helping in all aspects of our events from beginning to end. Jessica has an extensive events background that has included working within the winery, restaurant, and floral industries in California. She is looking forward to contributing to the lively events scene in New York City!
Here's a quick interview with Jessica:
o Hometown? San Mateo, California.
o Favorite place in the neighborhood? Shake Shack (But it’s still 2nd place to In-N-Out, sorry!)
o What is at the top of your personal bucket list? To find and take a fabulous selfie with the new Netflix ‘Queer Eye’ cast.
o What do you love most about events / planning events? I love being surprised by each event’s creativity and purpose – it’s always uplifting to see people come together for a shared passion or cause.
o Favorite swag item? I can never have enough Tote Bags!
o Favorite event décor? String lights or as I like to professionally call them behind the scenes: “fairy twinkle lights”.
o Favorite cocktail? I’ll gladly sip anything with gin and mint/cucumber – bartender’s choice!
Friends, let us tell you about this bat mitzvah. Our venue is known for hosting great parties, and this celebration was no exception. From the pops of hot pink to the Chanel logos, Cha Cha and her team of vendors worked tirelessly to transform our event space into a chic and glamorous night club fit for a diva.
Scroll down for more photos captured by the fabulous Jennifer Weisbord.
The evening kicked off with an intimate ceremony in our theater. Hot pink uplighting and twinkle lights gave guests a taste of the glamour to come in the reception.
Certé kept hungry guests happy and fed all night long.
EK Productions kept the energy alive all night with dancing, singing, and plenty of fist pumping.
Welcome to 2018! After a hectic holiday season, we’ve stepped into the New Year energized for a full schedule of festivities. Below, we recap three fun events hosted in our event space and theater.
BrownGirlsLove POWER Day
In early January, Christina S. Brown, founder of LoveBrownSugar, cultivated a day filled with inspiring speakers, workshops, panels, makeovers, and more. Their event, produced alongside Toyota, focused on providing resources for millennial women's success in today's world. You can read more about the day over on their blog, as well as peruse photos from the event. Below are a few of our favorites!
United Airlines Olympic Campaign Kick-Off
In anticipation for the 2018 Winter Olympics, United transformed our event space into a wintry ski lodge that left us awestruck. From the larger-than-life depictions of Team USA athletes and United employees, to the amazing 3D photo backdrop created by Wasabi3D, the evening was a non-stop celebration. United unveiled their commercial campaign, themed "Superheros", to an excited crowd of influencers, press, and internal team members.
Vote Run Lead
Vote Run Lead, the brilliant organization that empowers and trains women to run for public office, hosted their post-Women's March event with us on January 20th. Following the march, a group of over 200 women and men met in our event space for an afternoon filled with panels, networking, and dancing!
With the weather in NYC slowly cooling off, we're daydreaming about all things fall; changing leaves, plaid shirts, college football, the excitement of Halloween and Thanksgiving, and so much more.
PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) aren't the only fall drinks to look forward to either! This week, the HELEN MILLS team brings you recommendations for cocktails to not only create at home, but to feature at your events. Rename them to fit the theme of your party or reception, and offer guests an unexpected treat.
From Emily: I don't know if you can label White Russians as a strictly "fall" cocktail, since I tend to drink them year-round, but there is something about the mixture of Kahlua and heavy cream that makes me want to cozy up by a fire.
White Russians are made by mixing vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream. Serve in a lowball glass over ice and enjoy!
From Helen: Harking back to my Kentucky roots, I suggest a Mint Julep. It is really good with homegrown mint that you can grow on your window sill.
Make your julep in a signature julep cup (pictured above) by combining muddled mint, simple syrup, crushed ice, and your favorite Kentucky Bourbon. Stir well and enjoy in the city or country, any time of year.
From Melissa: Apple cider is one of my favorite beverages during the fall season... so crisp and refreshing! Apple cider and champagne makes the best combination for a seasonal twist on the mimosa!
To make an Apple Cider Mimosa, fill your glass 1/4 full with fresh apple cider, then top off with a crisp champagne for a drink that tastes like that perfect autumn morning. Rim the glass with brown sugar and garnish with an apple slice.
From Diana: I like a hot toddy for the fall and winter months. It's warm, strong, and wakes you up. A touch of cinnamon makes it fall-friendly.
To make a Honey Bourbon Hot Toddy, you first need Apple Bourbon! Make this by combining Bourbon, 4 cored, sliced apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover and chill for 3 days, and then strain. Stir honey and water together until the honey dissolves. Add your Apple Bourbon and divide between Toddy glasses. Add lemon, stir with a cinnamon stick, and serve.
From Mark: If I drank, I'd try the Pumpkin Fever Cocktail. Sounds yummy and seasonal.
To make a Pumpkin Fever cocktail, combine 2 parts Bols Pumpkin Smash, 1 part spiced rum, and 1/4 part cream in a martini shaker filled with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed, chilled martini glass. Sprinkle with freshly-ground cinnamon and enjoy!
From Brittany: I like to ease into fall with this ginger pear white sangria, which puts an autumnal twist on a summer favorite. It's a blend of both seasons; light, bright, and spiced. The perfect cure for those end-of-summer blues!
To make Ginger Pear White Sangria, add pears and ginger to a large pitcher. Pour in wine, rum, and brandy, seal tightly and refrigerate. Rim your glasses with a mixture of sugar and ginger. Strain the sangria and add pear and lemon slices. Add a few slices of pears to each glass, then fill halfway with your sangria mixture. Fill the rest of the way with ginger beer and serve.
What is VenueConnect?
VenueConnect is an annual conference put on by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). It hosts professionals from a variety of public assembly venues including arenas, convention centers, stadiums, universities, and more. Its goal is to inspire industry leaders, provide targeted education, and bring attendees together to create lifelong relationships.
Tell us about the scholarship you received.
I was honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Joseph A. Floreano Scholarship for Industry Women in Convention Centers. The scholarship allowed me to attend the conference, where I joined other amazing young professionals also selected for scholarships. IAVM's commitment to helping grow industry leaders is very inspiring.
What was your favorite part of the event?
Being surrounded by 2,000+ like-minded attendees, all of whom were excited to dive into different aspects of event venues. It was truly inspiring to meet folks not only from around the country, but from other countries, as well. We shared best practices, tips, and horror stories from our time in events.
Oh, I can't forget to mention how stunning Music City Center is. It was truly one of the most beautiful, inspiring facilities I've ever visited.
What's the best lesson you learned?
You can never rest on your laurels. There are hundreds of event facilities around the world searching for the next big thing, whether that be in catering, audio/visual tech, or customer service. You should always strive to better not only your business, but yourself.
Who was the most inspiring speaker?
I attended a panel titled, "Women in Leadership", which included three amazing women in the industry: Jeanie Buss, CEO & Governor of the LA Lakers; Donna Julia, Sr. VP of Arena & Events Operations, and General Manager of the North Carolina Hornets; Kim Stone, Executive VP of the Miami Heat, and GM of American Airlines Arena. They discussed the status of women in positions of leadership, their advice to others pursuing positions in these large venues, and anecdotes from their professional lives.
What did you like most about Nashville?
Nashville is nicknamed the Music City for a reason! Everywhere we went in both the convention center and downtown had live bands performing their favorite country tunes; some bars even had a different band on each floor! I'm the first to admit that country isn't my favorite genre of music; however, it was impossible to not get swept up when a classic Garth Brooks jam would start.
Who were you most excited to see?
Eight of my former coworkers from Georgia attended the conference, so it served as a mini-reunion. Outside of sessions, I spent all of my time with them. It really ingrained how small this industry is, and how every relationship you form matters. Through them, I met new connections and gained confidence to introduce myself to strangers.
What was a fun surprise you encountered?
The keynote speaker was Charles Esten, an actor a lot of people know right now for his role as Deacon on the CMT show "Nashville." I know Charles as Chip from his days performing on Whose Line is it Anyways?" I ran into him on the trade show floor and got to tell him that I grew up laughing from his improv skills on TV. He was incredibly gracious and never stopped smiling, despite having spent the past hour greeting other fans. He grabbed my phone and snapped a quick selfie (he's a professional selfie taker at this point in his career) which is the photo at the start of this post. It was a fun encounter.