Great Venues for Holiday Parties

It may be only the first week of October but corporate holiday party planning is in full swing! And for some of the hottest venues in New Yok dates are starting to run out.
There are of course dozens of venues that I LOVE for corporate events…but here are some of the ones we’ve recently had fun celebrating the holiday season in.

Angel Oresanz Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angel Orensanz is a 1849 synagogue, modeled after the Cathedral of Cologne.  It has a gothic style with an amazing gold-leaf altar, vaulted ceiling and surrounding mezzanine. It once was the studio of Spanish sculptor Angel Orensanz, but now hosts arts events, performances, and private events (most famously the wedding of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick)

 

THE DESMOND TUTU CENTER  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Desmond Tutu Center is a beautifully charming  restored historic 19th-century Gothic structure   True old world style, dark woods, vaulted ceiling with sophisticated 21st-century comforts.

 

Studio 450

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio 450 is a gorgeous all white open loft space on the 12th floor of an industrial building on the west side.  With a second floor that has wrap around terrace, this amazingly bright and sunny space is a blank pallate for any event design and perfect for winter holiday parties.

 

The Puck Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Puck Building is a former commercial space with two magnificent floors of venue space perfect for you winter holiday events.  With exposed brink, high ceilings and gorgeous floor to ceiling arched windows this venue can be transformed into anything your mind can come up with.

 

GOTHAM HALL

Gotham Hall was the former headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank.  It is a gorgeous venue for corporate events and boasts a magnificent Art Deco ballroom with a seven-story-tall grand vaulted dome ceiling, enormous Corinthian columns and majestic marble floors.

These are of course just a TINY FEW of my favorite venues for hosting a holiday party or corporate event this season.  What are some of your favorites?  Let us know!

 

 

Holiday Party Themes: To Christmas & Beyond

As the leaves turn and the temperature drops, we find ourselves again at that very special time of year, when we gather together to celebrate our achievements, look back on the past year, show our appreciation to employees and co-workers, and Xerox our derrieres on company equipment.
The office Christmas party is BACK.

This ritual, so noble in theory, is often reduced to something more like to a frat party – beer pong and bagged pretzels. Oh, and corn chips are still corn chips – even with the chipotle-lime dipping sauce.  Not much of a reward for a year of hard work, and all too often, the party the “cool kids” in the office avoid. The irony is that a gathering meant to recognize and affirm the hardworking employee, becomes anything but.

Office holiday parties don’t plan themselves, so let’s not forget the lone staffer who is charged with “making it all happen”.  With little to no event planning experience, this person is little more than a sacrificial lamb.  With the makeup of contemporary offices is diversifying faster than ever, the traditional Christmas-with-a-dash-of-Hanukah party doesn’t work so well.  The artificial tree and token menorah are not going to cut it (one wonders if they ever did).  Times are changing, and there’s no reason that your annual event shouldn’t follow suit. This year, try something different and do a non-traditional holiday party.

Whether you take a baby step and go for a cool winter theme, or, take a giant leap and choose a completely different holiday for your company party, there are lots of unique themes to choose from.  Here are a few of our favorites (and see the gallery below for actual event pics):

Winter Wonderland – An easy way to escape the multi-cultural and religious quagmires and do something new but keep within the traditional spirit.  Go cool blues and snowy whites instead of the typical holiday colors and try spiked hot cocoa and mulled wine instead of the usual beer and room temperature vino.

Colorful Carnival – Why stay stuck in holiday or winter themes when you can put together an evening of classic fun!  Test your strength; get a tattoo, real cotton candy and balloon animals, what could be better.  This one can include the kids as well, which will earn you the undying gratitude of all the parents at your firm.  We like to go more turn-of-the-century-gothic-carnival-chic with our carnivals. We bring it indoors, drop the lights down and bring up colored lighting and dress the station vendors in turn of the century barker gear for the full effect.

Halloween Haven – Instead of adding one more party to the hectic end of the year holiday push, move the party up and do something downright spooky.  Ghouls, ghosts, goblins, black martinis, something and something will put your guests right in the mood.  Make it a costume or masquerade party, you can always give out masks at the door, and give the troops a way to show off their personal flair (or ‘freak’ as the case may be).  Just bear in mind that Halloween décor goes fast, so don’t wait to make your purchases!

No matter what the plan is for this year, themes will always kick it up a notch and make it a memorable experience for all who attend.  A good theme brings everyone together under one flag and gives them something to talk about.  Themes also allow you to add in relevant activities, favors and gift bags and make it more fun without being off base or irrelevant to the theme.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to plan and design the company holiday party alone.  There are great companies out there who will do it all for you soup to nuts (think of us, Swank!), and create a party like you have never experienced. Holiday parties are a reflection of the year that’s past, but are also a nod to the coming year ahead.  Sometimes management just needs a little push to remind them of how much more productive employees can be when they feel appreciated.  Jan in accounting may also need little push to do something better this year, so forward her this article and get yourself a better themed holiday party!

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Winter Wonderland Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Gothic Carnival Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event

Swank Productions Halloween Holiday Event


Maya Kalman, Event Design Expert & CEO of Swank Productions Maya Kalman is the Founder & CEO of SWANK Productions, a luxury wedding planning, event design and event production company in New York City. Known for her beyond-the-box designs and undying passion for creating extraordinary event experiences, Maya risen to become one of the most well known wedding and event planners in New York City. She has been a featured expert on TNT, NBC Today Show, MTV, Martha Stewart, Food Network, Geraldo Live and many more, and has planned and designed weddings, corporate events and parties for some of the top companies, brands and personalities around the world.
Follow Maya on Twitter, Maya on Facebook

Winter Wedding Lounge

Looking back on our events, this one at Studio 450 was most definitely one of our coziest!
Studio 450 is another one of our FAVORITE loft venues.  (And you might not know – I have a soft spot for this NYC loft because I was married there a little over 12 years ago) SO many things I love about this loft space like its size, the room layouts and the fact that it has two floors and a really nice size deck.  But most of all I love its shinny whiteness (yes I think I made that word up but it perfectly describes the space)Studio 450 is on West 31st St at 9th avenuewhich I would best describe as a fairly non-descrpt (and kind of always gray) area of the West Side.  There’s usually scaffolding of some sort on one of the buildings in the vicinity.  I know I’m not ‘selling’ why this ‘great’ venue is so great very well but honest, I’m getting to my point, which is this.

There’s something wonderfully magical about going to this dingy gray part of New York City, riding up a huge metal freight sized elevator to the top floor, not knowing what in the world to expect from a party in a place like this.  Having the elevator doors open and arriving into a truly lovely, bright, spacious, glossy white venue with sunny (or sunset) views of New York City in all four directions.
What I absolutely love about this space is that its a large open white pallet.  Its urban chic.  It’s a space where you can truly create ANY type of environment.

I’ve been lucky to work in this venue dozens of times and have had the opportunity to do a lot of very creative themes.  But since I first stepped into this venue, I have ALWAYS wanted to do a cozy ‘ski lodge’ event!  I have done lots of other ‘winter’ environments but I finally got the chance to do my cozy ski lodge here at 450!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to a cozy New Year!!!

Cheers to your next event

xoxo Maya