NEW YORK – New Yorkers would rather be in “The City” than any other place on earth, but they are also the busiest people on the planet. They know that the rich social life Manhattan promises doesn’t just happen, yet they don’t have time two track down and pick among the dazzling away of venues and events. But now, they can turn to Eventsy.
According to its website, eventsy.com, “Eventsy is New York City’s hottest upscale social club providing exclusive events and networking experiences for its members…Events range from weekly business networking happy hours in a relaxed environment, intimate signature dinners and vineyard tours, to riveting kayaking adventures, paintball competitions and rock climbing expeditions.”
Harried New Yorkers can thank Maria Pardalis, veteran of network television and Wall Street, and Eventsy’s founder and CEO.
She and her husband, attorney Taso Pardalis, have undertaken numerous community endeavors, such as networking events for the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, and was the first East Coast Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), spearheading efforts to encourage and empower Greek-Americans to be more active in political and civic life, and to advocate for community issues.
The world of mass media – Pardalis worked behind the scenes at ABC, did on-camera work at NBC/Universal and was an American correspondent for MEGA TV – and events planning have limited overlap, but Maria Pardalis, has always had a gift for bringing people together and hosting great events.
In additional to her regular company responsibilities, she found herself planning all the after work get-togethers. She also likes helping people and found that “I was always the ultimate connector, introducing people and helping them get to the next level,” in all aspects of life she told TNH.
She moved from TV to doing media for Goldman Sachs & Co. and even when post-crash reorganizations shifted her into a less interesting position, that gave her a chance to plan departmental events, which she loved.
After the birth of her first child, she returned to Wall Street, but she discovered not only that “having it all” meant spending not very much time with her son – so she started to think about what else she could do.
When she began to hear from her friends that their Manhattan careers had made their lives lopsided, leaving no time to plan a social life, Pardalis’ colleagues showed her there was a need that needed to be filled in New York, and the entrepreneurial light bulb lit up.
“This city is just crazy. People come to New York from all over the world for the opportunity to make it, and it’s such an exciting place, but it’s incredibly hard to make friendships and have a consistent social life,” she said.
“A lot of my colleagues, who were the greatest people I ever met, where either all single and often went on vacation by themselves, simply because they did not have the time to sustain a social life,” so she started a company dedicated to changing all that.
“I thought, why not create a social network where we make it easy for the busy New Yorker.”
It was an easy decision to work for herself. She told TNH, “I can adjust my hours, do something that I love and still be a mom.”
“You become a member – it’s a dollar a day – and we create a whole social network for you” – a nice deal for socially hungry New Yorkers.
There are multiple events each week, including networking opportunities in a relaxed environment that are free to all during Eventsy’s launch period – later there will be a modest $10 fee for non-members, but they also offer networking events that are more structured, like the recent speed networking event reminiscent of speed dating – but less frustrating and more effective.
“Indoor rock climbing, paint night – where people learn to paint, educational presentations, trips up state, there will always be a networking spin,” Pardalis said. “We tell ‘people bring your cards’ to every event, you never know who you will be rock climbing next to.’”
A gallery of photos of events is featured on the website.
And for people who are excited about upcoming events but have no one to go with, Eventsy staff will introduce them to others and facilitate new friendships.
Each event also attracts non-members, and members receive discounted admission, but when people refer friends, they receive a $50 event credit.
Pardalis has a team of five interns and three freelance employees that manage the events. Asked how she met them, she said “through my network!”