Event Planners on Tech: Irene Kim, The Armory Show

For New Yorkers, early March is when the Arctic cold retreats and the fine arts come into town. While Los Angeles gets the Academy Awards, New York City hosts The Armory Show – one of the leading contemporary art fairs in North America.

People call the time of the fair Armory Arts Week, and for good reason. Over the past few years galleries, art magazines, and other fine art power players have faded into the background when it comes to fine arts events. Tech Setter Irene Kim runs the VIP part of that incredible time, which means, among other things, not a lot of sleep.

What makes the Armory Arts Week special?

Armory Arts Weeks brings together the very best of New York art in one week of events, openings, happenings and celebrations. It begins with The Armory Party hosted by MoMA which officially kicks off the week. As part of my role as VIP Director, I organize numerous events with museums like the Whitney, The Met Breuer, the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA. We host multiple events in different locations each day! Being in New York allows us to partner with the city’s many great cultural institutions to bring this week to life.

Irene Kim Bookshelf

You are doing events for a distinct fine arts and influencer crowd. How do you make them happy?

The most important ingredient to making any visitor happy is creating an unforgettable experience. Great atmosphere and company make these experiences come to life and that is what I strive for in my events whether it be incredible food, venue or guest list. It is my goal to have guests talking about that The Armory Show event for weeks to come!

Is this why you work in events?

Events bring people together, sometimes unexpectedly in unique environments and settings. I love organizing our VIP calendar because I get to craft an experience for our VIPs, introducing them to incredible public and private collections, museums and studios in areas throughout New York.

“As part of my role as VIP Director, I organize numerous events with museums like the Whitney, The Met Breuer, the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA.”

What types of events are you involved with?

Cocktails, breakfast, dinners – name the event, I’ve worked it! With numerous international visitors, we like to present a well-rounded scheduled of fun and differing events.

Irene Kim

What is your biggest event nightmare?

My biggest nightmare is planning a seated dinner where the RSVP list changes last minute and you need to rearrange things quickly. I am thankful for technology that allows last-minute seating changes and connects in real-time with our guest list platform.

What tools do you use to manage your entire planning process?

I use any and everything possible. My main go to tools are outlook, tablets, iPhone, even pen and paper if I need to – anything to get the job done and keep organized!

What applications are you using to stay organized on event days?

Outlook is our main tool for organization. I am constantly checking and sending emails. The entire office knows the dinging sound of a new event on my phone – it is loud enough that it keeps me on track.

What websites, apps or services are you using to find event venues and what do you like about them?

We generally book our venues based on referrals, attending other events and knowledge of the New York scene. I wish there was a specific app to help with this!

What’s your favorite application or service for marketing your events and why?

Paperless Post is really favorite tool for marketing our events. It has incredible tracking and design options. We are able to customize invitations, schedule delivery and still send something as personalized as snail mail.

Now for the rapid fire round! Tell us which application or service you’re using for:

Event registration: Paperless Post
Ticketing: Microspec
Guest check-in, seating, name badges, staff and guest alerts: zkipster
Meeting scheduling: Microsoft Outlook
Team and/or staff management: Microsoft Outlook
Presentations: Microsoft Powerpoint
Space/floor plan design: Autocad

What applications or services are you using after your event to help gather feedback?

We currently don’t have a service for this. We would love to have the ability to have qualitative post event analysis. As of now it is all anecdotal.

Finally, what piece of event tech can’t you live without?

zkipster has seriously changed out event check in process, streamlining so many behind the scenes details.

Photography: Nora Becker