9 Questions with Convene, New York’s Premiere Network of Meeting and Event Venues

Convene is one of the nation’s fastest growing network of meeting, event, and conference venues that combine technology, culinary, production, and human-centered design into a transformative user experience.

The company also leverages its workplace-as-a-service platform to provide on-demand solutions for building tenants and their employees.

We’re proud to call Convene a partner of #SMWNYC, where 15+ workshops will take place at their 117 West 46th Street location during Social Media Week New York. We spoke with Jenna Wollemann Convene’s Corporate Communications & PR Manager to discuss some of the amazing things her team is doing in the conferences, meetings, and events space.

1. What does Convene provide, offer, or do that is unlike any other event space?

Founded in 2009, Convene combines sleek and customizable meeting and event spaces with the latest technologies to help clients host events of all types and sizes.

Our trusted event management staff takes care of all event logistics and execution in-house, from imagining and developing inventive food and drink menus, managing state-of-the-art technology for various events, and making sure the visions of our enterprise clients become a reality in a variety of modern and unique venues in the tri-state area.

2. What does the Convene brand represent?

Convene is a values-based company. Everything we do is centered around what we call GRIT. All of our employees, partners and vendors must encompass this value, as it’s critical to our success of our work together. GRIT is an acronym that stands for Genuine, Relentless, Integrity and Teamwork, and this philosophy helps Convene execute, grow and innovate.

3. Is each Convene space different from the other? Are there any parallels that can be drawn from all Convene spaces?

All of Convene’s locations are found in contemporary urban settings, many of them occupying an entire floor (or multiple floors) of commercial office buildings.

While the layout of each Convene venue is different, most have a large common area at the center of each location, with various styles and sizes of meeting space and breakout rooms around the perimeter – called Studios, Hubs and Forums. Convene can host meetings varying in size from 2-700 attendees, with our largest venues in the heart of NYC.

All Convene venues look and feel slightly different in order to accommodate different types of industries and meeting styles. For example, some spaces are geared towards trainings or large-scale conferences and town halls, and others are for more intimate meetings. However, all of our venues have an integrated and holistic approach to meetings. Each Convene location combines human-centered design, technology, culinary and hospitality to provide an engaging, interactive and unique experience for event attendees.

When designing our spaces, Convene conducted focus groups with enterprise clients and asked what an ideal event space would look like. There were many commonalities in the feedback, including the importance of flexible/adaptable event space, the need for easy, seamless and state-of-the-art technology as well as communal work areas.

We also have an in-house design team, Assemble, that works tirelessly to track workplace and event trends. By putting ourselves in the seats of meeting planners and participants, we have created a network of human-centered, design-friendly spaces – build with the end use in mind.

4. What are some of the most common things your team hears as positive feedback about the space?

Clients that host meetings of all sizes with Convene love the modern and sleek design of our spaces, the advanced technical capabilities of our rooms, the healthy, locally-sourced food and drink menus, the dedicated meeting planners that help accomplish their goals, and the thoughtful details in each of our venues.

The thoughtful details can be attributed to human-centered design, which focuses on the unmet needs of the people that will be using the space. A few examples of services that our clients love, that also represent human-centered design principles, are our Nourish café stations and our resource trays.

All Convene locations have a Nourish café, with unlimited sweet and savory snacks and a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks. Meeting attendees can access Nourish at any time during their day, to help power them through their meetings. It is set up to feel like your own kitchen and bring the comforts of home into the workday.

Additionally, all Convene meeting rooms are equipped with a resource tray with extra pens, paper and office supplies to ensure participants are never short on anything they may need to host a productive meeting.

5. How does Convene approach conferences and meetings different from other venues?

Our team’s commitment to hospitality and our holistic approach to meetings and events set Convene apart from other venues. From the minute we receive an inquiry about a space to the day of their event, our team is all-hands on deck, making sure every last detail and request is taken care of. Since Convene has dedicated in-house technology, culinary, service and production teams, additional vendors do not need to be brought in to our space, making the event planning experience seamless and simple for our clients.

6. How does Convene use social media channels? Any interesting things about content creation from a venue POV?

We leverage Instagram to showcase the design and usability of our spaces, showcasing beautiful photos of our venues and how they can be used for different types of events and meetings.

Our blog on Convene.com is also an important channel for us to share thought leadership on various topics related to the future of real estate, workplace and design trends, and various technology and culinary topics, as well as useful tips for our meeting planner audience.

Focusing on longer-form content such as e-books allows us to highlight the value proposition of our spaces as well.

7. What are some of the most exciting events that Convene has hosted or been involved with?

More than 65% of Fortune 100 companies partner with Convene to host events, meetings and conferences of all sizes annually.

8. Any plans to expand beyond NYC, Philly and DC?

Convene’s near-term expansion plans include opening new locations in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as further national and international expansion in the longer-term.

9. What is the one thing you/Convene wants others to know about the space?

Convene is simply the easiest place to host a better meeting or event.

View the full schedule to see the official events taking place at Convene at 117 West 46th Street. We’re thrilled to host our Workshops there on Tuesday and Wednesday of #SMWNYC. Convene is also providing #SMWNYC pass holders a lounge and communal workspace area to unwind and relax in between sessions, complete with snacks and coffee. Don’t miss it!