If you are having a hard time finding an event venue that will work for a smaller gathering, you may be overlooking a place right under your nose. Your own office may serve as just the right place to host your event attendees. Plus, you are already leading or buying the space, so the only added costs you’ll have are the event itself and perhaps a little extra electricity.
Your Office as an Event Venue
Using your office as an event venue has both advantages and disadvantages. One big advantage is that you’ll have plenty of time to set up and prepare for the event. Imagine that your organization is hosting one-day event for local business owners. You can choose a conference room (or two or three) in your building and spend weeks prepping it for the event. Here are some additional things to consider:
The Right Space
Worried your conference room is too small to host your event? Fortunately, there are some creative solutions you can try to overcome this barrier. Do you have a large waiting room or lobby area? Lock the front doors once the event starts and utilize that large, grand space for your event.
You also could use the cafeteria or break people up into stations, sending them through at different times so that the groups are smaller but you use more rooms in your organization.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large conference room, think about the best way to arrange seating so everyone has a good view. Test it by sitting in different seats and imagining someone is sitting in front of you.
Serving meals in your office building may be a challenge. Some offices have very small break rooms. Again, you have a few options. You can use a larger room and convert it into a meal area. Splitting people up into groups probably isn’t the best idea for this as everyone likes to hear the keynote speaker at the same time and network with one another.
If the weather is nice, you could rent a tent and offer the meal outdoors. You might also want to contact nearby restaurants and see if any have a room and catering available for a group of your size. Worst case scenario, ask your keynote speaker to give a shorter speech and present it multiple times so that no one misses anything important.
Parking can be a challenge. Take the initiative to hire valets to park people’s cars. This way, you can utilize grassy areas and also park cars in the best alignment possible to get the most vehicles parked. Still don’t have enough space? Talk to neighboring office buildings to see if they have any space they’d be willing to loan you for the day or rent to you.
More than likely, you already have most of the equipment you need to host this event. Things you need include:
- An overhead projector and screen (or blank wall).
- Tables and chairs.
- Microphones and speakers.
- Computers to register attendees.
Most events don’t require a lot of equipment, so you probably already have these items. Make sure your speakers have everything they need or can adapt to what you already have available.
Won’t It Seem Cheap?
Your attendees will remember the experience they had at your event. They care much more about the experience than if you reserved space at the fanciest hotel in town. With a little planning, you can easily give them just as good of an experience at your office as at an outside venue.