Finding a venue can be a stressful part of planning any business event. It’s easy to fall back on the same stale bars and outdated hotel conference rooms because they’re plentiful and price-friendly, but if you want your event to be remembered, you need to get creative.
City officials estimate that Sydney for example, has around 15 million square metres of floor space devoted to retails, tourism, entertainment and businesses in addition to a variety of community and outdoor facilities, which means there are numerous untapped spaces to explore.
It’s best to start off thinking of the vibe and size of event you plan on having. Nothing sets the tone more than the venue, so whether you are going for fresh and urban, or sophisticated and formal, you should leverage the venue to help with the event positioning and feel the attendees walk away with.
As you think of your next venue, here are a few more ideas to get you thinking outside the box:
Co-Working Space These unique spaces, which allow freelancers to ditch the home office and collaborate with others, make ideal spots for gatherings. The spaces often boast open floor plans and are great for anything from team-building and think-tank events to socials. Hub hosts spaces in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. There’s also Fisburners, WeCo and Workbench in Sydney and York Butter Factory and House of Commons in Melbourne.
Art Galleries/Lofts Consider placing your products next to other works of art! With great lighting and space, galleries and lofts are ideal for high-end events or casual gatherings. You can also ask about private tours and viewings when booking to offer attendees an extra perk. The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The National Gallery of Australia both provide spaces for hire.
Corporations Planning a charity event? Schedule a meeting with the office or events manager at large corporations near you. These companies are often keen to open their doors for philanthropic purposes and there’s an added bonus – the facilities usually offer great views.
The Great Outdoors Get outside and enjoy some underutilized wide open spaces. Contact your city’s parks department and see what they offer. If you’re worried about catering, coordinate with a local food truck to provide memorable, park friendly food for your attendees.
Fitness Studios If your event is health or wellness related, consider this route. Yoga, fitness studios and gyms may be interested in showcasing their spaces in order to attract new members.
New spaces: If you’re working with a location that is new to the neighbourhood, consider asking for the space for free or at a discount in exchange for marketing them in your pre-event communications and on social media.
And of course the space must be the right size. The last thing you want is a space you could never fill or an overflowing room packed with unhappy attendees. Hit the mark on vibe and size, while thinking outside the box, and you’re sure to host a memorable event.