Event management: How To Find Event Venue

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In this tutorial I explain how to find a free or cheap event venue for your event series.

Having a venue means an increased cost for your business. The cost isn’t just financial. The cost is also your time and effort in doing appropriate research and due diligence, contacting different venues, talking to the managers there, scheduling (and re-scheduling) things, and many more details.

So since actual venues have a cost to them, at first consider what free options you have. The most common free option to run your events outside. This works great for exercise groups. If the weather is nice, it can work well for some hobby or interest groups. In fact, doing an event outside can give you extra marketing because random people outside might see your big and fun gathering and might inquire about your events, and eventually become attendees themselves.

Not all events can be done outside, but if it is possible for your events, it might be a great option.

The second option you have to get a free venue is to do it in coffee shops, restaurants or bars. Those kinds of venues really like it when you bring them people during off-peak hours. During peak hours they are usually overfilled, but in off-peak hours they are often empty. And if you can bring 10-20 (or however many) people to their businesses during off-peak hours, they might offer some extra group discounts and welcome potential customers that you will bring them.

The problem with coffee shops, restaurants or bars is that usually most events happen during weekends or evenings, which is their peak hours because that is when most people are off from work. So it isn’t actually easy to bring them many people in non-peak hours, and it still leaves the problem of finding a venue for peak hours.

The next strategy to get a free venue is to find companies that have office spaces. These companies should target the same types of people that your events tend to attract. This way, if the events are in the evenings or weekends, most of the company staff is out of the office, and the meeting rooms become available. They often welcome events there because it means extra awareness and promotion to those businesses to your attendees, some of whom might get interested in the products and services of that business.

So you must network and reach out to managers at companies which target the same sort of customers as your event series draws, and you might work out a deal to get free space to run your events in exchange for a little bit of extra promotion for that business.

At some point, when you generate significant demand for your events, you will outgrow these types of mid-side event spaces. Congratulations if you are at that point!

If you begin to need bigger spaces, you can rent space in hotels. They often have “ballrooms” which they rent out to different events. And once you outgrow that, you can rent out full events spaces.

But generally, over 90% of the kinds of events that might be run by individuals or small businesses never need hotel ballrooms or large event or conference spaces. So if you are resourceful and creative, you should be able to get free (or extremely discounted) event spaces as your events grow.

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