Meetings & Conferences

Winter Round-Up

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

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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!

  All photos used with permission from LoveBrownSugar. Find them on  Facebook  or their  website .

All photos used with permission from LoveBrownSugar. Find them on Facebook or their website.


United Airlines Olympic Campaign Kick-Off

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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.

The amazing team of vendors responsible for this incredible evening include Momentum Worldwide, C2 Imaging, DCI, Wasabi3D, and Pinch Food Design.

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  All photos used with permission from United Airlines

All photos used with permission from United Airlines


Vote Run Lead

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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!

  All photos used with permission from VoteRunLead. Check out  their website  to learn more.

All photos used with permission from VoteRunLead. Check out their website to learn more.

Regency Lighting Trade Show at HELEN MILLS

When the team at Regency Lighting brought their trade show to the HELEN MILLS Event Space, we knew they would put together a fun event focused around lighting. While the back of the space remained neutral to show off the vendors' different lighting equipment, the front of the space was awash with a warm amber and contrasting blue uplights.

The energy of both the Regency team and their exhibitors shone (pun intended) throughout the evening as they hosted a variety of guests.

 Warm amber lighting greeted guests as they entered the Event Space.

Warm amber lighting greeted guests as they entered the Event Space.

 The bar fully stocked and ready for service.

The bar fully stocked and ready for service.

 Exhibitors put the final touches on their displays as they await guests' arrival.

Exhibitors put the final touches on their displays as they await guests' arrival.

 The HELEN MILLS space, complete with modern cocktail  furniture  and hors d'ouevres provided by  Between the Bread  catering.

The HELEN MILLS space, complete with modern cocktail furniture and hors d'ouevres provided by Between the Bread catering.

 Thank you, Regency Lighting! It was a pleasure hosting you in our Event Space!

Thank you, Regency Lighting! It was a pleasure hosting you in our Event Space!

Planning an Event? Contact Us to learn more about events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events here.

Rock your Voice, Woman! Inspiring a Community to Be Heard

On Saturday, January 14th, HELEN MILLS hosted the LIVE Rock Your Voice, Woman! event.; a daylong seminar aimed at empowering women in finding their voices and transforming the world through their communities, businesses, and personal lives. 

Rock Your Voice, Woman! utilized both the theater and event space to bring their message to life. The intimacy and versatility of the venue lent itself to the various aspects of the day’s agenda, and the program featured an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and vendor booths.  Through this event, attendees engaged and connected with some of the biggest voices in women’s thought leadership. 

The immersive experience guided guests in mapping out a path towards their own aspirations.  By the end of the day, the voice of the female community was quite a bit louder!

 The HELEN MILLS Event Space ready for arrivals!  The hot pink wall wash and floral centerpieces set the tone.

The HELEN MILLS Event Space ready for arrivals!  The hot pink wall wash and floral centerpieces set the tone.

 Vendor booths provide literature and products to spark inspiration.

Vendor booths provide literature and products to spark inspiration.

 CEO & Founder of  Rock It Out Woman , Christine Miskinis, takes the stage for a powerful presentation.

CEO & Founder of Rock It Out Woman, Christine Miskinis, takes the stage for a powerful presentation.

 Guests participate in a Q&A session in the HELEN MILLS Theater.

Guests participate in a Q&A session in the HELEN MILLS Theater.

 After lunch, the event space transforms into three breakout sessions.  Coaches capture the guests’ attention through engaging activities.  

After lunch, the event space transforms into three breakout sessions.  Coaches capture the guests’ attention through engaging activities.  

 To the beats of DJ Bumi, women join hands and connect in celebration of their community.

To the beats of DJ Bumi, women join hands and connect in celebration of their community.

  Planning an Event?  Contact Us   to learn more about events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events     here  .        Partners of the  Rock Your Voice, Woman!  event include:    Christine Miskinis, Founder Rock Your Voice Woman at  RockItOutWoman.com   Vanessa Canas, Event Management at  VanessaCanas.com   Monika Broz, Photographer at  MonikaBroz.com   Bastille Flowers & Events at  Bastille.com   Chef Angela Lowe at  ChefAngelaLowe.com   Video & Social Media Publicity: Brooke & Jason Rash at  TheSocialCircleMembers.com

Planning an Event? Contact Us to learn more about events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events here.

 

Partners of the Rock Your Voice, Woman! event include:

Christine Miskinis, Founder Rock Your Voice Woman at RockItOutWoman.com

Vanessa Canas, Event Management at VanessaCanas.com

Monika Broz, Photographer at MonikaBroz.com

Bastille Flowers & Events at Bastille.com

Chef Angela Lowe at ChefAngelaLowe.com

Video & Social Media Publicity: Brooke & Jason Rash at TheSocialCircleMembers.com

Data & Society: Practice and Challenge Event

This past Tuesday, HELEN MILLS was home to Data & Society's 'Practice & Challenge event which brought together the research institute's community to hear from journalists, activists, investors, and others about their most recent work. The event spanned both venues and featured examples of recent work as well as some wonderful branding and decor (photos below). Click here to learn more about the event and organization.

 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Above: The space was simply decorated to give the spotlight to the work being showcased. The columns were wrapped with LED string lights to accent the architectural features.

Samples of work were displayed in the event space serving both to educate guest and provide unique decor and accents to the space:

 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

The organization branded all parts of the space using, from the top: 1) signs for table centerpieces, 2) gobo projections, 3) posters hanging from the space's gallery molding, and 4/5) exterior signage in the venue's portholes as well as the sidewalk showcase.

 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Data & Society Event at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Planning an event? Contact us or check out more recent tech events below:

Live from the #DAMSummit

  Canto's #DAMSummit at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

For their NYC Data Asset Management (DAM) Summit in New York, Canto did a wonderful job mixing in what you expect at a conference: great speakers, content, and networking opportunities, with the unexpected: humor, moments of delight, and GIANT Connect Four & Jenga. The result - engaged attendees and a memorable day and night. Check out a few of the photos below for more details on what made the event so special.

 Giant Connect Four with the brand's signature blue color was a big hit during the evening cocktail reception. Giant Jenga was also a hit at the reception and allowed for attendees to mingle over a little friendly competition.

Above: Giant Connect Four with the brand's signature blue color was a big hit during the evening cocktail reception. Giant Jenga was also a hit at the reception and allowed for attendees to mingle over a little friendly competition.

 Canto's #DAMSummit at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Above: Canto's brand color served to accentuate the space without feeling overly branded. Details included the wall wash color, table linens, and of course signage placed throughout.

The event organizer's gave a nod to Mother's Day with some 'left-over' handmade artisan chocolates from the chocolatier Jaques Torres. They were a big hit among guests and an unexpected thank you for those who traveled on Mother's Day to attend the event.

 Jacques Torres chocolates for Canto's #DAMSummit at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Below: The entrance to the event was decked out in Canto colors. The effect was an eye-catching and wonderful to photograph display of both Canto and it's sponsors branding. Many social media posts of the day featured the exterior branding.

 Street-level signage for Canto's #DAMSummit at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater
 Street-level signage for Canto's #DAMSummit at HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater

Above: Taking a closer look, Canto mixed humor into their signage - a nice touch for a conference and a welcome change for attendees. Who knew a Data Asset Management conference could be so fun and filled with surprises.

Want to learn more about Canto? Check out the company's website with event speakers, topics, and other details.

Planning a Conference? Contact us or check out more recent meetings & conferences here and below.

BizBash's Live Gathering Tools Hosts Global Demo Week at The HELEN MILLS Theater

 Bizbash CEO and Founder, David Adler (l), and Jeff Banish hosted all three days of the livestreamed first Global Demo Week.

Bizbash CEO and Founder, David Adler (l), and Jeff Banish hosted all three days of the livestreamed first Global Demo Week.

For three days this week, Live Gathering Tools, Bizbash's new website, hosted their first-ever Global Demo Week at the HELEN MILLS Theater. The event was livestreamed through the Live Gathering Tools platform, a virtual trade show environment complete with a lounge, demo halls, theater with live and on-demand presentations, and more (check it out here). Bizbash CEO and Founder, David Adler, and Jeff Banish hosted with contagious, joyful enthusiasm for events and event tech. 

Topics ranged from Event Management, Event Buzzwords, Budgeting, and Mobile Engagement. Each topic was accompanied by expert presentations (available through the Live Gathering Tools platform) led by industry leaders, including: AllSeated, #TWUBS, Bonfyre, Intros, and more.

Photos from the event below! For more information on the event and to see the presentations, sign up for the Live Gathering Tools platform or simply watch the video here.

 A screenshot of Live Gathering Tools' on-demand content with video, presentations, and comments from attendees.

A screenshot of Live Gathering Tools' on-demand content with video, presentations, and comments from attendees.

 The video mixer allowed for close-in and zoomed out shots of the hosts, creating an intimate environment for participants joining from all over the globe.

The video mixer allowed for close-in and zoomed out shots of the hosts, creating an intimate environment for participants joining from all over the globe.

Planning an event of your own? Contact us to learn more or check-out our theater and event space pages for more information.

It's All in the Details: Indoor Ag-Con's EVENT at HELEN MILLS

Indoor Ag-Con, the US indoor agriculture’s industry’s leading conference, hosted their first New York conference at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater. The one day, fall event featured 12 industry leaders discussing their visions, from bringing open source big data to farmers and hydroponic growing techniques. Speakers included CEOs from See Jane Farm, Agrilyst, Sundrop Farms, BrightFarms, and more. In addition to gathering great talent, the event was brilliantly produced. Below are some of the highlights with accompanying photographs.

The event planning team used fun, eye-catching graphics to brand the event throughout the venue. From portholes on the venue doors (pictured below) to gobos to attendee gift bags, the team didn't miss an opportunity to communicate with guests.

 Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.

A wider view (below) of the event's signage which utilized HELEN MILLS' street-level door portholes and sidewalk showcase. The portholes features the partner logos, in addition to the event's branding.

   Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.

The event featured 12 keynotes from industry leaders in the HELEN MILLS Theater (below). While most of the attention was focused on the speakers, guest were welcomed to the presentations by individual gift bags with fun giveaways and groundbreaking industry research.

     Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.

The lunch featured unique centerpieces: hydroponically grown radishes and beets grown by one of the event organizers. These were not only unexpected but were a perfect match for the topics of the day. The apples brought an intense pop of color.

 Hydroponically grown radishes and organic apples served as a unique centerpiece.     Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.
 Beet and apple centerpiece from above.     Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.

The event was catered by the talented Harvest Real Food Catering, who sources many of their ingredients from the nearby Hudson Valley. The meal was wonderfully put together, from the butter dish garnished with a fresh sage leaf (below) to the mouth-watering French cut cider braised chicken breast with roasted brussel sprouts. 

 A simple butter dish with is enlivened with a hint of green.     Leading Indoor Agriculture Conference to Discuss Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming At Its First New York Event at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater in Chelsea, Manhattan.

For More information on Indoor AgCon check out their website.

Thinking of hosting a conference or other event? Contact us for more information or check out more of our recent events:

Ooyala Forum Covers Top Video Trends

Ooyala, a leading innovator in premium video publishing, analytics and monetization, held two half-day forums, covering topics such as data and adtech trends, a customer spotlight with Business Insider, and product showcase and networking reception.

 Ooyala's signage greeted visitors as they arrived for presentations in the HELEN MILLS Event Space.

Ooyala's signage greeted visitors as they arrived for presentations in the HELEN MILLS Event Space.

In a session called 'The OTT Playbook: Success Factors for Video Services' (pictured below), Jim O'Neill, pricincipal analyst of Videomind, Jonathan Wilner, VP of Products and Strateg, and Ooyala partner, Vindicia, discussed how to continue to drive momentum for your video business in a quickly changing landscape. 

Check out the following links for more details on the days agendas (morning and afternoon).

About Ooyala: Ooyala, a Telstra subsidiary, is focused on providing advanced solutions to help video publishers apply big data analytics to deliver better, more personalized viewing experiences across all screens; build bigger, more engaged audiences; and drive more revenue with IP-delivered video. More here.

Looking to host your own tech event? Contact Us or check-out our event galleries.

Gorkana connects with Re/code at Helen Mills

We were very excited to host Gorkana at Helen Mills this month for an exclusive panel discussion with tech news site Re/code. The event was one in a series of exclusive media briefing events available to Gorkana customers and associated parties. 

The panel was comprised of some of Re/code's editorial team, including editor-in-chief Kenneth Li, managing editor Edmund Lee, and senior editors Jason Del Rey and Arik Hesseldahl. The panelists shared Re/code's launch story plus five ways to build a successful relationship with the news outlet. Some photos from the event are below:

PRE-EVENT SET-UP

A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

THE PANELISTS

Interested in finding out more about Gorkana's media briefings? Check out event re-caps along with a schedule of upcoming events on their website here.

Looking to host a Tech or Other Event? Contact Us for more information about the HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater.

Atlassian 2015 RoadTrip: NYC Stop at Helen Mills

Atlassian was at Helen Mills last week for one of the stops on its muti-national 2015 RoadTrip Tour.  Guests had the opportunity to mingle with product teams, executives, and fellow users for a great night of learning and networking.  Atlassian shared some of its newest product features and demonstrated how these features are helping teams work better together to get more done. Below are some photos from the evening.

THE GRAND ENTRANCE

PRODUCT GROUP DISCUSSIONS

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THE PRESENTATION

Presentation set-up

THE MIXER

Interested in learning more about Atlassian's team collaboration tools? Check out their website here.

Looking to host a Tech or Other Event? Contact Us for more information about the HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater.

Editorial Event: Wired Italia with The Society of Publication Designers

Join SPD next Wednesday, November 19th at the HELEN MILLS Theater for an event with David Moretti, the Creative Director of WIRED Italia. David will be talking about how he and his team come up with ideas and concepts for editorial and info-graphics design. You won’t want to miss it!

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Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the presentation will start at 7:00 PM. For more information and tickets, please visit the event’s website here.

About SPD:

The Society of Publication Designers has been around since 1965 and its members consist of directors, designers, photo editors, editors and graphic professionals. It is the only organization that specifically addresses the visual concerns of print and online editorial professionals. For more information on SPD, their activities and volunteering opportunities, please click here.

Contact us for more information on the HELEN MILLS Theater for your next editorial event!

Master Class on Beacons & Geolocation Delves into Hot Tech Topics

Application Developers Alliance Event with Gimbal - Tech Event NYC

On November 7, 2014, HELEN MILLS Event Space was home to The NYC Master Class on Beacons and Geolocation, presented by Gimbal, with supporting partner Application Developers Alliance. The day featured a number of speakers discussing the newest technologies and capabilities in the space, including founders and VPs from ShopAdvisor, Verve Mobile, Urban Airship, Spark Compass, and Control Group.

In addition to the talks, the event featured great branding in the form of exterior signage, standing banners, gobos, presentations, and of course swag items to take home.

Front of Venue
Application Developers Alliance Event with Gimbal - Tech Event NYC

About Gimbal: Gimbal, Inc. is connecting brands, venues, events and retailers with their customers in exciting new ways by providing leading-edge mobile technologies and solutions.  With advanced geofencing, the world's largest deployment of industry-leading Bluetooth Smart beacons, location-based engagement, analytics, unmatched security features and privacy controls, the Gimbal platform helps drive mobile app engagement and loyalty. Visit www.gimbal.com for more information. More Here.

About Application Developers Alliance: The Application Developers Alliance is a non-profit global membership organization that supports developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. We promote the continued growth of the industry and advocate on behalf of our members on public policy and industry issues. The Apps Alliance serves a growing membership of tens of thousands of developers and hundreds of companies including: mobile app publishers, platforms, wireless carriers, hardware manufacturers, ad networks, enterprise tools and service providers.

Looking to host a Tech or Other Event? Contact Us for more information about the HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater.

2014 Women In Wine Leadership Symposium

This past week, HELEN MILLS hosted the 3rd annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium. The day consisted of a networking breakfast, a keynote by Ruth Reichl (a food writer) and three panel discussions with leading ladies in their industries, all before lunch with a walk-around wine tasting.

WWLS sign

This annual symposium is hosted by The Winebow Group, which is made up of national importer and distribution houses that offer comprehensive portfolios of fine wine and craft spirits from around the world. They represent some of the most established, family-owned properties in popular areas, as well as a new generation of winemakers and distillers who are dedicated to innovation and quality. To learn more about The Winebow Group, please click here.

Cornerstone Communications has produced Winebow’s annual symposium at HELEN MILLS for the past three years. They are a New York-based full service public relations and event management agency specializing in wine, food and luxury lifestyle clients. To learn more about Cornerstone Communications, please click here.

The first panel discussion in the HELEN MILLS Theater was about “Creating and Defining Work-Life Balance”. The speakers included Marianne Ruggiero from Optima Careers, Jordan Salcito from Momofuku, Cynthia Tom from Whole Foods and Kristen Wolfe Bieler from Beverage Media.

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The second panel was in the HELEN MILLS Event Space, which was set-up in a classroom style setting with about 120 seats. It was a “Guided Tasting” of four different wines (one was a sparkling cider), with representatives from each of the wineries. The four wines included were Autumn’s Gold from Eve’s Cidery, Tokaji Furmint 2012, Vila Santa Reserva 2011 and Turriga Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2010.

GuidedTasting

For the final panel, guests were brought back down to the Theater for a discussion on “Pathways and Strategies for Success”, while the Event Space was being transitioned for a walk-around tasting and lunch buffet. The last panel’s speakers included Cynthia Emrich for Catalyst, Shelley Lindgren from A16 and SPQR, Marika Vida-Arnold from the Ritz Carlton and Deborah Hansen from Taberna De Haro. All of the panel discussions were moderated by Madeline Triffon, a wine specialist and sommelier.

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If you are planning an upcoming wine tasting event or a meeting, please contact us for more information about hosting your event at HELEN MILLS.

The Hub Live: A Magazine's Take On Brand Experience

With the recent festival hosted by the New Yorker, other magazines are seeing how it’s important to produce their own events to engage better with their clients and sponsors. The Hub Magazine hosted their 2nd annual Hub Live: The Brand Experience Symposium last week at the HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater with two full days packed with great speakers. A few of the many speakers included Steve Battista from Under Armour, Tom Boyles from Disney Parks & Resorts, Simon Bradley from Virgin Atlantic, Lisa Macpherson from Hallmark and Mike Senackerib from Campbell’s Soup.

With an event targeted towards brand executives, you can bet that there was plenty of branding throughout the two days!

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The branding started the moment guests arrived with a banner hanging outside and display posters with key speakers.

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The lunch table linens added a nice touch for The Hub’s brand colors – yellow and blue. (Those are Tim Tams at the center of each table – desserts from Campbell’s.)

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Campbell’s Soup provided soups, Goldfish and Tim Tams for the first day’s lunch.

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Catapult sponsored the first night’s reception with a specialty cocktail.

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They also branded the reception with a gobo of their logo projected onto the floors with a wall wash in the color of their brand.

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The second day involved a break with some popcorn and light-up “snowballs” provided by Hallmark. Fun and timeless ideas for holiday gifting!

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The final night included an awards presentation in the same space where guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and cocktails provided by CIBO.

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Branding from CIBO included a gobo of their logo projected over the bar and branded “Cards Against Humanity” at each of the cocktail tables.

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To find out more information on The Hub Live, please visit their website. We hope to see you at next year’s event!

For more information on hosting a meeting or conference at HELEN MILLS, please contact us.

Sightsavers International Hits the Mark with Fall Decor

Sightsavers International celebrated World Site Day in style with gorgeous fall decor as part of their Million Miracles campaign to eliminate avoidable blindness. During the event, Sightsavers showed footage of their work in the field as well as a live stream of a Malawian man regaining his site after undergoing Cataract surgery (watch the moment here!). In addition to an inspiring mission, Sightsavers did an excellent job executing a fall theme with a gorgeous color palette, creative floral arrangements, and unique touches. Below are a few photos from the event highlighting decor details.

Consider the Drape

Sightsavers International - Non-Profit Event with Livestreaming - HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater

Drapes often sit low on the priority list, behind decor items like flowers, furniture and lighting. However, thinking of drapes only as a functional item that divides a room or creates a visual barrier means missing out on a design element that can change both the look and feel of your event. For this event, the Sightsavers team made excellent use of the venue's in-house drapes by tying them back to create both a multi-stage event (breakfast in the front, presentations to follow) and a sense of intimacy among the select crowd of attendees. The drape material also introduced a new texture into the space. Finally, the simple white drapes contrasted perfectly with the orange wall wash and yellow uplights that produced a warm glow and complimented Sightsavers' brand colors.

Small Accents Make a Big Splash

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Simple furniture pieces are great canvases for using accents to tie a space together and extend your color palette or decorative theme. These simple white ottomans with gorgeous patterned pillows and a brilliantly colored throw not only kept with the other decor in the room but were very inviting for guests. Other places to add decor are side tables, centerpieces on highboys or cocktail tables, bathrooms, and of course where you first see your guests - at reception.

Flowers Come in All Shapes and Textures

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Flower arrangements can come in almost any shape, size, texture and color scheme. Don't limit yourself to what you think is typical or traditional. The Sightsavers team created unique floral arrangements by working within the seasonal color palette while at the same time being imaginative with the textures and types of flowers they used. On the left is a potted pepper plant which brought life to the event (literally and figuratively) and proved a good compliment for photos of the people the organization has helped through their efforts.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to event decor, designing small touches and taking a new approach to traditional elements will create a memorable experience for guests. Always ask yourself a few questions: Am I doing something new? Is there something special about the overall feel or each individual element? Have I ever seen this before.

Want More? Check out this post on 10 Tips to Make Your Event Look Amazing or Contact Us to discuss how we can help you plan your next event.

Want to Learn about Sightsavers? Read more about the organization here.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Manhattan Event Space

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As Frank Sinatra didn't quite say: if you can make an event in New York work, you can make an event work anywhere. Manhattan has over 1 million people and, seemingly, a million different venue options. So while you may be spoiled for choice when it comes to different event spaces, navigating the variety of options can be a major headache. So, to make things easier, here are a few pointers when it comes to venue-shopping in Manhattan.

1. Big Apple, Bigger Budget

Keep in mind that you will need to pay more for an event space in Manhattan vs. an event space in other U.S. cities. According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, professionals in Manhattan pay more than twice the national average for a basket of goods and services. Real estate, food, vendors -- everything is more expensive here. Therefore, if you are planning a series of events in cities across the U.S., make sure to budget higher for your event in Manhattan compared to your event in other cities.

2. Book Early

Manhattan is the busiest city in the U.S. for events, so you need to book your venue well in advance to make sure that you can secure your event date. Very often clients wait too long to book a venue, and end up with a back-up venue choice because of venue availability. Once you have decided on your dream venue, don't delay in going to contract to ensure that your date isn't reserved by someone else. Venues typically get multiple inquiries for an event date, and reserve the space for the first person to put down a deposit.

3. Location, Location, Location

Location within Manhattan should be a top priority when deciding on an event venue. Manhattan has distinct neighborhoods with different vibes, so make sure you choose a neighborhood that will work well for your event guests. What are your guests' interests? Are they interested in art? Tech? Fashion? Based on this information, you can choose a neighborhood that is nearby to galleries, tech start-ups, shopping, etc. Locate your event in an area that will be interesting for your guests.

4. Getting There

It is important to make sure that all guests can travel to the venue easily, so centrality and public transportation options are very important. Check that the venue is near to major subway lines, and easily accessible to Penn Station and Grand Central. Additionally, it is worth checking with the venue that it will be easy for guests to find taxis after the event. Another advantage of a central location is availability of hotel options nearby for out-of-town guests. Choose a neighborhood that is convenient for your intended guests. Think about where your guests work. If they all work in midtown for example, choose a neighborhood that is easily accessible to midtown.

5. The Perfect Fit

A Manhattan event space tends to be unique -- each space having its own character and feel. When attending a Manhattan event, people expect to be wowed by the space, and are looking for something fun and different. Make sure that you find a space that fits the event look/feel that you are going for, and will impress your guests. If you are inviting a tech crowd, choose a loft-like venue that has a digital, modern atmosphere. If you are inviting an older, more traditional crowd, choose a more classic venue with beautiful antique furniture.

photo credit: davic via photopincc

10 Facts You Should Know About New York Event Spaces

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Anthony Quintano.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Anthony Quintano.

New York is no ordinary city with event spaces that host ordinary events. New York is diverse, is innovative and is unique, just like the many event spaces it has. Did you know these 10 facts about Event Spaces in New York?

1. Each Neighborhood Has Its Own Style

This only means that the event spaces in each of the neighborhoods of NYC most likely reflect the characteristics of its surroundings. For example, SoHo has spaces that are chic and trendy, while the Upper East Side would have spaces that are elegant and traditional. Do you know where your event would “fit in”?

2. Event Spaces Aren’t Always on the First Floor

Venues in New York are on various floors. While some are on the penthouse level with a rooftop access and some on the 23rd floor of a corporate building, just keep in mind what the needs are for your event. It’ll definitely be much more convenient to book a street-level venue for a press event for a new automobile.

3. Storage Space is Limited in NYC

New York is the most populous city in the country. With that said, there is very limited storage space, so don’t expect a venue to hold your event materials/props/furniture/etc for days prior to your first day of rental. I’ve never heard anyone say that they have space in their apartment closet, so I doubt an event space would say the same.

4. Not All Venues are Legally Operated

Did you know that if a venue is hosting an event with 75 or more guests, it should have a Place of Assembly Certificate with a Certificate of Occupancy? The Place of Assembly is renewed each year with an inspection from the fire department, and it will state the maximum number of people that are allowed in the space. You can find out if the event space you are considering for your next event has these certificates here. If legal matters ever arise from an event, you’ll want to make sure that you hosted it at a legally operated venue.

5. All-Inclusive Packages Can Help With Your Budget

Some venues in New York work with 3rd party vendors to create all-inclusive packages for their clients, so they’ll work with catering, staffing and furniture rental companies. When event spaces are able to provide steady business to their vendors, they are able to get a discount from them, rather than a corporate company finding and booking a caterer for the first and only time. If you’re on a tighter budget, find a venue that can offer all-inclusive packages, and usually, the more guests you can guarantee, the better per person pricing.

6. Rarely Do Event Spaces Rent by the Hour

Most event spaces are rented by the day (8-12 hours). Venues understand why clients would want a better rate for a 4-6 hour rental, but for that two-hour morning meeting, the venue would be giving up the opportunity to rent to an all-day meeting with a post-meeting reception. Some event spaces will have a better rate for renting just the morning hours, so ask your venue sales representative if they can be competitive!

7. You Will Need Insurance For Your Event

It’s very common that venues will require general liability insurance from their clients, and sometimes even their vendors (photographer, florist, DJ, etc). Even if your venue doesn’t require insurance certificates, you should still obtain one to protect you and your guests, and requesting them from your vendors will also protect them and the other parties involved. You can get a one-day coverage starting at $100 here.

8. Event Spaces Won’t Place Holds on Dates

A lot, if not most, venues do not place soft holds on dates for prospective events without receiving a signed contract and deposit. This makes sense, since it wouldn’t be fair to hold a date for one company when another is ready to book their event immediately, and the company with the hold decides to book elsewhere a few days later. What you could do is ask your venue sales representative to do their best to let you know if anyone else is considering your date.

9. Not All Event Spaces in New York Have Air Conditioning

If they do, it may not have the central air conditioning system you want to cool-down a 5,000 square foot venue. If you’re planning a summer event, ask the venue if they have central air conditioning so your attendees are comfortable.

10. NYC is the Heart of Unconventional Venues

There are so many event space options in New York. You may decide that an old firehouse turned event space is a good idea for your event, because of that warm (no pun intended), cozy feeling it has. No matter how big or small your event is, there’s a venue here for your unique event, and it doesn’t have to be in the same hotel that your guests are staying in.

Now you know a little more about New York event spaces, and I’m hoping that this helps you find the perfect venue for your next event. Are you ready to start the search?

7 Tips to Reduce your Event Catering Bill and Still Inspire

7 Tips to Reduce Your Event Catering Bill  and Still Inspire

As many people who have planned events know, catering can be one of the biggest expenses associated with putting on an event. Having good quality food at your event is also one of the most important elements of a successful event. Poor food can leave guests with a literal bad taste in their mouth, and complaints that might ruin guests’ overall memory of the event.

Fortunately, there are some clever ways in which you can save on a pricey catering bill, while still inspiring. Below are seven tips to reduce your event catering bill, without your guests ever knowing the difference.

1. Remember that people eat with their eyes first

This is one of the truest statements in the culinary world, and having a caterer that takes the time to present a dish well can take your event from memorable to unforgettable. Appetizing food presentation can mean anything from a well laid-out buffet with a few special touches, or plated dishes with an exciting flourish. By enhancing your food’s aesthetic, guests will not only enjoy the food more, but they will also come away with a better overall impression of the event.

Insider event catering tip: if your caterer cares about how their food looks, you can rest assured that they care even more about how their food tastes. Confidence in flavor typically leads to confidence in presentation.

2. Do not dismiss stationary hors d’oeuvres

Stationary hors d’oeuvres can also save on your catering bill by minimizing your staff count. Instead of having one waiter per tray of passed hors d’oeuvres, you can have one waiter per table of hors d’oeuvres. Additionally, guests often prefer hors d’oeuvres stations to passed hors d’oeuvres, because they do not have to wait until something they like comes around on a tray.

3. Create buffet stations that inspire

A serving buffet not only gets people fed quickly, but it also offers guests a wider variety of food options. Additionally, buffets cut down on the number of staff needed to cater an event. Instead of having upwards of twenty waitstaff for a single event, a caterer can run lean with a couple of waiters per buffet table. A buffet can still be elegant and include a carving station or even a simple cooking station where pasta or omelettes can be made to order. Buffet lines are also great places for guests to mingle and meet others who are seated at other tables.

4. Consider a modified menu

Another creative option to reduce catering costs is to ask your caterer about a modified menu. Oftentimes your caterer will offer a discount if you select menu options that have less expensive ingredients. For example, you might consider selecting one seafood hors d’oeuvre, instead of two. Or you could go with a chicken main course instead of a beef main. Additionally, some caterers will reduce the total cost of the catering bill if you have fewer menu options, but still the same amount of food.

5. Win over your sweet-tooth crowd with a creative dessert table

Instead of serving traditional desserts, which are costly and usually go uneaten, win over your dessert lovers with a fun dessert table. Some crowd pleasers include a chocolate fountain with dipping treats, a candy bar table for guests to fill small bags, or mini cupcakes on a pedestal. All of these options require little staffing, and create a ‘wow’ factor, while being cost effective.

6. Go with your venue's preferred caterer

Most often, your venue's preferred caterer is your best option. The caterer has been taste tested many times by the venue and has won the venue's stamp of approval. Furthermore, the venue's preferred caterer is usually your most cost effective option, as the venue receives quantity discounts from the caterer, which are usually passed along to clients. Additionally, the venue's preferred caterer knows the venue's facilities well, which will ensure that the catering process is seamless. You won't have to worry about missed delivery times, confusion about drop-off location, or issues with food preparation times.

7. Look into alternative beverage service options

Depending on your event, you may not need a full premium bar. Most of your guests will not specify a liquor type anyway, so it may not be worth the additional per person charge for a premium bar for the couple of guests who do. Instead, consider a standard bar with mid-tier liquor options. For more savings, go with a wine and beer bar. For certain types of events, such as networking happy hours, wine and beer will be what most people want to drink anyway. If you are thinking of serving champagne at your event, look into having a champagne toast instead of offering champagne all night.

10 Tips To Make Your Event Look Amazing

10 tips to make your event look amazing

We’ve put together a handy list of 10 things you can do to make your event look amazing and leave a lasting impression on your guests. The more creative you can get in your planning process, the more your guests will be wowed.

So have fun with planning your event, and read our list to get your creative juices flowing!

1. Use lighting to add a "wow" factor.

The power of lighting to make an event shine should not be underestimated. Lighting can be used to give your event grandeur and set the intended mood for your event. Dim the lights to create a feeling of intimacy, spotlight a beautiful bouquet on the bar, spotlight a speaker, or use up-lights to create dramatic effects on walls and columns.

event-venue-uplighting

2. Consider a theme for your event.

If appropriate, a theme is a good way to make an event feel well thought-out and tie various parts of the room together. A theme can be anything from following a set color palette, to having decor related to a specific interest such as travel or old films, or even converting the venue into a scene from Harry Potter.

3. Use color to transform the room.

Color can transform the mood in a room and create energy. Consider choosing a linen color that is bright and playful. Add a wall wash to change the feeling of your event when transitioning from daytime to nighttime cocktail hour.

private-event-venue-color

4. Use furniture and room set-up to create your event's desired aesthetic.

Furniture choice reflects the tone of the event, as well as helping with the flow and the feeling of movement in the room. It is important to strike the right balance between enough furniture so that people are comfortable, but not too much that people sit for the entire event.

5. Don't forget table centerpieces and bar accent pieces.

Table centerpieces are important to give your event a polished look. Have fun with table centerpieces, whether it's a colorful arrangement of flowers, fun candy bowls, a framed photo, or unexpected centerpieces such as books, or stuffed animals.

event-venue-centerpieces

6. Add an element of interactivity to your venue.

Help inspire guests and make the venue uniquely yours by having guests engage with the venue. Have a step and repeat with fun props for guests to pose with, have guests create art to paste on the walls. Interactivity helps the event look and feel more energetic, and also leaves guests talking about your event after its over

7. Make sure your food presentation is top notch.

Good food is partially about taste, but it's also about presentation. You don't have to spend a ton of money to make food look good. Have fun with food presentation - whether it's putting flowers near the food to make the food look fresher, or using unique serving dishes and plate set-ups to elevate the look of the food

event-venue-catering

8. Remember the details.

While most of the time we focus on the big details for an event, it’s sometimes the little details that can really pull your event together. Don’t forget about the bathrooms, hallways, and outdoor areas. Some fun details we have seen include putting flowers in restrooms and hallways, having monogrammed hand towels in the restrooms, decorating outdoor spaces with lanterns, creating a signature drink, and creating a goodie bag table for guests to take home.

9. Invest in creating beautiful signage for your event.

Guests’ first impressions of your event will set their expectation for the whole event. Having impressive signs outside of your event will set the right tone for the rest of the event. Signs are also great backdrops for event photos!

event-venue-signage

10. Have fun and be creative.

This is your event, and you set your own rules. Make the event yours, and give it a personality. Nobody will remember a cookie-cutter event, but people will remember an event that was unique. If you have fun and get creative in the planning process, it will show the day of your event

Wondering How to Make Your New York Business Event Rock? Read This!

new-york-business-event

More and more, guests are expecting to be surprised, delighted and ultimately impressed by all types of events they attend, including corporate events. While it may be less time consuming to follow a familiar way of planning and executing your next corporate event, it will be well worth the extra effort and attention to detail to bring new ideas and ultimately new energy to your next event. So, let's make your next New York business event rock. The following are a few ideas to get you started:

Create a Hashtag and Proudly Display It in the Venue

Hashtags are the new promotional norm. Using them is a clever way to spark engagement at your event. Hashtags make it possible for users to enter search terms and have results come up all on one page. This allows businesses like yours to provide an easy way for interested event participants to stay updated and to share information about your upcoming event. Incorporating hashtags in your promotional campaign makes your business appear trendy and hip to the latest marketing strategies.

Don't Be Afraid to Highlight Your Company.

Don't be afraid to highlight your company, especially if it adds value to your guests’ experience. One of the best ways to highlight your company is to give guests a little taste of your products and services.

highlight-business-event

Are you a photography services company? Wow your guests with high-resolution graphics and images. Imprint your images on wide-format banners and flags and wave them on flagpoles located in the far corners of your venue. Print examples of some of your clients’ images on everything from the table menus to the wait staff’s t-shirts. If marketing is your company’s expertise, highlight your company the way you would showcase theirs if they hire you. Pull out all the stops as far as exhibition items, presentations and live entertainment. This is not the time to be subtle.

Do Something Different.

Don't be afraid to shake things up. So, be sure to entertain, engage and surprise, even at a business event. Think about what people expect and then think about what you can do to not only fulfill those expectations, but also add something a little special. Remember, know your audience... the event is for them, and when you fully understand their desires, you can craft an outside-the-box amazing experience.

do-something-different

Some ideas for ways that you can do something different are:

  • Instead of having your CEO make the keynote speech, hire a celebrity or professional consultant in the industry. Someone like this will be much more likely to draw in a crowd and keep everyone’s attention.
  • Hire a well-known live band to open up the event. Bands that are past their heyday, yet remain wildly popular are surprisingly affordable. Live music will excite your audience and prime them to be more receptive to receive your business message.
  • Host an auction or drawing during the event to entice people to stay during the entire event. If you interrupt proceedings with drawings as the even goes on, audience members will stay throughout the day or evening to see if they have a winning number.
  • Do something totally out of the box and hire entertainers like dancers, hostesses, acrobats or magicians. These can be sideline entertainers that shake up the vibe in the room and prevent the mundane.

Use Technology to Enhance the Experience.

Everyone has a phone and everyone likes to play on his or her phone. Consider any apps or promotional tie-ins that can enhance the experience from a digital standpoint. Get everyone’s cell phone number when they first sign in to the event. In the middle of the proceedings, send out a group text in the middle of the event that gets everyone’s phones buzzing at once. Surprise them with an announcement such as a special event. Instruct everyone to get up from his or her seats and move to another room down the hall, where something special awaits them.

Make Your Event Count, Even After It's Over.

With the help of social media, easy photo and video editing, and other tools, it's now easy to extend the life of your event, even after the live portion is over. Consider how you'll be recording the event and consider investing in a photographer or videographer on event day. You'll be happy you did when you're looking to use the event in promotional materials or communications afterwards.

Post photos of the event on the company’s Facebook page, and invite attendees to do the same. In fact, on the day of the event, announce that there will be a Facebook contest for the most entertaining photo from the event. The attendees will vote online for the winner, and a valuable prize should be awarded to the winner. This will draw in the attendees to your company’s social media page and force them to “follow” your company if they want to be in with a chance to win.

Your event attendees will be raving about your event for weeks or even months to come when you implement these innovative strategies. Get them to look forward to next year’s event and spread the news!