Your conference is a special event that deserves a special venue. But don’t let the search for unique conference venues overwhelm you. With some creative thinking and careful planning, you can find a space that will help your event stand out and make a lasting impression on your guests. Here are some tips to help you get started!
Choosing an unusual venue for your conference can add to the overall experience for your guests. It can give your participants a sense of adventure and create a fun atmosphere that will set your event apart from others. Plus, an unusual venue gives your conference a distinct identity and helps build a unique brand for your event.
Not only that but unique conference venues also help to create a memorable experience for your guests. Spaces such as secret gardens, book shops, or even decommissioned fire stations will instantly get people talking. Plus, an unusual venue can provide a great backdrop for photos and videos, which can be used to promote your conference and other related events in the future!
When considering unusual venues for your conference, think outside the box. Consider historical sites, outdoor spaces, warehouses, nightclubs, and other offbeat locations. Ask around and get recommendations from local contacts or colleagues in the industry. And don’t forget to consider virtual venues as well, as these can be especially convenient and cost-effective with the right online conference technology in your corner.
When researching potential venues, be sure to consider the size of the space, the amenities available, and the cost. Also, make sure to check the venue’s policies on noise levels, food and beverage, and other restrictions. Finally, be sure to visit the venue in person to get a better sense of the atmosphere and to ensure that it meets your needs.
Real Examples of Unique Conference Venues to Inspire Your Search
We love exploring some of the best and most interesting venues out there, which is why we’ve gathered a few to inspire your own search. Look for venues that excite, surprise, and delight guests. Even if you’re not located near one of the unique conference venue examples outlined here, you can search for the same type of event venue near you on review sites such as Yelp or even Google Maps.
This not-for-profit DIY performance venue located in Los Angeles hosts everything from comedy shows to pro-union fundraisers. Unique venues like this one offer cool backdrops (Little Secret one is located inside a former cult’s house of worship), indoor/outdoor spaces, and audio-visual equipment for speakers and presentations. Look for independently owned and operated event locales like this one that is doing indie events for a truly one-of-a-kind corporate affair!
- Hightower Cloud Lounge
Hightower Cloud Lounge is a multi-faceted event space that offers a full event space and a rooftop. Unique event venues like these offer a combination of cool areas for both presenting and lounging. They also provide unique amenities which could be of great value for your corporate events.
Even if a lounge is too small for your particular conference, you should still keep an eye out for options that have more than one area for rent and at least one interesting hook that will really get your guests talking.
- Petersen Automotive Museum
So far we’ve talked about unique conference venues that are perfect for smaller scale events. But if you’re looking to host a large gathering, look no further than interesting museums like this one. This giant event venue offers more than 50,000 square feet of fun exhibits, pavilions, outdoor stages, and more. That means you can skip the bland and boring conference event halls and look for something big and in charge yet unique like this space!
Bonus: You may even be able to collaborate with their gift shop on some museum co-branded conference swag that ties your event theme and the venue’s theme together.
Once you have some ideas of potential venues, it’s time to start narrowing down your options. Think about your budget, the size of the event, and the amenities you’ll need such as catering, restrooms, AV equipment, and Wi-Fi. Create a list of essential features and don’t be afraid to ask questions about any potential venues. Also consider the location of the venue and whether it’s accessible for all your guests.
When you’ve narrowed down your list of potential venues, it’s a good idea to visit each one in person. This will give you a better idea of the layout and atmosphere of the venue, and you can also check for any potential issues such as noise levels or parking availability. Plus, you can get a better sense of the staff and their level of customer service.
When you narrow down your options, use a layout tool such as Social Tables to create visuals of your top conference spaces so you know whether or not it will fit your guests. Add the exact dimensions of furniture, architecture, and other permanent fixtures in the space. Make note of outlets and emergency exits.
Then, consider if you can fit your desired stations, booths, and tables and chairs in a configuration that serves your needs. Finally, use a 3D rendering tool to complete the design and compare it against others to make your final selection.
When selecting an unusual venue for your conference, be sure to consider the venue’s regulations and restrictions. Make sure you understand the terms of the contract so you know exactly what’s included in the fee and what isn’t. Also, check what additional services may need to be hired, such as security and cleaning services and their associated costs.
And don’t forget to consider the size of the venue and the number of people it can accommodate! Make sure the venue is large enough to fit your guests comfortably and that it has the necessary amenities to make your event a success. Take social distancing into account for lines, seating, and lounge areas if needed.
Finally, consider the location of the venue and how easy it is to access. You want to make sure your guests can get to the venue without any issues. Explore parking options, nearby public transportation, and whether or not it’s fully accessible for all guests.
Before booking a venue, make sure to have all your questions answered. Some important questions to ask include:
- Is it available on the date you need?
- What’s the maximum capacity?
- What are the terms of cancellation?
- Are there any special requirements or restrictions?
- Does the venue require any additional permits or licenses?
- Does the venue provide any additional services such as catering or event setup?
It is also important to ask about the venue’s accessibility:
- Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
- Are there any stairs or other obstacles that may be difficult for guests with mobility issues?
- Are there any special accommodations for guests with disabilities?
And, last but not least, it is important to ask about the venue’s noise level:
- Is the venue located in a quiet area or is it near a busy street or other noisy area?
When hosting an event in an unusual venue, don’t be afraid to get creative! Consider how you can use the unique features of the space to enhance your event. For example, if you’re hosting an outdoor event at a park, take advantage of the open air by renting outdoor furniture or setting up lawn games for added entertainment. Or for a virtual conference, think about ways to make use of new technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality.
You can also use the venue to create a unique atmosphere. If you’re hosting an event in a museum, you can use the current exhibits to create a themed event. If you’re hosting a virtual event, you can use the platform to create a virtual lobby or lounge area for attendees to mingle and network that mimic unique conference venues you’ve previously seen or wherever you plan to host the in-person portion of the hybrid event.
When booking an unconventional venue, it’s important to consider any potential challenges that may arise.
- Will you need additional staff or equipment to make the space suitable for your event?
- Will you need more time to set up and take down?
- Are there any restrictions on permitted activities or services?
- How will you arrange the layout to maximize its potential for a conference?
Be sure to ask these questions before booking so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
A unique conference venue can be an excellent choice for your event. With some creative thinking and careful planning, you can find a space that will help make your event truly stand out and make a lasting impression on your guests. And don’t forget to take advantage of all the unique features of space to create an atmosphere that will be unforgettable!
Up next, make sure any unique conference venues you use are still within your budget with our handy conference cost estimator.