Situated in Lower Manhattan, the vibrant neighborhood of SoHo sits between Houston and Canal Streets from north to south and Lafayette and Avenue of the Americas from east to west. Planners will find that meeting venues in SoHo are liberally interspersed between the historic cast-iron buildings, fashionable boutiques, galleries, cafes, bars and high-end real estate that dot the area's charming cobble-stone streets. Once considered an undesirable part of town, SoHo was transformed in the 1960s when artists Philip Glass, Nam June Paik, Chuck Close and other notable influencers established a creative community that still flourishes.
Getting to and from SoHo takes approximately 45 minutes via taxi or car from the New York metropolitan area's three major airports—LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Once in SoHo, visitors can easily hail a cab, jump on the subway or catch a bus.
SoHo also serves as a convenient location to get to Midtown West where many of the big trade shows take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Piers 92/94. Planners looking for locations in the immediate vicinity can choose from event spaces like the SoHo Soleil, which is housed in a building from the 1870s and features five different meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of 20 to 100 guests. The 73-seat SoHo Rep Theater, the 4,000-square-foot SoHo Loft and the 18,000-square-foot Skylight SoHo are among the other options for group gatherings.
SoHo hotel venues cater to every preference and price point. Design-driven dwellings include luxury properties, such as The James, SoHo Grand Hotel, the soon to be opened Mondrian SoHo, Thompson Hotel and Trump SoHo New York. (Attendees who are more conservative about their T&E reports may want to check into the Courtyard Manhattan New York SoHo or the Hampton Inn.)
Food is an essential part of any function, and many dining venues in SoHo are very group-friendly. Dos Caminos Mexican Kitchen SoHo has an 80-seat outdoor cafe, a 110-seat indoor dining area and the semi-private Starlight Room for 30 to 50 guests. Aurora SoHo is known for its innovative Italian cuisine, while Woo Lae Oak SoHo dishes up the spicy flavors of Korea. Amber hued lighting, copper table tops and weathered mirrors provide an elegant setting for cocktail receptions for up to 300 at The Grand Bar & Lounge at the SoHo Grand Hotel.
In addition to people-watching on the SoHo streets, group can enjoy the exhibits at the Children's Museum of the Arts, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art and the New York City Fire Museum—among many others. Visitors can also browse the wares of a new generation of SoHo talent, which sells everything from original paintings, gorgeous jewelry and other handmade items from makeshift sidewalk stalls.