October 18, 2018
Evan Berman, the brains behind Harborside JC’s festivals, shares how he got into events — and why he couldn’t wait to move to JC.
Long Island native Evan Berman knows how to party — he’s built his whole career around it. While he’s only officially lived in Jersey City since April of 2017, he’s made his presence known with his series of must-see festivals at Harborside JC.
“I would have moved sooner, but I was actually the first lease in the URBY building and had to wait for it to open,” says Evan, who’d been intrigued by the opportunities in Jersey City ever since getting connected Mike DeMarco and Mack-Cali.
“I learned about the vision for Harborside and how they wanted to activate the great waterfront…and we kicked that off with Jersey City’s first-ever Beer Festival!”
Evan has been an entrepreneur ever since college, when he launched his first venture: a beverage company. Under the watchful eye of his uncle, also an entrepreneur, he launched his second venture: a street fair business.
The business did well, and after two years Evan decided to go out on his own. His first two events were beer festivals in Long Island and Jersey City. Both were successes.
“When I think about my passion — or my calling — I think it might be a little too general to say event planning. I’ve always been interested in creating things.”
Evan finds it fulfilling to be able to take the reins of an event and see it through from creation to execution.
Seeing people enjoy my creations… that’s my passion.
While many of his competitors specialize in one category, Evan is constantly looking for new challenges — which is why he’s incorporated beer, whiskey, wine, food, New Year’s Eve, sporting events and more into his scope of events. There’s no typical work day for Evan, which is what he loves most about his job.
He also loves being able to build relationships with a diversity of vendors.
“Having an amazing ecosystem of different people in different industries is what attracts consumers to our events. It’s always rewarding to see local vendors participate – it’s a great way for them to get their brand and voice out, and it’s awesome to be a part of it.”
Evan has further plans to expand his events brand.
“One of the arenas I am particularly interested in is more elegant experiences — higher-end galas and catering where there is a more VIP experience. Whether those are concepts that are yet to be developed or could be tagged on to our already established events remains to be seen. Right now I have specific concepts that work — but I am also interested in themed and seasonal events.”
When Evan isn’t planning Harborside’s next big event, you can find him getting active or heading off abroad.
“I grew up playing soccer and I played in college, so I’m definitely looking to get back into that. I’m a gym addict,” he says. “I’m working on the work-life balance. I also enjoy traveling: it’s nice to unplug once in a while.”