How do you feel about The Big Apple as a location for your next event? A great city, vivid, dynamic, trendy and tempting. You have all the advantages right there. But how do you get into it? What are the pitfalls? What locations are hip and trendy? What activities can you combine with your event?
We fill you in on the details in a series of 3 articles. This chapter is about the dos-and-don'ts for New York.
Make clear agreements about suppliers
In New York it's not always clear what is and what isn't included in the price. At some locations, you're obliged to work with their suppliers for catering, decoration, music equipment, etc. Or they charge an extra fee for all sorts of things. Make sure you are fully informed beforehand and that you make clear agreements.
Don't get caught in traffic
In the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, the traffic in New York is a living hell. So make sure you plan in sufficient journey time if you plan an event in several locations. Make agreements with a transporting company, use the subway or take taxis. You should also request permits well in advance for parking in the street. You also need a permit if you want to use the street for a red carpet or a tent.
You should book your hotel rooms yourself
You had best book a hotel yourself. It is sometimes cheaper to use websites such as booking.com to book rooms than to negotiate with the hotels themselves. It is best to avoid the busy periods. At those times, the hotel costs are off the charts. In summertime, these are the vacation periods, in autumn and spring these are the fashion weeks.
Save extra costs by planning ahead
In New York everything is possible... At a price. Locations and suppliers like to charge extra for short delivery times and last-minute orders. Save yourself these extra costs by planning well ahead of time.
Make sure you are properly insured
Locations often demand an insurance certificate. You should take up an insurance via a broker or online. Make sure you get insured for a sufficiently high amount. In the VS, people and companies get sued a lot easier for damages, injuries, etc. Arrange for an insurance during the entire duration of your event.
Take the unions into account
New York is the city of unions. If you hire staff for a large event, you will definitely have to deal with a union delegate. If something happens unexpectedly and you change the planning, it will prove a challenge to convince your staff to remain flexible. That's why you should also calculate the union's demands into your budget. You don't only pay for the working hours, but also for the employees' meals: breakfast, lunch and also dinner if the event takes a little longer than expected. And most of them want warm meals!
New Yorkers count on you bartering for the prices. If you have a fixed budget, you should ask your suppliers to help think about what they can do to realize the event within budget.
Check whether service and VAT have been included
Be aware that price quotes are usually service- and VAT-excluded. You should take care with every price quote to see whether it's plus-plus. That's how you ask whether services and VAT are included or not.
Don't be intimidated
Take your time to make decisions and to sign contracts. Be aware that it can be very difficult and expensive to bail out of a contract, once you've signed. New York suppliers will always pressure you with the argument that they can no longer keep your date or location free. Don't be manipulated by this.
This article is part of a series: Organizing events in New York, the sequel. In part 2 we give you tips about trendy event locations. In part 3 you'll discover nice New York activities to combine with your event.
With thanks to Nicole of event agency BENG!NY