Kate Mills

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:


Gorkana ReCode seating arrangement


Gorkana ReCode guests at panel discussion


Gorkana ReCode panelists
Gorkana ReCode panelists side view
Gorkana ReCode panelists front view

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.


Atlassian 2015 Road Trip Sign at entrance


Atlassian 2015 Road Trip video screen displays
Atlassian 2015 Road Trip video display side view


Atlassian 2015 Road Trip Presentation set-up
Atlassian 2015 Road Trip presentation view from audience


Atlassian 2015 Road Trip blue lighting

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.

Fashion Presentation Tips from the Experts at Peru MODA

Peru MODA logo projection on wall

Peru Moda was at Helen Mills last week showing some of the best new fashion out of Peru. The event delivered a taste of Peru, from the Alpaca wool in the designs, to the Pisco Sours, and traditional Peruvian cuisine. In addition to the exquisite fashion and delicious food and drink, Peru Moda checked all of the boxes for making their fashion presentation a huge success. Here's how they did it:

#1 Bold Entrance
#2 Daring Design
#3 Creative Branding
#4 Expert Styling
#5 Stocked Bar

For more fashion presentation ideas, check out photos from the Tia Cibani fashion show at HELEN MILLS here.

Planning a fashion show or another type of event? Contact us or download our ebook for more information.


A Helen Mills Love Story – Damon & Lauren’s Engagement

Congratulations to Damon and Lauren! We are so excited for this wonderful couple that got engaged at the Helen Mills Theater this past Saturday! See below for details about their engagement. 

Damon and Laura together

Damon and Lauren’s Story

Damon’s sister tried to set him up with Lauren twice, but it never happened. Then, a couple of months later, Damon and Lauren wound up meeting on J-Date. They hit it off instantly, and two years later, Damon was thinking of a way to propose.

About three weeks before Damon and Lauren’s two year anniversary, Damon started making a movie about his and Lauren’s love story to give her as an anniversary gift. Halfway through making the video, Damon realized the video was really good, and he loved Lauren so much, that now was as good of a time as ever to propose.

But Damon needed a way to add an extra wow factor to his proposal; he wanted to surprise Lauren by playing the video in a theater with a big screen. He also wanted to invite all of his and Lauren’s friends and family to be a part of the surprise (and also help him pull it off!).

That’s when Damon found Helen Mills. After stepping foot into the theater for the first time, he realized instantly that the Helen Mills Theater would provide the extra magic to make the proposal something Lauren would never forget.

The Proposal

On Saturday night, 1/31, Damon and Lauren’s friends and family took their seats at the Helen Mills Theater. They waited anxiously for Damon and Lauren to arrive. With the lights dimmed, and all guests in their seats, Damon and Lauren walked into the theater and Damon’s movie began to play. Here’s a link to the movie that he made: Damon’s Proposal Movie  (Aww!)

After the movie ended, Damon got down on one knee and asked the love of his life, Lauren, to marry him. And she said YES! Below are some photos of the happy couple’s engagement. Enjoy!

Damon and Lauran after she said yes
Damon and Lauran hugging
Damon and Lauran being given bouquet of flowers
Damon and Lauran embrace
Damon and Lauran smiling
Damon and Lauran kissing

Looking to plan a unique proposal for your partner? Please contact us so that we can help make it happen!

Dress for Success Pop-Up Shop: Accessories Edition

DFS Porthole window

Dress for Success (DFS) hosted its fourth annual “Shop for Success” benefit this October at HELEN MILLS. DFS transformed the room into a pop-up store featuring shoes, bags, jewelry, and other accessories. In addition to raising money for a great cause, DFS did a great job of getting the details right for the event. Take a look below for photos:

DFS kicked off its three-day event with a VIP reception. Attendees could pre-shop the sale while sipping on specialty cocktails sponsored by Malibu.

The pop-up store featured products donated by a number of top-tier designers including Gucci, Coach, and Marc Jacobs.

DFS created a stylish outfitting lounge area where shoppers could try on shoes and accessories.

To learn more about DFS and find out about upcoming events in your area, visit DFS's website here.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Manhattan Event Space


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

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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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