New York City is said to be “the greatest city in the world,” a bastion of tourism, art, finance, media, business and so much more. To that end, it is important to recognize the city’s unique ability to host meetings and other business conventions; its unique combination of hospitality services, culture and nightlife would provide an excellent venue for any possible business trip, convention or important meeting an organization or company might require. The following provides a comprehensive guide into the history, culture, accommodations and venues available in spacious New York City, offering all the information meeting planners might need to organize their next gathering. The following section illuminates the historical and cultural attributes of New York City, as well as pertinent logistical information about taxes, accommodation and more.
In order to best understand what makes New York City the ideal location for your next business meeting, it is important to discuss the city’s history and culture in detail . Due to New York City’s proximity to arts and culture, sprawling commercial and accommodations districts, and the manmade wonders of the city itself, there is no shortage of locations that would make the perfect host for whatever business or recreational purpose you need. In the following section, New York City’s historical aspects, entertainment and attractions, population demographics, key industries/major corporations, sales, rooms & meal taxes, tourism, citywide conventions, special events, and more are discussed.
The history of New York City dates all the way back to the 1600s, when the English conquered the area and dubbed it “New York,” in honor of the Duke of York (Homberger, 2005). The importance of New York City was cemented by its importance in the Revolutionary War, becoming the first acting capital city of the nation after declaring independence. With the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1800s, New York City became a hub of trade and commerce, leading to incredible expansion and population growth, leading to its status as one of the most populous cities in the nation. During the Industrial Revolution, New York City also became one of the first destinations for immigrants coming to America to start over, necessitating the building of Ellis Island. The construction of the Empire State Building in the 1930s helped to cement New York City’s status as a cultural landmark and center of culture and commerce in America, a tradition which continues today.
Entertainment and Attractions
Looking for entertainment in New York City is hardly difficult; New York City carries over 2,000 organizations dedicated to culture and the arts, and has more than 500 art galleries of varying size (“Creative New York,” 2005). New York City is the home of Broadway, which is the pinnacle of America’s theatrical productions, with more than 40 theaters playing some of the most lavish, contemporary theater in the world. New York City’s “Museum Mile” contains ten of the nations’ greatest museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and others. Architectural landmarks also abound in New York City, from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the GE Building, and more (Emporis, 2014).
New York City’s 8.4 million people span a diverse array of ethnicities, incomes, ages and locations (United States Census Bureau, 2013).
The diversity of New York City is evidenced by the variances found in each of the city’s five boroughs, in terms of demographics and income (United States Census Bureau, 2013):
Key Industries/Major Corporations
New York City is a hub of international business and commerce, often called one of the three “command centers” for the world’s economy (Sassen, 2001). The city is home to such many large corporations, including Verizon, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, American Express, AIG and more. The city also features Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, making it an incredibly important location for commodities trading. Electronics and telecommunications are also huge industries here, with many high technology companies and venture capital investments centered around an area of Manhattan known as “Silicon Alley” (Dickey & D’Onfro, 2013). Media and advertising are also large industries in New York City, with a number of films and television shows being filmed there, particularly at NBC’s Rockefeller Center, and the city being home to all four major American broadcast networks – ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC.
Sales, Rooms & Meals Taxes
In New York City, sales and meal taxes are both 8.875% (taxfoundation.org). Hotel room occupancy taxes are 5.875%.
New York City is one of the biggest tourism cities in the world, with more than 47 million tourists visiting the city each year (NYCgo.com). New York City provides one of the largest varieties of high-end entertainment and attractions possible, from seeing Broadway shows to looking at the exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to shop along Madison and Fifth Avenue, and more. Many tourists come to see many of New York City’s incredible landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and the Bronx Zoo, among others. From culture to commerce, New York City is home to every possible activity attendees may wish to engage in.
Because of New York City’s status as a center for commerce and business, the city is well-equipped to handle conferences and conventions of any size. Events such as the New York Marathon and American Group Travel Awards (as well as the Democratic National Convention) are citywide conventions that are easily held every year in New York City, indicating the city’s incredible ability to handle large numbers of attendees. Hundreds of hotels span the New York City metropolitan area, ensuring that conventions can easily house their attendees in multiple hotels without sacrificing accessibility to the convention center. Hotels such as the Grand Hyatt New York, New York Hilton Midtown, Sheraton New York Times Square, and more offer fantastic venues for both housing and hosting conventions and conferences of enormous size.
Given New York City’s cultural cachet, a number of annual festivals occur year round to occupy any kind of potential visitor (“Annual Events”).
Destination Research Summary
Given the above research, it is clear that New York City is the perfect place for a meeting destination. A hugely important city with a rich history and thriving culture, the city’s sheer size and scope provides a multitude of opportunities to entertain and accommodate attendees of any size of meeting or conference.
FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATIONS
Off-Site Group Meal Options
Finding varied, quality group meal options to accompany a business meeting is not difficult – New York city has a number of fantastic, highly rated and affordable restaurants that are perfect for large groups.
Off-Site Individual Meal Options
Individual meals are also a fantastic way to explore the diverse and incredible food culture of New York City.
New York City is accessible from every mode of transportation conceivable. LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport are the city’s two major airports, through which all major airlines travel. NYC is also accessible by Amtrak train, Grand Central Station and Penn Station (NYP) being the primary Amtrak station for entering the city. Interstate bus lines are also available via Greyhound, Peter Pan, Megabus and any number of major interstate bus companies. New York City is accessible via Interstate/Highway via I-78 from New Jersey, I-86, I-90 and I-495 being the other major interstates that run through the city.
Once inside the city, New York City features one of the most diverse and efficient set of options for visitors to get around. Taxis are omnipresent in New York City, with companies like Yellow Cab being particularly effective at getting visitors where they need to go. The mass transit system is unparalleled; with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) providing a rail and subway system that spans the vast majority of the city. The MTA New York City Bus system also covers much of the city, providing local bus transit virtually anywhere in NYC. In the event of business planners hiring charter coach services for effective transport to and from conferences and convention centers, several reputable NYC-based companies include United Coachline, Service Tours Inc., Princess Tours, and A-Way Transport / R&A Charter Inc.
New York City, with its effective confluence of arts, entertainment, commerce, transportation and accommodations, would make a perfect setting for any size or type of business meeting or conference. Meeting planners hoping to conduct business in New York City have a bevy of options from which to choose, as Manhattan and the other five boroughs provide a respectable, high-end and exciting destination that will add variety and excitement to convention-goers while also providing the infrastructure needed to conduct effective business.
Dickey, Megan Rose, and Jillian D'Onfro (October 24, 2013). "SA 100 2013: The Coolest
People In New York Tech". Business Insider, October 24, 2013.
Emporis. “New York City.” Emporis, 2014. http://www.emporis.com/city/newyorkcity-ny-usa.
Homberger, Eric. The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of
New York City's History. Owl Books., 2005.
NYCGo. “Annual Events.” http://www.nycgo.com/annualevents.
Sassen, Saskia. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (2nd ed.). Princeton