by Phil Yacuboski
As nicer weather moves into high gear, event planners readying for a busy time helping with meetings and corporate events.
“Spring is always the busy season for us as we begin seeing a lot of meetings, social events and even weddings,” said Lisa Green, general manager of the Shadowbrook Resort in Tunkhannock. “Weddings are smaller, but people are going the extra step with bringing the outside in. It’s a more rustic theme.”
Green jokes that while Tunkhannock isn’t the business capital of the world, she pointed out that they have nice sized meeting and board rooms that often work well with a round (or two) of golf on their 18 hole course. Banquet rooms can hold up to 400 people. The property was recently renovated.
“It’s a natural time of year for corporate events to pick up,” she said of the resort along Route 6. “We try to bring business from outside the area like Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and even Binghamton. It’s not that far of a drive, but it’s remote and quiet and you can combine your business meeting with golf.”
She said one big trend is to avoid the mundane speaker.
“They want to be doing activities,” she said.
The resort is locally owned by the Andrews family.
Mitch Kornfeld, owner of the The Woodlands, said the rustic vibe is the ‘new flavor of the month,’ especially when it comes to corporate events.
“We’ve taken our grove area and expanded it,” he said, which works nicely for weddings. “They are also great for corporate events with a running stream as the backdrop.”
Kornfeld said having face-to-face meetings are growing in popularity.
“Everyone does everything through email so companies want to get together and gather for retreats,” he said. “We even do a lot of negotiations,” adding that unions and the legal teams will often use property all day and then enjoy dinner. “They fill up our rooms.”
He said they also get a lot of business from the nearby casino.
“What it does is help us to bring people to rooms,” he said. “And the margin is better. Our mantra is fill up the rooms.”
John Phillips, owner of MCR Design Group echoed the theme of bringing the outside ‘inside.’
“Everyone wants to innovative too,” he said. MCR puts on more than 300 events every year. “People are looking for new ways to dress up spaces rather than hold an event in a particular venue.”
Phillips does big events around the region and as far away as Binghamton and Delaware. He’s done design elements for the Founders Gala at Wilkes University and the Women’s Network Conference for the Scranton Chamber. He’s currently planning the Chamber’s 150th Gala.
“Taking a warehouse space or a random field and making it into an event space,” he said. “Even a greenhouse. Something that’s out of the box that’s unusual.”
He said it’s mixture of technology and materials to make it all happen.
“I would say it takes colorful linens, televisions, lasers and lighting,” he said. “I think it’s how do you create shock value. People are looking at weddings right now as a day to remember and how do you put together an event that people are never going to forget.”