As a management consultant for Fortune 100 companies and a digital/brand strategist for Starwood Hotels, Sara Schiller had logged her fair share of hours spent in boardrooms, but it was one particular hotel industry meeting that elicited a Eureka moment. “We flew in presidents of divisions from all over the world and instead of meeting in one of our hotels, we rented a loft in Chelsea. I thought to myself, ‘we don’t even want to meet in our own product!’” 

At the same time, her husband was often inviting his clients to meetings in their home, a loft on Wooster Street. Clients really enjoyed the experience of being in someone’s home and getting away from the typical meeting site and the Schillers realized there was an opportunity to reinvent the meeting experience. She left Starwood and opened Meet’s first space—a loft in SoHo called Meet at the Apartment—in just eight weeks. While two months is not a typical time frame for launching a new business, Meet was different, in large part because Schiller was laser-focused on what she wanted. Their first space embodied the classic funkiness of a downtown loft but was fitted with state-of-the-art technology for a seamless plug-and-play experience. 

Fast-forward and Meet now counts three downtown spaces in its collection: a purposebuilt flagship space best suited for breakouts thanks to its comfortable seating; a penthouse loft ideal for boardroom-style meetings that comes complete with its own meditation room and a roof deck with 360-degree views; and the largest space, a sun-drenched loft in SoHo. All spaces have a self-service refrigerator, and are ideal for meetings that might normally be held in a hotel. 

Aside from state-of-the-art technology and a service-oriented staff that attends to every need in all the spaces, one signature aspect of Meet spaces is its design. As longtime downtown residents, Schiller and her husband have been dedicated supporters of street art, and their hand-picked collection is on display at all the locations. “Each space has a lot of art, but it’s really good. It’s a pleasurable visual assault,” she laughs. From walls emblazoned with graffiti to custom wallpaper that took Schiller eight months to design, there is a serious commitment to creating spaces that are as creative as they are representative of the neighborhood. That representation even extends to the catering, curated by Schiller and her staff of seven full-time employees who spotlight New York City restaurants.

While the cool factor is undeniable, Meet’s spaces aren’t just for the hip ad agency or tech company. “We built these spaces for regular people for regular meetings.” 

Larrisey shifted from ad agency exec to buzzworthy events expert.

 

BEST HANDS-ON TEAM-BUILDING

Grain Surfboards
Amagansett, New York

 

The ILEA New York Metro Chapter’s Big Apple Celebration on June 19 reflected on its 30 years as a chapter and also looked to the future. Held at the Bank at Manhattan Center, the newest event space at The New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel, chapter awards and the Hall of Legends Award were handed out as well as the installation of the 2018-19 officers.