Having a staff meeting? Why not rent one of the largest theaters in town?
Proving that internal communications get more demanding in a global company, Citigroup used part of Madison Square Garden for this week's pep rally for its retail employees.
No, not the main arena. That's reserved mainly for New York Knicks basketball games, the Ice Capades, rock music laser shows, and events of that ilk.
Instead, Citi packed 4,000 New York-based branch employees into the former Felt Forum, the site of many legendary boxing matches. It was renovated in the early 1980s and has since been given a rather bland name- the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The star of the event-Joseph Plumeri 2d, Citi's head of North American branch banking-has a penchant for elaborate productions. As head of another Citigroup unit, Primerica Financial Services, he has staged elaborate video and audio shows for tens of thousands of employees crammed into sports arenas around the country.
At Tuesday night's three-hour production, Citibankers saw a parade of speakers, including Mr. Plumeri, as well as a video presentation about the future of the retail banking unit.
Avery Bank, the aptly named director of special events at Madison Square Garden, said the theater is becoming more popular as a site for corporate meetings. "Companies have a lot more employees because of mergers, especially in this city, so we would expect to have a lot more of these events in the future," she said.
Ms. Bank said the Citibank crowd was a little more subdued than, say, the folks who flock to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, which features fireworks. "There was no pyro this time," she said.