Venue Highlight: Julie Garrison from NYC Venue 404
When the Walt Disney Company chooses their NYC venue for their holiday press preview, they go with the best. And where has this entertainment giant hosted this event for the past two years in a row? None other than the chic New York venue, 404. 404 is a 6,500 square foot blank canvas located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. We enjoyed a lovely conversation with Julie Garrison, Venue Manager for 404. Julie gave us her insight on running this larger scale venue and how Eventup has diversified her clients.
Tell me a little about your venue, 404.
We’re in Midtown Manhattan, we have street level ground floor entrance which is pretty easy for load in and load out. Within the space there are three different elevations all within one large room. It’s kind of like having three different spaces but all unified. What I find is that most events here separate different elements of their events onto the different areas without separating the guests.
How long have you managed this venue?
I’ve been here since the beginning, we’re about two years old. We’re not brand new but still pretty new.
What are your favorite types of events at 404?
I'm definitely going to have to go with corporate events. Anything from a press review to a product launch, there’s a lot of cocktail parties, ranging from holiday parties to corporate intern parties. I like to see the unique types of branding done. Our space is white so it’s different for every event.
What was a memorable event for you at 404?
We’ve had Disney with us for two years in a row. They do our holiday press preview in the summer. It’s just really cool. They deck the whole space out and it’s always holiday themed. Décor [this year] was very 1920s holiday-ish. They also had a few characters available for guests to take pictures with. Brought out the kid in everyone, myself included!
How has listing 404 with Eventup impacted your business?
Initially I was skeptical, but I always give something a shot if it's relatively affordable. From the beginning I booked 10 events from Eventup. Some of them have been really high-budgeted.
How has Eventup grown your client base?
New Year’s Eve I booked through Eventup last year and that was a fairly big event for us. A few of them have definitely been good budgets. Eventup reaches a much broader market than just the SEO on my website. I know there are segments of people who wouldn’t see me unless I was on Eventup.
What seems to be the most common type of client interested in 404?
I would say it's a pretty big split between corporate [events] and bar/bat mitzvahs.
What is your biggest challenge as a venue manager?
It’s communicating to the client what I do, what I don’t do, making sure that they know what they need to do to make it special. I do that from the first visit, I tell them right off the bat, 'this is what I’m going to help you with so that means you either need to hire an event planner, here are suggestions, or you need to do this.' I would say it varies based on different kinds of events. Corporate events tend to have more organized structures going on, they have event planners with their organizations. At the end of the day, I’m a venue manager, I’m not a full service event planner.
Fair point well made, Julie! Thank you for sharing your experience managing this great NYC venue. We hope your insight inspires people to list on Eventup! For more real life experience managing event venues, check out our interviews with Amy and Ivan from metro37 or Brandon from Mack Sennett Studios.