Welcome to our New York City meeting planning guide – a city guide for NYC meeting planning. New York City - The name alone is virtually enough to attract meeting, event and convention goers in droves each year. For meeting planners, New York City meeting planning can be quite hectic. In fact, the city is host to hundreds of events and more than 50 million international and American visitors annually. And with a well-supported transportation network, plenty of hotel accommodations and New York City meeting hotels, and a wealth of other meeting facilities that only continues to expand, New York City event planning is becoming more and more diverse. From the meeting planner's perspective, the city is certainly making good on its reputation as one of the best in the world.
A hub for both domestic and international travel, the city is served by three airports – John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International. Together, they offer competitively priced flights to over 100 million passengers annually. Once inside the city, guests are never at a loss for transportation options. Public transit, which includes buses, ferries and one of the most extensive subway systems in the world, offers around-the-clock travel to just about every corner of New York.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a constantly upgrading and expanding set of accommodations and attractions. There are approximately 90,000 hotel rooms, thanks to new properties as well as the renovations of well-known favorites. In 2008, for example, the much-loved Plaza Hotel re-opened with $400 million in renovations; it now offers 282 luxurious guest rooms. Such unmatched facilities add a certain glamor to the New York City event planning world.
For planners, the upgrades to many of New York City's classiest lodging facilities also include additional spacious meeting rooms.
To truly experience New York, NYC meeting planning professionals need to get guests and attendees to step outside the boardroom. Infuse meetings with authentic New York spirit by hosting an event at one of the city's hundreds of unique sites, such as the Bronx Zoo or the New York Aquarium. Views of the Manhattan skyline are the perfect backdrop for receptions of up to 200 guests at the chic Sky Room at the New Museum of Contemporary Art's new downtown facility. Transport guests back to the gateway to America with an event of up to 1,000 people at the Ellis Island-American Family Immigration History Center. Or, celebrate a New York pastime by inviting a group to one of the plush suites at the new Yankee Stadium.
New York City is certainly a destination that knows how to do things big – and New York City event planning is no exception. There are plenty of large-scale New York City event venues to complement its smaller options. Headlining the meetings scene is the stunning Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Spanning five blocks, the center ranks among the top 20 largest U.S. convention centers. The center boasts 760,000 square feet of exhibition space and 28,000 square feet of meeting space, with a total of 102 meeting rooms. Equally impressive are the amenities, which range from enough kitchens to provide 10,000 meals simultaneously to wi-fi Internet access and plasma television screens for exhibitors.
Other suitable spaces for large events include the famed Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks and frequent host to musical acts, sporting events and family shows. From its 20,000-square-foot arena to its 9,500-square-foot Garden Terrace, the Garden is more than capable of accommodating any type of event, whether it be a black-tie gala or intimate awards dinner. Or, invite guests to New York's majestic Radio City Musical Hall. Its shimmering gold curtain – the largest in the world – and city-block-long marquee set the stage for a night of luxury for up to 600 guests.
A hub for international business and commerce, New York City joins London and Tokyo as a command center of the world economy. Finance, insurance, real estate and media industries all play a key role in the city's economy, which is the largest regional economy in the United States. Nearly 50 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in New York, along with the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Public post-secondary institutions in the city include the City University of New York, while the private schools of Columbia University, Cooper Union and New York University, among others, are also in the city.
View the other pages in the New York City Destination Guide to learn more information about event and meeting planning in New York City.
The buzzing metropolitan that is New York City traces its roots back to 5,000 Lenape Native Americans that occupied the region before European arrival in 1524. Initially a Dutch fur trading settlement, it came under British rule in 1667 before becoming one of the first members of the United States after the Revolutionary War. From the first presidential inauguration to the 1863 Draft Riots to the September 11, 2001 attacks, New York City has been and continues to be the site of countless significant events in the nation's history.
Today, the city alone is home to over eight million residents. A true testament to America's "melting pot" culture, its population is remarkably diverse, thanks to the city's role as an entry point for immigrants throughout history. About 36 percent of its residents are foreign-born. From Dominican to Chinese, Mexican to Russian, no one country dominates the nationalities represented in New York.
Exploring this rich cultural mosaic is as easy as stepping right outside the door. Roughly 170 languages are spoken in the city, which is built primarily on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island. Though each of its five boroughs – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island – boasts a story and culture of its own, many are home to dense ethnic and national enclaves. Explore Manhattan's Chinatown's specialty food shops or the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. Sample authentic Italian fare in New York's Little Italy in Manhattan or throughout Staten Island, which boasts a higher percentage of Italian Americans than any other U.S. county. Or, head to Brooklyn to experience one of the most vibrant Jewish communities outside of Israel.
The cityscape of New York City is as diverse as its residents. From the Art Deco Chrysler Building to the Gothic Revival Woolworth Building, the city is a mélange of architectural styles. Plus, with 50 skyscrapers reaching over 650 feet, it boasts more such structures than any other U.S. city.
Guests need not worry of getting stuck within an urban maze of steel and concrete, however. In fact the city has over 28,000 acres of parks and 14 miles of public beaches, meaning plenty of room for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. No visit to New York City would be complete without a stop in Central Park, where guests can ride the antique carousel, take a gondola ride in the lake, or, in the winter, enjoy outdoor skating at the Wollman Rink. Also popular, the New York Botanical Garden is the largest such garden in any city in the United States. Enjoy the sweet fragrances of orchids, tulips and daffodils at its immaculate garden displays, or wander the 50-acre Forest area, where some trees date back 200 years.
New York City's breathtaking scenery is matched by what awaits guests indoors at its endless attractions. Enjoy a show or concert at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, home to 12 arts organizations, or explore over two million pieces of art, from Egyptian to European, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Empire State Building, the tallest structure in the city, remains a visitor must-see, while the Brooklyn Children's Museum's kid-friendly exhibits have been delighting families for over 100 years. From concert halls to baseball stadiums, museums to night clubs, New York City's attractions are just like its people: a diverse mix that's ready and willing to welcome its guests with open arms.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
New York City's humid subtropical climate sees hot and humid summers and cold winters that remain milder than more inland regions due to its coastal location. Summer temperatures range between an average of 68°F and 83°F, while winter temperatures can drop to lows that are slightly below freezing. January is the coldest month with an average high of 36°F and average low of 23°F.
New York City has an average of 234 sunny days. Rainfall averages 46 inches and snowfall averages 25 inches, occurring mostly during the winter. Summer thunderstorms are also common. The best time to visit New York City is in the late fall when temperatures begin to cool off and rainfall is at a minimum.
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
In terms of large New York City meeting facilities, no other location can beat the Javits Center. With a prime location on the West Side Manhattan riverfront, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has attracted tradeshows, conferences and conventions from all over the globe. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the steel-and-glass structure finds itself within walking distance of popular attractions such as Times Square and the Empire State Building, rail terminals, two bus route stops and 30,000 posh hotel rooms.
Spanning five blocks, the Javits Center, with its four levels of exhibit halls, meeting rooms and terrace suites and offices, ranks among the top 20 largest convention centers in the United States. With 760,000 square feet of exhibit space, the center's acoustical dividing walls can create up to nine individual halls, accommodating anywhere from 150 to 3,000 guests. The center also has 28,000 square feet of meeting space and 102 total meeting rooms. For banquets and receptions, the 65,000-square-foot Crystal Palace and the 45,000-square-foot Galleria River Pavilion feature stunning views of the river and city skyline. A registration area offers an additional 65,000 square feet of space.
The Javits Convention Center's spacious facilities are complemented by a wealth of amenities. Though the center has on-site catering and enough kitchens to provide 10,000 meals simultaneously, guests can also grab a bite at shops such as Nathan's hot dogs, Boar's Head Deli, and Villa Pizza at the food courts on Levels 1 and 3, or the Panini or New York Pretzel at the North Concourse. Telecommunication services include fax and modem lines, credit card lines, multi-line phones and shared Ethernet, while the on-site business center provides photocopying and shipping services. Six drive-in ramps, 50 covered loading docks and plasma televisions are also available.
The Javits Center's impressive space and amenities draw over three million visitors each year. Notable events held at the center include the New York National Boat Show, New York International Auto Show and American International Toy Show.
Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10001
Largest Meeting Space - 36,000 Sq. Ft.
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Largest Meeting Space - 7,138 Sq. Ft.
Dos Caminos Park Avenue
Dos Caminos has captured the true spirit of genuine Mexican cuisine, with Executive Chef Ivy Stark spicing up the New York Mexican scene. From after-work margaritas to a fiesta-friendly lunch,dinner or brunch (with live music), Dos Caminos has earned a place among the city's top Mexican hot spots. Let the celebration at Dos Caminos begin!
Consider the menu a boarding pass to Mexico City.Enjoy our Rib Eye Steak Alambre, Ceviche Trio, or one of our other modern takes on traditional Mexican cuisine. No one should miss the freshly prepared guacamole(that Food & Wine called the City's Best)served with homemade tortilla chips - or veggies for those counting carbs!
After spicing up your night, cool down with our sweet, mouth-watering masterpieces created by Pastry Chef Hugo Reyes.
This New York City meeting facility can accommodate groups of 15-350 people for both social and corporate events, in multiple semi-private and private rooms.
Combined, the three major commercial airlines in the New York metropolitan area – John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International – see about 104 million passengers annually. The New York airports are the largest system in the United States and the 2nd largest in the world after London, United Kingdom.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Approximate taxi fare: $39.31 USD
Newark Liberty International Airport is located 15 miles southwest of midtown Manhattan within Newark and Elizabeth, NJ. It is a hub for United Airlines.
Travelers find several comforts at Newark Liberty International, including fast food and casual dining, retail outlets, currency exchanges and even a massage bar. Daily, short-term, economy long-term and valet parking is available, and the AirTrain train network offers service to and from the airport from the NJ Transit and Amtrak transit lines. A Marriott hotel is on the airport property, reachable by shuttle vans stopping at all terminals.
Airline carriers serving Newark Liberty International Airport
Located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue, the famed Grand Central Terminal was opened in 1913 at a time when train travel was the most luxurious way to get around. Still a Manhattan landmark, the station is serviced by bus and subway lines and Metro-North Commuter Railroad, which offers travel to suburbs in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
The station is also a popular attraction, offering 20 international eateries and 50 specialty shops for either train travelers or city visitors to enjoy. The New York Transit Museum also has an annex at Grand Central, and various tours are available for guests interested in learning about the history of the terminal and its surrounding neighborhood.
Pennsylvania Station, more commonly known as Penn Station, was the largest building constructed for train travel. Though it was replaced in 1962 by today's more modern facility, Penn Station still serves as a key point of connection for thousands of passengers each day. The station services bus and subway lines; New Jersey Transit, a commuter line traveling to New Jersey; and Port Authority Trans Hudson, or PATH, which serves Manhattan and New Jersey.
Amtrak also runs in and out of Penn Station with 14 lines: Acela Express, Adirondack, Cardinal/Hoosier State, Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Lake Shore Limited, Maple Leaf, Northeast Regional, Pennsylvanian, Silver Service/Palmetto, and Vermonter. Routes offer service from numerous cities along the East Coast, Midwest and Canada.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) oversees the New York state's public transportation, including the bus and subway systems servicing New York City. The MTA's bus and subway are frequently used by both locals and visitors, as their convenient and affordable lines are often the quickest way to get around town. Established in 1953, the New York City Transit Police Department works specifically to ensure the safety of travelers using these methods of transport.
Both the bus and the subway accept MetroCards, which offer reduced fares for multiple rides. The one-day Fun Pass is $7.50 and the seven-day pass is $25. Travelers who pay with a MetroCard have free transfers from subway to bus, bus to subway or bus to bus within two hours of fare purchase.
New York City's five boroughs are serviced by 4,500 air conditioned buses, whose frequent stops generally mean visitors need not walk more than a few blocks to get a ride. Several museums, sports stadiums, parks, theaters and the airport are among the various places the bus lines service. Regular fare is $2 and express fare is $5. Exact fare is required.
Owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the world. Comprised of 660 miles of track and 468 passenger stations, the subway is used by over 49 million people every weekday. Its 26 lines travel among Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, ensuring that a stop is made at or nearby just about any location of interest.
Many efforts have been made to beautify the subway system and make the experience more comfortable for rides. The Arts for Transit program has helped to install sculptures, mosaics and murals at stations, and many are decorated with the intricate ceramic tile work that first adorned the stations upon opening in 1904. The Music under New York program solicits street musicians to compete for a chance to perform at one of the high traffic subway locations.
The New York City subway operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fare is $2 per ride, regardless of distance traveled or transfers made.
The Staten Island Ferry is the main mode of transportation between the island and Manhattan. The 25-minute, 5.2-mile ride, which passes Governor's Island and the Statue of Liberty, carries over 19 million passengers each year.
The Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ferries run weekdays about every 15 minutes during rush hours, every 30 minutes during mid-day and evening, and every hour during early morning. Ferries run weekends every 30 or 60 minutes depending on time of day. Fare is free. Parking is available at Staten Island's St. George Ferry terminal, and bus and subway lines service the Manhattan terminal.
Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National all service the three airports in New York City. Car rental counters or service phones are located at each terminal's arrivals level, and company lots can be accessed by the AirTrain.
New York City taxis, regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, can be hailed on the street or at taxi stands found at most hotels and transportation hubs. Only the signature yellow medallion cabs are allowed to pick up passengers without prearrangement. Travelers can spot available taxis by a lit white rooftop number.
Fare is $2.50 for the first third of a mile and $0.40 for each additional fifth of a mile. Surcharges of $0.40 per second when the taxi is not moving, $0.50 between 8 PM and 6 AM and $1 weekdays between 4 and 8 PM are also applicable.
The Benjamin in Midtown Manhattan features five residentially fashioned spaces with beautiful arched windows overlooking Lexington Avenue, a vintage hutch and lounge seating for receptions. Is your group craving a star-quality meal? Menus are crafted by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and his team at the James Beard Award-winning restaurant, The National Bar Dining Rooms. If that wasn’t enough, The Benjamin is taking 12% off your master bill, including meeting facilities, room rental, guestrooms, catering and AV.
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