New York’s Hidden Gems Are Turned Into Inspiring Meeting Rooms
A new company hopes to take your meeting to spaces where great minds roam.
Paradoxically, as the contemporary work environment shifts away from conventional time put in at the office, logistics have become complicated for the limited times that people do have to come together in person, and the typical corporate hotel conference rooms seem to lack the panache that a rare but important meeting might demand. Marc and Sara Schiller, who are also the co-founders of the Wooster Collective – an archive and news source for street art founded in 2001 – now may have found a solution for this unique niche. MEET, which calls itself the “meeting solutions company,” hopes to curate collections of unique and creative venues with inspiring backstories to be rented out for corporate meetings and events.
The couple’s arts community cred, and the appearance of many exciting new arts-related venues in New York over the past decade or so, has allowed them to offer up a variety of exclusive spaces. These include the West Chelsea office of acclaimed photography book publisher the Aperture Foundation, the new Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Red Hook, Stollway‘s working knitting factory in the Garment district and The William, formerly the Williams College Alumni House. A flagship location opening later this year in downtown New York will serve as a center of operations.
The idea for MEET came from its predecessor, MEET at the Apartment, a multipurpose space in a townhouse which in itself served as a bookable meeting location. Under the title of “MEETing Production Services,” the Schillers also offer their services for offices that already have designated meeting spaces but want to update them or make them better suited to that purpose.
Both MEETs are the product of a combination of marketing and hospitality expertise: Sara is a former senior executive with Starwood Hotels and Marc is founder of Bond Strategy and Influence, which is highly regarded for its digital marketing work. Thus, they are unsurprisingly well-versed in what UrbanDaddy called “anything you might need… and, more importantly, what you what you might want.” Many of MEET’s spaces are outfitted with additional touches to make visitors feel more at home, like music, snacks and fresh flowers, but also the important stuff so a meeting can proceed without a hitch, such as state-of-the-art projector screens and flatscreen TVs.
This partnership also comes at a opportune time for such highly-regarded art spaces in New York, where rising real estate prices can prove to be a constant threat no matter how vital a space or company is. The Aperture Foundation, a nonprofit, particularly appreciated MEET’s expertise in handling its own use of the space, which allowed the arrangement to benefit them to the greatest extent possible. “MEET brings in some extra income for us, and their team handles the clients’ events from soup to nuts, so a big plus is that these events don’t stretch our staff resources,” said a spokeswoman.
She also mentioned that everyone is now engaged with photography more than ever before, and that they hope to welcome more people into the fold. MEET’s inclusive model is likely to benefit many more arts organizations in this way in the future.