The New York and New Jersey chapters of the National Association for Catering & Events (NACE), along with the Banquet Event Strategic Task Force (BEST Task Force), held an in-person gathering in August, their first since the start of the pandemic. VERSA Rooftop and Restaurant in NYC served as the venue for 25 mask-wearing attendees, who met to discuss the efforts of the Live Events Coalition and the BEST Task Force’s efforts in government to pass legislation to open events back up safely, and to secure funding to avoid future closures. Speakers included Arthur Backal, CEO of Backal Hospitality Group and State of the Art Enterprises; B. Allan Kurtz, managing director of Gotham Hall; and Mike Warren, director of catering of CPS Events. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were passed throughout the evening, as conversations about the future of the industry were shared.

With the events industry at a near standstill, Jess Doren realized this may have been the moment she’d been waiting for. Having produced large-scale events for big brands like Apple and Buzzfeed, she’d had little time in the past to develop events of her own, but this past summer, she and a team of fellow event pros set out to gather a community craving connection.


Lake life provides a kind of tranquility and beauty that can’t be replicated. Often, it accompanies a woodsy cabin on the water, but in the Finger Lakes, luxury and lake life pair perfectly at The Lake House on Canandaigua. World-class amenities and a residentially inspired design throughout the building bring a sense of comfort to visitors, as well as the title as one of the “most anticipated hotel openings of 2020” by Vogue magazine.


When events went virtual, sharing a meal with coworkers and fellow industry professionals at in-person meetings and events became a realized luxury. The opportunity to connect with others over food disappeared for a while, but catering companies like Tastings in New York and Miami worked to keep it around by launching its new service, Tastings 2.0, in April.