Conference & Meetings World September 2021 | Page 34

US Report

No sleep in NYC as events get shot in the arm

ike many international event destinations , New York City has faced an unprecedented struggle because of the Covid-19 crisis . Now , New York City retains a high vaccination rate among its population and enforces safety protocols throughout the five boroughs designed to assist in the organisation of in-person events within the state .
More than 75 % of all adults in New York State have received one vaccine dose and in NYC most event venues require proof of vaccination , or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the arrival date for all attendees and participants .
The Javits Center The Javits Center claims to be the busiest convention centre in the US , and played a prominent role in New York ’ s response to Covid-19 by serving as both a field hospital and a vaccination centre , the largest of its kind in the United States . In less than six months , with the support of the New York National Guard and the New York State Department of Health , more than 646,000 vaccines were distributed at the Javits Center .
Despite the ongoing challenges , the
Javits Center suggests its bookings reflect a great demand for in-person events and meetings nationwide with 35 events booked until the end of the year . With the intention of creating a safe environment , in combination with state health officials , the Center has undertaken several Covid-related upgrades .
HEPA ( hospital grade ) air filters have been installed to reduce air pollutants throughout , as well as socially distanced seating in all food and beverage areas , as well as hand-sanitising stations in public areas .
The latest regulations require face coverings for all visitors , vendors , and employees , regardless of vaccination status . The Center has also received GBAC certification in recognition of its safety plans .
The Javits Center has also been making non-pandemic related upgrades to its facilities . Management has created a 2,787sqm broadcast studio that can host hybrid and virtual events in a safe setting . On top of this they have added an on-site production team and control room . The Center has also completed an expansion with the addition of 111,484sqm of total event-related space . A new , one-acre rooftop farm has been set up that will
Left : The US ’ s busiest convention centre , the Javits Center produce up to 40,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables a year .
These upgrades have been accompanied by the construction of a new touchless café , Fresh and Fast , in conjunction with Amazon and Cultivated , a new dining and hospitality team . Equipped with Amazon ’ s Just Walk Out technology , the new café will allow guests to swipe their credit card to enter the store , after which they can take the items they want and leave without having to check out . It is the first of its kind in any convention centre in the United States .
The Javits Center is located across the street from Hudson Yards , New York City ’ s latest major residential and commercial development , as well as a subway station that connects guests to Times Square and Grand Central Station in minutes . The north entrance to the High Line , Manhattan ’ s famous elevated walkway , is also located directly across the street from the six-block Javits Center .
Sustainability and technology In recent years , the Javits Center has implemented improvements to its sustainability and technology systems . In terms of technology , the centre has expanded its wireless connectivity capabilities and meeting spaces have been equipped with state-of-the-art screens and a giant video wall in the new atrium .
On the sustainability front , the Center ’ s new expansion on Manhattan ’ s West Side ranges from a rooftop pavilion and terrace overlooking the Hudson River to 18,581sqm of new meeting room and pre-function space overlooking a 6.75-acre green roof , which lays claim to be the largest of its kind in the Northeastern United States .
The green roof is the signature feature of the Javits Center ’ s sustainability programme and is home to 35 bird species , five bat species and five beehives . The Center is also installing more than 3,000 solar panels on its expanded rooftop to create the largest rooftop solar array in Manhattan .