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Engage: A Special Three-Hour Event on Virtual Engagement

Event professionals are faced with the enormous challenge of keeping their audience engaged online during their virtual events.

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Event professionals are faced with the enormous challenge of keeping their audience engaged online during their virtual events.

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Convene at 237 Park Avenue – Is it The Venue of The Future? [Venue Review]

By Julius Solaris

We are very excited to launch our latest section, Venue Reviews. The first up is a very innovative venue, Convene at 237 Park Avenue - New York.

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When we published The Venue of the Future, we presented the results of extensive research about what event professionals want in venues. The results were quite clear. Flexibility, goal alignment, partnership, innovation. It may sound like a utopia to some of you eventprofs reading this post, but while I was talking Raymond and Brittany (two of the most friendly people on earth) to review their venue, I felt we were getting closer and closer.

Before we delve into details, let me tell you how event venue reviews work. As for eventtech reviews, we will give you a few pointers why a venue may or may not suit your party. In this case I will try to be as unbiased as possible. If there is something I like, I will say it out loud. If this venue is not for you, I will tell you so. The objective is to present facts over fluff, so you can make an educated decision about venues out there. This review is paid for by the venue. They paid for our time to go through what they have to offer and present an unbiased perspective. You can read more about our partner programs here.

Enough with the housekeeping. Let's delve into what 237 Park Avenue, one of the newest additions to the Convene portfolio has to offer.

Convene at 237 Park Avenue – Is it The Venue of The Future? [Venue Review]

Why Convene at 237 Park Avenue?

reception

Reception

If you are looking for a venue for your next event there are a number of factors influencing your decision. Location, destination, transportation. I will call these logistics. These are very important and most of the times immediately skim the market, reducing the amount of venues we are considering to a very tiny number. This is the way we traditionally select venues and it is essentially broken.
We are in fact favouring things like location over experience. We are effectively saying the strip in Las Vegas is the best place to host an event, because it is a popular destination. It may well be the case, but we are not starting our selection process from the perspective really matters, our attendees'. How can we select a venue that will help us to throw an unforgettable event? How does the venue help convey the message of the event? How does the venue collaborate in achieving our event objectives?

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Dining Display

There is a difference between popular venues and awesome venues. Everybody wants popular venues and very often they act like VIPs. But we are looking for team players, not for primadonnas. Aligning objectives is one of the key priorities of your team. You should favour collaboration, flexibility and innovation over logistics.
This is where the latest addition to Convene's portfolio, 237 Park Avenue kicks in. Convene has an history of embracing the eventprofs community. If you are local to New York, you have probably attended one of their events. If you are online, you have probably witnessed the amazing job they do with content. That should already ring a bell. These people care about you and your needs. This is a great start, because if they care about you, they will care about helping you to achieve your objectives.

the-hub

The Hub

But what makes 237 Park Avenue innovative, flexible and worthy of your time? Let's have a look.

The Highlights

Convene at 237 Park Avenue offers a meeting and event space in Midtown East for up to 275 participants, just steps from Grand Central Terminal in New York City. This space is characterized by trendy, loft-style amenities with the convenience of a full service event venue. There is a collection of nuanced design elements combining the best of uptown and downtown New York, modern and corporate cool. Custom decor includes a fireplace, a video wall, distinctive wall coverings, customizable LED lighting, plush lounge seating and art to evoke intimacy and warmth.
237 Park Avenue has meeting design in mind. No meeting or event is the same. You need a flexible space that accommodates different types of events and activities. Extensive market research gave clear indications of the requirements of the modern event professional. And they were beautifully executed.
bridge
Bridge
Meeting design is really at the core. Convene makes it easy for people to connect and we know how important that is. The extensive market research conducted before architecting the space, makes sure this is a meeting first venue. It is not one you have to adapt to, it is a venue that adapts to your needs.
What about technology. For the event geek, entering Convene at 237 Park Avenue makes you feel like a kid entering Disneyland.  Strong WiFi (with redundant backup) is part of their packages, at no extra cost. Built in technology is part of their packages. The on-site production team coordinates planning from initial contact through day-of logistics, allowing for smooth execution and greater flexibility. It does not get any better than that.
The size of the venue makes it ideal for those meetings that need technology built in. You can approach Convene as an all inclusive buffet where you don't have to care about being charged per megabite or similar ridiculousness, we have been fed lately.

the-forum

The Forum

What about catering? You may ask. Convene has an exceptional approach to source sustainable and local produce for their catering offer. Their in-house chef changes the menu every six months to offer the seasons' best. Everything is cooked on the spot. No sad sandwiches and plastic tasting food. Innovation is not just a matter of how fast the Internet is, it is about how we do things better, how we provide value to our stakeholders.
What about me? You may rightly so ask. You dear event professional are the most important client a venue has. You drive hundreds of people there, you pay usually a big check. You should be taken care of. How would you like a Meeting Planner Station? Your control room where you can handle the vitals of the event, from registration to communication. The Meeting Planner Station is a specific area to support all of the tasks required while allowing meeting planners views into their meeting rooms or direct audio and video feeds to their laptops. Additionally, you will find the Mother’s Room; a quiet, secluded, and private room with a fridge, a sink, and a comfortable chair for guests who may need to attend to their children' needs.
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Meeting Planner Station 

Popular Rooms

The club encompasses The Parlor, a meeting room that can also double as a true “living room” for more informal collaboration and work sessions. This space features a fireplace, pivot doors, and custom designed furnishings. As well as The Lounge/ Bar which is a great place for buffet lunch or evening cocktails, this space features a bar with beertaps and lounge seating.

Additionally, the Work Area can be found in The Club, and is able to accommodate breakouts and collaboration. 237 Park Avenue includes a Dining and Display Cooking space, a great place to watch their Executive Chef prepare today’s special lunch or their Mixologist create your favorite cocktail in the evening, You can choose from a variety of seating and table height options. This zone can also flex to function as an exhibit space.

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Adjacent to Dining and Display is The Library, offering a unique setting for collegial interactions, this room can also flex to support a more typical classroom style setup. The Innovation Space  is one I am particularly excited about. It has been designed to support innovation and generative activities of all kinds. Featuring large geometric wall designs that double as a built-in dry-erase board.

Just outside of Innovation is the Bridge, which supports informal interaction with great sight lines to the activity of the Grand Central neighborhood. The Boardroom is a jewel-box like space for your most formal meetings. For a more flexible setting, The Hub is inviting and able to accommodate varying room setups. The largest of 237 Park’s spaces is The Forum, fully equipped with several monitors and projectors. Immediately adjacent is a private buffet and nourish to enable easy and immediate access to food and refreshments.

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The Library

Who is it For and What to Consider

This site includes 12,000 square feet, 8 meeting rooms, and capacity for up to 275 participants. All spaces have multiple room configurations to serve the unique needs of different groups. 237 Park Avenue is purposefully built to foster engagement and inspire collaboration, great for "corporate-meets-social" meetings and events such as executive retreats, corporate off-sites and private evening receptions.

the-innovation-space

The Innovation Space

The capacity of the venue immediately gives you an indication of whether it is a good fit with your event.  If you run music festivals, probably this is not the venue for you.
The approach to pricing is more package driven rather than a-la-carte. If you want to pay per megabyte or prefer to be charged per gallon of water consumed, this is not the venue for you. Picture an all inclusive resort versus a do it yourself holiday. I would place Convene at 237 Park Avenue in the 4-star rating hotel category. If you don't want to be bothered with budgeting for each and every item that goes into a room so you can focus on the experience you deliver, this is the venue for you.

Specs

Technology:  

  • The latest, built-in teleconferencing, audio & video conferencing and recording, and AV Standards
  • 1 Gbps high-speed WiFi included for all participants 
  • Expert AV technicians on-site 

Maximum Capacity275 participants (see Floorplan & capacities

Hour LimitMonday - Friday, 8:00 am- 6:00 pm (optional evening events and receptions)

Concierge ServiceYes 

Virtual TourYes 

In Conclusion

If you are thinking about the East Coast as the destination for your event, I strongly suggest looking into Convene as an option for your event. 237 Park Avenue is the latest addition to a very diverse portfolio that can accommodate different event types.
Innovation, technology, sustainability come embedded in this venue with a relaxed and flexible attitude that shift the focus from the logistics to the experience. Get in touch with them today to schedule a viewing or check out their website for more information.
Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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