Karen Shackman, founder of Shackman Associates New York (a destination management and event-planning company), recently released her annual list of top five meeting trends for 2016. Here is a brief look at these exciting new trends and examples of where to find them throughout the Big Apple:
1. Millennials are redefining event venues and decor. In New York City, the hot venues are in neighborhoods versus traditional ballrooms. For example, Willamsburg Hotel opening in Brooklyn this spring will feature an event space set in a water tower replica created to capture the block’s history. Other popular venues feature industrial façades that include exposed brick, glass, steel and piping. One even includes a Prohibition-era bathtub attendees can sit in for the obligatory selfie.
2. Healthy and mindful meetings. Even as legacy hotels get makeovers that focus on healthier components, new hotels such as 1 Central Park have created entire Mindful Meeting programs for attendees that include farm-to-table menus and collaboration areas. In 2018, luxury gym company Equinox will open its first-ever hotel in Manhattan’s West Side.
3. Experiential teambuilding. Groups are getting more creative about how they’re teambuilding—whether it is a Spartan-themed event in which attendees throw spears on a Manhattan rooftop, a Silent Disco in a moving subway car, using mobile technology to find a “kidnapped” CEO in a spy scavenger hunt or participating in a dog rescue that helps find them new adoptive homes in France.
4. F&B menus get crafty. Attendees are seeking after-hours event experiences to get a feel of the area’s craft beer and cocktail offerings. Mixology is hitting new levels and spanning multiple cultures, so it’s no surprise that Lumos NYC—the first event venue dedicated to Baijiu, the national liquor of China—recently opened in Greenwich Village.
5. Sustainable luxury. The trend of “sustainable luxury” sounds like an oxymoron, but 16 luxury meeting hotels in New York have joined the city’s Carbon Challenge, which looks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years. They include 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge; 1 Hotel Central Park; Crowne Plaza Times Square; Dream Downtown; Grand Hyatt New York; Hotel Pennsylvania; Hudson Hotel; Loews Regency Hotel; Lotte New York Palace; The Pierre – A Taj Hotel; The Peninsula New York; InterContinental New York Barclay InterContinental New York Times Square; Roger Smith Hotel; Waldorf Astoria New York; and Westin New York at Times Square.