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REBNY to ditch its annual black-tie banquet for hip new mix-and-mingle

Imagine if the Oscars switched its format to a giant Hollywood networking party with food by Daniel Boulud — that’s how transformed this year’s Real Estate Board of New York annual gala will be from years past. The prestigious gala — a 125-year-old tradition that was known as much for inaudible speeches and inedible food as for its glittering array of power — will return as a live event after going Zoom in 2021. But it will be unrecognizable from the dead-of-January affair at the New York Hilton remembered for a black-tie dress code and speeches that dealmakers ignored as they schmoozed and dined on rubber-like chicken and steak. The new-era REBNY gala, which honors the industry’s top dealmakers, will move on June 23 to The Glasshouse, a sprawling, sixth-floor event space at 660 Twelfth Avenue at West 48th Street. Conceived as a giant networking reception, the event is officially billed as “New York Forever: A Celebration of Our City.” REBNY chairman Douglas Durst said, “There’s no party in New York Like REBNY’s brand-new annual event.” River and skyline views will replace institutional hotel walls. Dress is no longer black-tie. Instead of being assigned to seats at tables, up to 2,000 guests will mix and mingle on the open floor. Speeches will be delivered at a pre-reception VIP event by winners of REBNY’s coveted annual awards. Strolling attendees at the main event from 6:30-9:30 p.m. will nosh on canapes from top city chefs, including guest toque Daniel Boulud, served at stations around the room. Beverages will be “curated” by Brooklyn Brewery, New York Distillery and leading mixologists. “It wouldn’t be a true celebration of our city without an incredible showcase of the tastes of the city,” REBNY president James Whelan said. In partnership with non-profit organization NY Forever, the gala will raise funds in part to support REBNY Foundation social impact efforts, which aim to increase diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry.

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