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.