There’s a lot more to picking the perfect event space than finding a centrally located building that holds a lot of bodies. Your surroundings play a huge role in the type of event you host and the memories your guests make. It’s often one of the most important things on your event to-do list.
No matter if you’re searching for a corporate event space or looking for the perfect venue to hold an intimate gathering, some basic rules to choosing the right event venue still apply:
When it comes to choosing an event space, generally, you get what you pay for. Always, always, visit possible event sites beforehand to get an idea of the neighborhood, how much floor space there is, whether or not you need security, etc. Another major tip to remember: always get the event space details in writing and signed.
No matter how close the venue is to a cell tower, make sure there is adequate Wi-Fi inside the actual venue. Not only will attendees be unable to blog, Tweet and check-in on social media, but you can also guarantee one of the main things they’ll remember about your event is that they had to walk outside to make a phone call or check their email.
Just because there were tables, chairs, a bar, and a stage set up when you conducted your site visit, doesn’t mean the items are included with your event. Always ask about things like tables, chairs, linens, etc. so you know what you’re responsible for providing.
Now that we’ve squared away the basics, it’s time to get into the fun stuff. If a unique, nontraditional event venue is what you’re looking for, we’ve got plenty of ideas to choose from.
Whether looking for an amazing wedding venue, unconventional corporate event space, or somewhere to celebrate a milestone birthday, a brewery could be the perfect choice. The American craft beer scene that’s been exploding over the past few years has also resulted in a number of awesome taprooms and breweries springing up all over the place. When checking out a brewery to host your event, make sure to ask if they have their own caterers or if you need to provide your own. Another thing to check is whether or not you’ll have to wait to hold your event after regular business hours.
For more of down-home, casual event space, try a working farm or urban farm, like Greensgrow Urban Farm in Philadelphia. Farms can provide plenty of space for kids to run around, animals to interact with, fresh farm-to-table food, and even room for a live entertainment setup. Be aware there are different levels of “working” farms that can range from more of a petting-zoo experience to hard work down at the dude ranch. Like any other outdoor event venue, make sure you have a plan B for inclement weather!
Have you ever wanted your own island? Well now, thanks to services like Airbnb.com, you can rent one. While this option may be more realistic for corporations and clients with a lot of disposable income, or a private plane, it’s still nice to have the option!
For lovers of the outdoors and vintage, antique covered bridges can serve as the perfect event venue. The great thing about holding an event at a covered bridge is that you get the best of both worlds – an outdoor venue with indoor components incase it starts to rain.
Adult arcades, like the national Barcade franchise, offer a fun, interactive event venue for hosting birthday parties, reunions, and even corporate events. Plus, they come well equipped with a variety of A/V equipment for multimedia presentations. Nothing’s better than a dose of nostalgia, just make sure everyone at your event is 21 or over— it is still a bar after all.
Art galleries have been a go-to event venue for posh, chic parties and ceremonies. They’re great because they come pre-decorated with fine art, and, depending on the event, all you may need to take care of is catering and drinks. However, art galleries can turn stale if used for multiple events because the art rarely changes. If you’re too cool to host an event at an art gallery, go even further and host your event at an art school. Why? There will always be new, rotating art displays from the students, so the venue looks and feels fresh, no matter how many events you’ve hosted there. Or turn your event into a live experience by inviting some of the students to create art during your event, using the event as inspiration.
Open, urban spaces like artist lofts are really popular, but using an airport hangar or tarmac gives things a new spin. Airport hangars and airport tarmac are the modern version of ballrooms. They’re perfect for launching new programs, products, fashion shows, or celebrating a big company achievement. Plus, since most smaller or local airports close at dusk, you can have the option to use the runway. Airport hangars and tarmac are definitely best suited for large corporate events and weddings.
Hear us out on this one! Parking lots and parking garages can actually make for unique, dynamic event venues. How? Every hot event venue has a parking lot, usually right next to it. Here’s a fun idea for a parking lot event: hold a drive-in movie night or movie premiere night! You can ask local car clubs to bring some cars and hotrods, line them up in rows, set up an inflatable screen or projector, and have food trucks or food stand vendors onsite to handle attendees with the munchies. Or, opt to take it to the rooftop, where your attendees will get amazing views of the city skyline while being able to park their cars in the garage below. You can also define these types of large event spaces with things like carnival games, food trucks, traveling petting zoos, a band or DJ, anything really!
If you’re holding a business luncheon, or other event that requires the attendees to be seated most of the time, consider holding it at a hot nightclub. One popular trend with hip parents is choosing nightclubs as party venues for their children’s birthdays and other occasions (during the day of course). The idea being to give kids a chance to dance, party, and have fun like adults – minus the alcohol. The advantages to using a nightclub during the daytime as your party venue are that you’ll get the same lighting, food, drinks, and electric atmosphere as you would in the middle of the night. Plus, since most nightclubs are like ghost towns during the day, you’ll be able to negotiate a great rate.
Since some professional sporting teams don’t play in their home facilities year-round, the buildings are left open for large-scale celebrations and events. For high-energy, high-adrenaline event venues, sports facilities make some of the best hosts. They’re perfect for corporate team building, themed events, weddings, tradeshows and much more. One that makes sporting facilities extra special is that they have multiple functioning spaces available for use. There are some truly gorgeous sporting facility event venues scattered across America. Some of the most impressive include: Denver’s Pepsi Center, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.