A little bit of creativity can work a brand of magic that’s especially powerful in the world of meetings and events. It has the power to turn challenges into triumphs and transform the same old into something special, conjuring a sense of delight among everyone involved. To pull off a good show, the magic words are “do what you love.” In the pages that follow, five industry professionals share their trade secrets.
White Dog Cafe, an iconic restaurant, first opened in Philadelphia’s University City over 30 years ago as a leader in using environmentally sustainable, organic and local foods from farms within 50 miles. Known for warm hospitality and inspiring, award-winning food, White Dog’s historic three brownstones were recently renovated, offering charming and whimsical dog décor and artwork in the many unique dining spaces and outdoor patio. The intimate dining rooms seat from 10 to 55 guests and offer a wonderful option for group dining.
It’s not too often that you get an entire mansion at your disposal, but when you book an event at Cairnwood Estate, the whole National Historic Landmark is yours. Built in 1895 by John Pitcairn, this Beaux Arts French chateau was just named one of the top 25 best historic homes in America by Traditional Home magazine. While the event venue, which has been open since 2001, is most often associated with weddings, this Gilded Age landmark isn’t just for brides and grooms.
A SPEAKER DOES MORE than establish the theme of your conference or meeting. Right from the start, he or she will determine the quality of your event, so it pays to do your homework and invest in someone who will make your event great before and after the keynote address. Here are a few suggestions to guide you in getting the most from your event speaker:
Open year-round, weather permitting, Pocono TreeVentures offers a new perspective, literally. On the advanced course, the high point offers views from 30 feet off the ground. “With a team-building curriculum that focuses on the special attraction of climbing from tree to tree while seeing the world from a bird’s-eye view, Pocono TreeVentures is ideal for group outings,” says Gina Bertucci, vice president of marketing for Bushkill Group Inc.
NO MATTER WHAT TYPE OF EVENT YOU’RE PLANNING, VENUE SELECTION IS ONE OF THE FIRST BOXES YOU HAVE TO CHECK OFF YOUR TO-DO LIST. THAT EMPTY BOX CAN FEEL LIKE A CONTINENT, WHICH MAKES MARKING IT “DONE” ESPECIALLY REWARDING. TO SHRINK IT DOWN TO ISLET SIZE, SIX NEW JERSEY-BASED EXPERTS—THREE EVENT PROFESSIONALS AND THREE VENUE INSIDERS—OFFER THEIR EXPERIENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
IT MAY BE JUST 1 SQUARE MILE but there’s plenty of chutzpah packed into the tiny metropolis of Hoboken. It’s been named the best walking town in America for places with a population of 50,000 (WalkScore.com), a top ten college town (Princeton Review) and No. 1 city in the country for singles (Money magazine). Of course, it is also known as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and the hometown of everybody’s favorite baker, the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro.
FARMS HAVE LONG BEEN THE BACKBONE OF AMERICA, and there’s something both historic and patriotic about walking along land that has been owned and worked on for generation after generation. Farms are typically comprised of a barn, acres of land and the family’s private home. Many of New Jersey’s historic farms have opened up some of their space to hold meetings and events.
NEW JERSEY’S NICKNAME OF THE GARDEN STATE IS WELL EARNED, with its legendary tomatoes, sweet corn and abundance of farm stands. But if there was ever a need to change its state moniker, Jersey could go with the Diner State. New Jersey has more diners than any other state, and while the word “diner” brings to mind a place for breakfast, quick dinners or a late-night meal, that’s now changing.
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME A MUSEUM collection actually came to you? Probably never, but that’s about to change. The New Jersey Mobile Museum brings the New Jersey Hall of Fame anywhere in the Garden State. “We bring the museum to you,” says Lisa Fielding, partnership director at the New Jersey Hall of Fame.