Looking to plan a corporate offsite that feels offsite, but has the convenience of still being close to home? Enter Nuits Mansion. EventMates came across this renowned villa, a hidden gem tucked away in Irvington only a mere 30 minutes from NYC; convenient for the Manhattan East Villagers as well as the Westchester folks. Boasting over 16,000 square feet, the space comes equipped with modern amenities to plan an all-in-one company or team offsite in addition to the usual weddings. Start the day with breakfast and content in the Conservatory with a spectacular outdoor view. Head out through the French doors to the stone patio by the pool for a refreshing outdoor lunch. Pack in some more content and team building; try your hand at the custom-made shuffleboard or billiards, or make it informal and break some ice in the Theatre room. Have the team break in the Great Room sitting area to catch up on their emails, and finally, come together for a team dinner in the formal dining room to tie in the comradery. With over 20 rooms, Nuits Mansion is perfect to mold for any corporate event. Build a lasting impression and make a splash, literally.
It’s that time of year again, and believe it or not it’s starting to get late to plan your corporate holiday party. The top restaurants book up well in advance, so it’s time to get the ball rolling. We asked one of the EventMates founders, Diane Nicoletti, to share tips on pulling together a Corporate Holiday Party and here’s what she had to say.
EventMates: How much should I budget for a holiday party?
Diane: If you are going outside of your office, which I’d definitely encourage to make it special, you should budget at least $15,000 for a small 50 person event, and then from there add on at least $100 per person. This gives you the budget to make it unique to your team – venue, food & beverage, entertainment, design & décor and a planner to help you plan the whole shebang!
EventMates: Where should I have it?
Diane: I personally love the Splacer options. They offer access to unique raw spaces where you have more flexibility to design it to your liking - including your selection of food and drink and your company’s style. If you are looking for more of a restaurant or party venue, you should really think about what is going to resonate with your employees. This year, Carol Karaoke is a big theme and in NYC two of my favorite spots to host such an event are Brooklyn Bowl and Rider in BK. They are for the more casual crowd ready to sing! For the more traditional crowd, we’re seeing a lot of sit down dinners - family style, “Tasting and Toasting” - at more upscale venues that are sure to make employees feel special. Like anything know your audience to assess the best space.
EventMates: What do I need to book in advance vs. what can wait?
Diane: Venue is your starting point (last reminder, book now!). It will dictate what the décor will be, what the caterer will need to bring in (or what menu they already provide), your capacity/guest list, and any other rentals. Bringing on a planner early on can save you time and money.
EventMates: Caterers – when should I use a caterer and what kinds of caterers should I use?
Diane: If it is a raw space a caterer is a must. For a holiday party, this is a fun area to splurge a bit because it’s what everyone remembers! Consider bringing in specialized mixologists to create a drink specifically for your company, or even a menu themed to the holiday or your brand! Good caterers can have a lot of fun with it in addition to having great food. Keep in mind, the holiday season is a busy time for them, so get your creative ideas in early so they can dedicate that time to you to make your wishes come true!
EventMates: Décor – What are some of your favorite holiday décor ideas?
Diane: I’m a huge fan of warm, cozy winter décor. Instead of opting for the traditional red and green, play up the “winter” theme. This can be done a few ways, personally I just love what I call “winter warmth” using wood, evergreens, winter white and rustic textures. This of course doesn’t fly for everyone, some might prefer a black and gold look to embrace the holidays; but winter warmth is my personal fave!
EventMates: Theming it out to our Company – should I make it about us or should I just embrace the holiday?
Diane: If you’ve had a great year, some big news/product launches or expansions, absolutely, celebrate those accomplishments with the folks that got you there. You could also make it less a theme but little subtle touches around the event to give nods to the accomplishments! For instance, maybe a new product launched that made all the news, use photos of that as a holiday card and place it in frames around the bar, or in glass enclosed highboys. You probably want to refrain from pinpointing any one individual or group of individuals so everyone feels special, but it wouldn’t be wrong to tout the overall company success at a holiday celebration.
EventMates: How much time do I need to plan for the party?
Diane: Once you get the venue and caterer, you really only need about 2 months to get the rest in place. And we’d certainly recommend locking in your venue & caterer as soon as possible!
EventMates: What are your quick 5 things to remember when planning a holiday party?
Remember your guests – what is going to be fun for them and make them feel most comfortable
Don’t try and do it all yourself – hire a planner to help you through the details
Venue is key – book as early as possible
Have fun with catering
Don’t forget the programming and décor to get everyone in the spirit
With Fashion Week NY complete, we took a moment to reflect. Not on the fashions, we’ll leave that to the fashionistas. We’re event experts, so we’re reflecting on the venues. This season, so many designers captured our attention - and that of the Instagram loving crowds - with their runway locations.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Outdoor venues can be challenging, but done right they often present beautiful backdrops for many Instagram moments. Our top two venues are favorite NYC destinations, so it’s no surprise they top our list for event venues.
Raw space is where our imaginations run wild. Our top two this season wow’d us as much the designs walking the runways.
Conference rooms are booked. Teams are taxed. Companies large and small are breaking away from the expected to spark team creativity! Check out these unique NYC offsite locations, hand-picked by our friends at Splacer, ready for you and your team to tackle your next challenge.
A space for those with real taste. This one-of-a-kind culinary museum located in Williamsburg/Greenpoint offers 20-foot ceilings, industrial details, and a unique collection of scientific gastronomic gadgets. It’s the perfect spot to throw a sweet event.
Just North of Grand Central Terminal, catch spectacular views, elegant lighting, and a modern inspired café at this reinvented Midtown space. Elements of the location come together to create the ideal setup for your business, workshop, or networking event. The space is also highly configurable, able to meet most event specifications.
Located in a beautiful Brooklyn neighborhood, this former tile factory has been renovated into a more welcoming space. With modern architecture, exposed brick, and a relaxed atmosphere it’s the ideal space for your next big meeting. Step out of the old office and into one with character.
All images borrowed from Splacer
This private rooftop venue offers herb-scented breezes and breathtaking views of the city, creating a memorable setting for your next event. Be it a dinner party, office team-building getaway, educational workshop, fitness class, or wedding, you are sure to have an experience like no other at this stunning rooftop farm.
Why EventMates Loves It:
It’s no surprise that our friends at Splacer list this spot as one of their favorite splaces. This is an exceptional outdoor space ready to host every type of event. In fact, we’re already designing an employee retreat with the theme “grow together” and a farm-to-table dinner party for a 4th Wedding Anniversary (Fruit & Flowers!).
Say goodbye to dull ballrooms and boring venues, the trend of using atypical, imaginative spaces is definitely here to stay.
Enter Splacer: a favorite of our planners for gaining access to all types of venues with very easy-to-navigate search tools. Want to host your event at a brewery? They have it. How about a scenic waterfront location? They have that too. From an indoor tennis club to a rooftop farm and a multitude of Manhattan lofts, you can find virtually any space for your next event.
Drift Studio is a creative space and event venue located in the heart of West Chelsea's Gallery District overlooking the High Line.
What is unique about Drift?
Drift's large, factory windows let in bright, natural light to create a welcoming atmosphere. With our rustic-industrial aesthetic, Drift is perfect for any event from a cocktail party to a corporate gathering.
What was one of your favorite events hosted at Drift?
I really enjoyed hosting a Great Gatsby birthday party at Drift. Not only did the guests look fabulous, the 150 person event highlighted the versatility of the space. The client had a full bar with bartenders, appetizers handed out, a dance floor, a sitting area with plush couches as well as a photobooth. The guests loved the view of the High Line as well as the city skyline, complete with the New Yorker sign and Empire State Building in the background. It was truly a Gatsby-esque event.
What are the types of events you host at your venue?
We love to work with our clients to create the perfect event. We are able to accommodate both long-term showrooms as well as short-term/half-day press previews, especially during fashion week and industry expo season. We host fundraisers and charity events, including performances, art gallery openings and silent auctions. We also cater to experiential events, particularly for tourism boards and organizations. For example, we hosted a Discover LA event, complete with a 8'x8' sandbox, bringing the West Coast to the heart of Chelsea :) We can truly work with you to create the event that you have imagined.
How many people can your venue fit?
Our capacity is 150-175px. Seated theater accommodates approx. 100px. Sit down dinner accommodates 60-80px, depending on the additional furniture that is brought in.
What is the fee for your venue?
Fees depend on guest numbers as well as additional services. Daytime events (9am-5pm) start from $1800. Evening events (6-11pm) start from $2500. Fees include cleaning costs. Additional fees apply for after hour events.
Why EventMates loves it:
Drift is one of those hidden NYC gems that is sure to delight event guests. Filled with natural light, offering views of the treasured High Line, this industrial space is comfortable and chic, accommodating every type of event.
What is Rider?
An American Bistro and Bar in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Why is it unique/what stands out about it?
Our menu is comprised of smaller dishes intended to be shared. It is separated into 4 sections vegetarian/pescatarian/omnivore/carnivore (not literally, just spaced as such). Our name 'Rider' is in reference to a 'hospitality rider' which a band or artist will submit for their dressing room when playing a concert. As our restaurant is interconnected to National Sawdust – a new non profit music venue and event space - we felt the name was appropriate. In that spirit, our space and menu is multifaceted and diverse enough to cater to a neighborhood such as Williamsburg.
What was the last event you hosted?
It was a press event for a new heirloom cacao bean coming onto the market.
What are the types of events that you host at your venue?
At Rider, we do everything from press events for major brands, movie shoot wrap parties, bachelorette dinners, etc. In the National Sawdust venue, we've done corporate seminars for tech companies like Spotify, staff party for Kickstarter, fundraising dinners, and sports viewing parties.
How many people can your venue fit?
Rider: 65 seated between two floors (31 down, 34 up), 85 standing.National Sawdust: 170 seated, 350 standing
What is the fee for your venue?
Rider: $8,000-15,000 for a full evening buyout. $4,000-$7,500 for the second floor alone. National Sawdust: Please call ahead.
Why EventMates loves it:
National Sawdust is set up for any and every tech need - state of the art audio and video capability including an 18" projection screen and a pristine acoustic room with near perfect sound quality. Along with the level of food and beverage service from Rider, there is no event space quite like it anywhere in NY, especially when you have a music element to your event!
Rider & National Sawdust
80 N 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Capacity: 65-350 (depending on seating/standing and use of space)