Patrick Greene's Story
I met Patrick Greene on a cold New York City morning as he got off the Subway at Canal St. Running a little late after hosting a party the night before, we found ourselves a quiet corner in the Manhattan staple, Joe & The Juice, and got chatting.
Patrick has been working in the New York nightlife scene for over 4 years now and is the man behind The Greene Room, a PR and Events company hired by venues to run and promote their nights for them. When we spoke, the promotions company was riding a wave of successful nights but it didn’t start that way.
Patrick Greene's Background
After arriving in New York in 2013, Patrick took the well-travelled path for any social Irish graduate and started work in one of the many Irish bars across the city. The hours were poor so he ventured out and started earning a little money on the side by sending people to one of the high-end clubs nearby. This was enough to get him fired from his bar job and left him unemployed within a week of Christmas.
“Those were the character building nights. It’s the middle of December and you’re wearing a onesie under your clothes trying to stay warm. You’re trying to get $200 together on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to help you survive the next week. I remember standing on top of the vents above the subway to keep myself warm in the cold. Not only that, but you’re standing on a street corner after dark. People are obviously sketchy of you. It wasn’t easy”
It’s a very different story now though. At present, The Greene Room hosts over 30 parties a month in a variety of high-end venues throughout the city. “There is so much competition between each venue that they pay us to make sure there’s an atmosphere in the club before their big clients arrive. I guess it’s similar to setting the club up with extras in a movie”.
The venues Patrick works with are often notoriously tricky to get into. Cover charges of $100+ are commonplace and entry can be refused without reason. “The clubs want people who are invited by the promoter and with us, everyone regardless of how much they have to spend is guaranteed access to the best parties in the city.”
What does your day look like?
It’s not just about getting people in the door though. Promoters have to reach quotas in this cut-throat business. “Let’s say we’re in a venue every Thursday, I’m expected to bring in about 10 - 15k worth of business for them, every month”. Without making money for the nightclub, The Greene Room will find themselves down the pecking order and won’t be valued in the eyes of the clubs they depend on. “You have to show that you’re adding value. The pressure is always on. In the last 10 days alone we brought almost 30k worth of clients to one venue.”
“This job gives you access to a level of clientele that you’d never usually talk to. You can add value to them and this helps you develop a relationship with them. We get a lot of invitations to some really exclusive parties. One time we were hired by a Saudi Prince, to run a private bowling party. We were all playing bowling and the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio and Naomi Campbell walk past you and you’re just there like “fuuckk” “.
Advice from Patrick
As you would expect, this life isn’t for everyone though and he has struggled when trying to build a strong team around him. “It looks like the greatest job in the world, but you are under constant pressure to perform. You need to hit targets and it’s a lot harder than you might think. We struggle to get some people standing out on the street and often you give guys advice and they just don’t carry it out. But from what I can see, it’s an ideal job for someone with great personal skills. Someone who has a self-starter attitude about them.…and then there are the girls”. He lights up, as do I.
The pressure doesn’t seem to phase him. I asked about his mindset and whether the demands ever got to him. “No it’s all positive” he replied in a matter of fact. “I have a mentor that I reach out to regularly. He’s a friend of mine. If I’m struggling with something, he’s great at sharpening me up and pointing out where we are wasting time and where we need to cut the fat.
“I never really stress if I’m honest. I always have full belief that we’ll pull it together. It could be 8pm on a Monday evening, and we need to have 20 people at a party. You need to have full belief that you’re gonna get those people on the guestlist. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen. There have been nights with 7 people, but last night we had 75 people in. If you treat people right it always comes good”
What do you do in your spare time?
Travel has had an important part to play in building the culture of their business. While in South America recently, he encountered the good and the bad in the hospitality industry. From the flashy, but unhelpful promoters in Brazil, to an ordinary taxi driver in Columbia, who they paid $100 per day. “He kept us safe and was far more helpful than everyone else. He made our experience so much better, and that’s how I want people to feel about me….and the Greene Room” after some hesitation.
You can tell that The Greene Room isn’t just a means to an end. It’s personal. “I’ve built it from the ground. That’s why this means more to me than any other job. I’ve seen things from the very bottom with $25 in my pocket wondering what next week will be like. Nobody feels sorry for you in New York."
You can get in touch with Patrick Greene & via
Website: The Greene Room
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