The concept of strategic site selection is gaining traction, with more conferences and events opting to meet in destinations with strong links to their industry. For financial and insurance meetings, the world's great capitals of finance hold particular appeal.
Per the 2014 Global Financial Centers Index, the 10 key destinations in this category are New York City, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Tokyo, Seoul, Boston, Geneva and San Francisco. Their standing is determined by myriad economic indicators, including business regulation and tax rates, volume of trading, quality of work force and more.
Following is a sampling of venues hand-picked by M&C that hold particular appeal to financial and insurance groups in the aforementioned 10 cities. While some of these distinguished spaces can be rented directly by groups, others might require special permission or access that often can be facilitated by a local destination marketing organization or destination management company; contact the venues for details.
1. NEW YORK CITY
The Big Apple offers groups a rich selection of venues with impressive financial pedigrees.
> New York Stock Exchange
This most-iconic of financial venues is available for private events. The Wall Street building, which opened in 1903 and is a registered National Historic Landmark, has 25,000 square feet of function space, including the famed Trading Floor.
> NASDAQ MarketSite
In Times Square, this high-tech facility for the NASDAQ stock exchange has 3,960 square feet of meeting and event space straddling two adjoining areas -- a large meeting room and a reception area overlooking the perpetually bustling square below.
> Cipriani 42nd Street
This Midtown events venue is housed in the landmark former Bowery Savings Bank, built in 1923 in glorious Italian Romanesque Revival style. The ornate ground floor event space spans 14,860 square feet.
> Cipriani Wall Street
This beautiful Greek Revival building (bottom half completed in 1842, top half added in 1910) served in former times as the New York Merchants Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the United States Customs House and the headquarters of the National City Bank. The venue has 17,000 square feet of event space, including a grand ballroom with a 70-foot ceiling capped by a Wedgwood dome.
> Morgan Library & Museum
Its original building completed in 1906 to house the private library of legendary financier J.P. Morgan, this Midtown Manhattan complex can host private events in its six function spaces, including a spacious glass-enclosed central court.
London's The Gherkin
The United Kingdom's capital city has been a banking, trade and financial powerhouse since the Middle Ages. Among its many event venues are some truly world-class landmarks.
Dating from the 12th century, Guildhall served as the seat of the Lord Mayor of London, who ruled over commerce and trade. Today, this striking venue is home to the City of London Corp. and serves as a private event venue. The facility has five event rooms, including its Great Hall, where banquets honoring visiting heads of state often are held.
> 30 St Mary Axe
Better known as The Gherkin, this iconic modern building in the heart of the city hosts private events for up to 240 guests on its top two floors.
> Gibson Hall
Built in 1862 as the National Provincial Bank of England, this landmark retains many vestiges of its financial history. Of particular note are the four panels in the Main Hall that represent the production of gold, coins and banking. The venue has three event spaces: the Main Hall, the Garden Room and an outdoor garden.
> Banking Hall
Overlooking the famed Bank of England, this 1930s venue with its gorgeous art deco design hosts events in its main hall and mezzanine.