Monday, January 26, 2015

6 Ways to Make a NYC Destination Meeting Extra Special in a Blizzard

While we all have that relative who goes doomsday on us when the first snowflake falls, a blizzard in New York City might be one of the coolest experiences you will ever have. If your corporate meeting group is here today and tomorrow, here are 6 ways to make the week functional and a little extra special.

1. Many services are open. New York City businesses are based on people walking there, so they typically don't close for events like this. Supermarkets like Fairway are already guaranteeing 7am openings tomorrow.

2. Go for a walk the second the blizzard stops. Your attendees will never see the city so quiet from traffic. If you are staying close to Central Park, well, it's simply beautiful after a big snowstorm.

3. Hotels ramp up their game for teleconferencing. This is especially true for New York's new boutiques and retrofitted legacy hotels. There is a good chance people are panicking and hence, cancelling meeting rooms and AV requirements. It could be an opportunity to enhance your business components, or at least make them work as best as possible for unplanned teleconferencing.

4. Hotel bars ramp it too. They know you are not going anywhere and have planned accordingly.

5. Go out a meet New Yorkers. Many offices close during blizzards and locals are legendarily known to use a surprise day off for a staycation at their local Irish Pub. It's an unusually relaxed opportunity to network with industry colleagues, or even the occasional billionaire who is out on a weekday watching a Premier League football match at 11am.

6. New York City's airports know what they are doing in storms. With so much importance domestically and internationally regarding routes in and out of New York, airlines cannot financially afford logistical mistakes here. You'll be surprised how fast the area's three airports will be up an running after an event like this. It's something to keep in mind if considering a New York meeting next winter.

Enjoy the snow!


Make Pizzas with a "Real Housewife"

One of the stars from "The Real Housewives of New York" recently opened a new dining and event venue in Tribeca and it's part of a "bigger is actually better" trend we are seeing in this area of Manhattan.

With a wood-fire brick oven, it also offers a fun pizza-making class as a very delicious team-building idea. At a reasonable 2-hours where your group can add some competitive fun with pizza-making in teams of two, the folks here are quite particular about the tomatoes in their sauce. They are kind of obsessed with finding the right canned crushed tomatoes, especially "with added puree. They also say they will change your mind about diced tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes with herbs.

You'll just have to find out for yourself!

Not a pizza fanatic? You can hold corporate event or group dinner with a menu that adds its own gastropub twist to a sports-centric menu. The venue can accommodate up to 150 guests seated, 250 guests cocktail style or 50 in our private dining room.


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Mind Behind "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiam" Opens on Broadway

While "American Sniper" is setting new box office records, Broadway has something very similar going on the "Fish in the Dark" by Larry David. The creator and star of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will make his Broadway debut as an actor and playwright at the Cort Theater in 2015.

How hot is this ticket? It has already blown past the Nathan Lane-Matthew Broderick production of "It's Only a Play" in ticket sales and previews don't even start until February 2!
.
"Fish in the Dark" is directed by Anna Shapiro, who won a 2008 Tony Award for her direction of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "August: Osage County", and Scott Rudin in the producer.

Inspired by the death of a friend's father, David's play features approximately 15 characters.We are hearing that David, co-creator and head writer of "Seinfeld, might even play himself, but maybe under a different name. It sounds kind of crazy, which is probably exactly the way David likes it! 

Shackman Associates New York provides corporate meeting, association convention and destination incentive groups with unique Broadway experiences that have included  backstage tours and interaction with key performers.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Make Your Event as Experiential as the Tech Companies in DUMBO, Brooklyn

We have blogged many times about Brooklyn, but it's even hotter than we thought.

Walk around DUMBO, which means Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpasses, and you will find tech entrepreneurs who are developing products that will transform our lives. It was kind of a no-brainer to create Brooklyn's Tech Triangle there.

Destination corporate meetings and incentive travel programs are headed to DUMBO as well.

We recently found an event space to hold the kind of event tech people will love. It's within 3 blocks of key buildings, once warehouses, and now lofts for innovation. And we think more venues will be pop soon.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jennifer Hudson Headed to Broadway

Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winner Jennifer Hudson will make her Broadway debut this fall in the Oprah Winfrey-backed revival of "The Color Purple."

Hudson will play the role of Shug Avery, a sultry blues singer, in the musical. It has been reported in the New York Post that Winfrey reached out to Hudson personally to invite her to join the cast. The production's director will be John Doyle, who received a directing Tony in 2006 for his own Broadway debut with "Sweeney Todd."

Shackman Associates New York provides corporate meeting, association convention and destination incentive groups with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

Broth: The Hottest Wrinkle-Free Corporate Meeting Break Idea

Remember your mother serving you broth when having the flu as a kid?

It's now the hottest, trendiest winter snack in New York City. Flu or no flu. We think it's also a great idea to to heat up destination corporate meeting breaks, especially if your attendees are gathered anywhere near Union Square.

And there is a reason why your mom made it. It's incredibly healthy. Low in sodium but rich in collagen, broth's benefits include shinier hair and improved complexions. You might say it's the new black in beauty and skin care.

Created from boiling a stock full of nutrients, the most common forms of broth are chicken, turkey and beef.  Manhattan's top broth venues then customize it with a variety of add-ins such as chili oil, shitake mushroom tea, turmeric and beet juice.

If your attendees can't make it outside, don't worry. We have found a service that delivers 16- and 32-ounce jars right to your meeting room!

Zuma Opens in Midtown Manhattan and Maybe Soon at the Mondrian

The trendy sushi experience at Zuma, originally created by Chef Rainer Becker in London and a favorite of Beyonce and Gweneth Paltrow, has arrived in Midtown New York.

And soon, potentially at the recently sold Mondrian Hotel via cabbie-turned-billionaire Tamir Sapir.

Chef Becker developed his contemporary Japanese concept after spending six years in Tokyo. He immersed himself in Japanese food culture and explored ancient and modern dining traditions. This led him to izakaya, an informal dining style. The venue features a main dining room, a bar and lounge area, and private event rooms.

Samir is also a partner in the new ownership at the Mondrian. In addition to another Zuma, the Mondrian will likely add a Buddha Bar.




Monday, January 12, 2015

A Short-Notice NYC Destination Meeting Could Land an Evening With Bradley Cooper

Who has time for a Golden Globe when you're busy wowing audiences on Broadway?

That is exactly what two-time Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper is doing right now in the revival of "Elephant Man." If you are a meeting planner looking at New York City on short-notice, your group has one month left to catch this amazing performance.

In "Elephant Man", Cooper portrays a horribly disfigured Englishman John Merrick and wears no makeup or prosthetics, so audiences must imagine the ugly exterior concealing the handsome, sweet and romantic man underneath. According to Deadline, he is the "best Merrick yet", which leads to this question:

Will Cooper win a Tony and Oscar (for his role in "American Sniper") in the same year? We tried to find out if any other action has done this and as far as we can tell, no one has.

Shackman Associates New York provides corporate meeting, association convention and destination incentive program groups with unique Broadway experiences that have included backstage tours and interaction with key performers.

4 Very Diverse NYC Unique Rooftop Experiences; Yes, More of Them!

You have probably been hearing people like us talk about New York City's rooftop experiences to the point of wondering whether we're finally going to run out of ideas.

But rooftops are the gift that keeps giving and here are 4 more highly diverse ways for your destination corporate meeting group to experience them.

1. Cultural rooftop. While we have already blogged about the one at The Met, other museums have found ways to offer this experience in all seasons. For example, one museum provides an art-hipster experience with 2,000 square-feet of event space. It's a photographer's dream and offers spectacular views of Downtown Manhattan and the Bowery.

2. Stargazer Rooftop. Columbia University has one of the best stargazing venues in America with student-experts right by your side to answer questions from your group. Great for an unusual private event or team-building idea, and if your destination meeting attendees want a moment to reset their necks, they can look out at one of the best views of the George Washington Bridge in New York.

3. A Quiet and Cozy Rooftop. It's not easy to find an all-season rooftop experience in New York. It's even harder to find one without a view-killing plastic tarp in the winter or loud 20-somethings in warm weather. We recommend a venue in Soho that creates an intimate vibe for corporate executives seeking a place to brainstorm after-hours. It's also a welcome cocktail hour idea for small incentive program groups. Did we mention there is an amazing fireplace?

4. The "Divine" Rooftop. Those red buses roll by there too, but how many tourists are climbing 124 stairs to a heavenly experience? Regardless of your faith, the world's 4th largest free-standing Christian church provides a unique fitness and cultural rooftop team-building experience. Its buttresses offer city-wide views with a touch of historic, heavenly architecture.



Experiential Destination Incentive Steakhouse Opens in the Upper West Side

Boutique hotels are opening there. Shopping is booming. Wine bars are everywhere. It's close to Central Park.

The only item missing from the Upper West Side was a world-class steakhouse. Until now.

We have found a new venue in the neighborhood that is incredibly exciting, both in its menu and amenities. Tired of cramming your meeting attendees in one of New York's more famous steakhouses with reservations you must make way in advance? Here is a delicious experience with four private dining rooms, one being a  dedicated wine room, that are ideal for destination corporate incentive programs with groups up to 50 people. Amenities include fireplaces and the latest television and video conferencing components.


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Pier A's New Beer Hall and Oyster Bar: The Biggest Corporate Party Venue Ever?

We do things big in New York City, but the folks who have developed the new Pier A oyster bar and beer hall may have outdone themselves.

It's huge.

This isn't your average oyster bar. The Harbor House, with a waterfront Hudson River location, will be  opening three new restaurants: The Commodore Room, The Harrison Room and a Hudson-Valley inspired restaurant. A private event space will open later this year on the third floor. If you are a meeting planner with a very large group, The Harbor House is right in your wheelhouse for a major event or gala.

Then there is the venue's nightclub. It's has 20% more capacity than its largest competitor. In Las Vegas. And that's a destination that knows a thing or two about nightlife.

The Harbor House is also amazing architecturally and aesthetically. Housed in the 128-year-old former city dock department building, the venue will provide your destination corporate meeting attendees with a front row seat to something else that is rather historic: The Statue of Liberty.




Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Go Behind the Bar and Pour Your Own Draft Beer in NYC

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own beer pub? Well, that kind of experience isn't available just yet, but we have found a corporate event idea that puts your attendees behind the bar to pour their own beers.

The concept is better known as Table Tender, and the process is simple. Attendees pour, a computer counts the ounces and at the end of the evening, the bill is based on how many ounces are poured. Before you starting thinking more access to beer means less networking at your cocktail hour, think again. It can to more conversation when your event loses those, "Wait right there, I have stand in line at the bar and order two drinks" moments.


Monday, January 05, 2015

Winter Monday Jazz Booming for After-Hours at Meetings in New York City

Winter Mondays between now and March have traditionally not been the easiest nights to find something to do after-hours at your corporate meeting. Even in a city with so many entertainment options like New York.

High-end dining venues have taken notice and recently started featuring Monday Jazz. Already with a robust presence in New York, jazz artists are finding that Mondays are bringing in an especially enthusiastic crowd that really wants to see and hear them. And because the city's music scene has exploded with up-an-coming talent, your group can get a front-row seat to talent people with be talking about a lot down the road!