As Economy Picks Up, Are Big Corporate Events Coming Back?

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the economy noticeably healthier, a strong note of optimism seems to waft in the air along with the crisp fall weather and approaching holidays. Given this changing climate, are companies again willing to hold large-scale special events? Once upon a time (i.e. a few years back, before the recession hit hard) corporations, nonprofits, fraternal and advocacy organizations, entertainment and production companies, retail and restaurant chains would fete their staff, even at times including key customers and vendors. There they were, gathered for one night or one afternoon in one big space for one goal-oriented intention: to facilitate the bonding in order to help get them aligned to meet preset goals and milestones in the months and years ahead.

One New York destination for these kinds of events, Manhattan Center—thanks to its sought-after Hammerstein Ballroom and Grand Ballroom—has long been a magnet for companies like Ford, Macy's, Microsoft, TCA, HSBC, Sony, BET, Conde Nast and many others that booked into the ballrooms. There, the grand scale, vaulted ceilings, outstanding acoustics and a staff that could not be more accommodating kept these customers loyal.

"It may not be quite the good old days, since companies are more cautious and cost-conscious, as they should be," says Peter Ross, President of Manhattan Center Productions, candidly. "But instead of flying their executives to Hawaii or some other exotic resort for a week of golf and meetings, they are either sticking close to home, or asking us for dates so their people can enjoy New York. It's actually become quite competitive for dates, since popular entertainers book here regularly. But the tide has turned. Companies MIA for the past few years tell us they are planning to hold a big party or new product launch for their national sales force here in another six months or even in a year or more, and are booking now."  

A new study by the human resources research and consulting firm The Hackett Group found that while HR budgets are finally starting to come back, some degree of remaining volatility in the economic recovery is still weighing on them. At the same time, Harry Osle, the firm's HR practice leader, said some specific services shelved during the recession are poised to return. When The Hackett Group surveyed executives to identify the top issues for HR for the rest of 2013, nearly 80 percent cited improving talent management capabilities as the top HR issue. Among HR executives, 92 percent cited organizational learning and development and formal leadership development programs as the top priority.

Ross has a message for these leaders: "When your boardroom overflows and you need more space and better acoustics for those inspirational talks, product launches or company parties, come take a look at the Hammerstein and Grand Ballrooms."

And if you do have an event in mind—better book ahead.

For more on Manhattan Center, visit www.mcstudios.com.

Contact:   Enrique Briz,  Dian Griesel Int'l.  212.825.3210

SOURCE Manhattan Center



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