In my years as a Corporate Event Planner, I can tell you the first choice for any corporate event venue are hotels and convention centers.
For many it is a one-stop-shop. Well at least they provide many amenities that you do not have to outsource. However, the thing is this. Events are changing and moving forward to the point where they are seeing unique experiences. Because of this, I feel it’s time to rethink your DC event venue.
But Andrew why do you want us to move away from hotels and convention centers?
It’s not that I want you to move away from them. I simply want you to change how you provide an experience to your guests. If every event you host is at a hotel, you are reducing your imagination. Even if you love the hotel and want to change how it looks, you end up spending more money to do that, than to consider an alternative event space.
What Is The Ideal Corporate Event Venue?
First, place yourself in a traveler’s mindset.
What are some places you have never visited but would like to? Are there any cool amenities you would like to see that isn’t standard no matter where you go? What leisure events are going on in the surrounding area?
As a tourist, you want to take full advantage of your trip. You want to see as much as possible, go during the best time, and enjoy yourself without having to pay a ton. Now use that mindset in finding your venue.
· Which event space have you never held an event at, but want to?
· Does this venue have amenities that no other venue has?
· Will it take a lot of money to decorate the space or does it come with some cool features?
These are some questions to ask when deciding on an offsite venue.
Now that you know what to ask, it’s time to think about what will spark interest with your audience. Here are a few examples to consider.
Music, Art, Culture
Animals and Nature
History and Heritage
Many places that never thought of hosting events are now open to them. Search around to determine who is accommodating to your event needs. Remember out-of-state attendees who are traveling to your location want to have options. Yes your event is top priority, but they will remember the entire trip and want to come back when you think outside of your event.
DC Music And Art Centers For The Culture
Photo: Shakespeare Theatre
You may not be hosting a concert or any kind of performance, but understand how versatile these spaces are. We once produced the Ms. Veteran America Competition at the Shakespeare Theatre. It wasn’t a play, but it was surely the best location to host the fundraiser.
Another thing to think about is maybe your Keynote Speaker is a recording artist and is launching a new album. Hosting your event at a concert hall makes sense. This could serve as a partnership with the venue where the artist could do a private album release party after your event is over.
Doing this not only supports the artist, but also brings awareness to your event when people may have not known about you.
Sports Arenas Have So Many Possibilities
Capital One Arena
I believe many of us are huge sports fans. The NBA Finals are happening now, football is about to start and golf is in full swing. Knowing your audience means knowing what activities they keep track of. If you have a majority that are sports fans, why not consider a baseball stadium or basketball arena?
Most sports teams serve as a hub for the city they play in. Surrounding those locations are tons of opportunities for your guests to enjoy. How wild would it be if an Athlete showed up to your event for a meet and greet? Give your attendees reasons to remember you.
Take A Walk In The Jungle
Photo Matthew Cabret
Well not literally, but hosting your next event at Smithsonian’s National Zoo is bound to spark some attention. It also gives attendees one incredible break to see animals. Not only that, it serves as a great way to remind attendees about animals and fair treatment. It lends to conservation.
If your organization supports:
1. Environmental Causes
2. Clean energy
3. Wildlife Preservation
Hosting your event at a zoo makes the most sense.
Educate Your Attendees With Local History
Washington, D.C. has tons of historical buildings that serve as event spaces that can meet your needs. While it’s great to have locations near attractions and great night life, it’s also important to showcase history and culture.
We are constantly surrounded by technology and the advancement of society. Why not immerse your guests into spaces that take them back in time? Places like Josephine Butler Parks Center, Decatur House, The Whittemore House and National Union Building are just a few DC special event locations to consider.
More and more buildings are becoming innovative choices as a corporate event venue. These spaces breathe life into how we can create environments for corporate events. I encourage you to take advantage of this movement. Delve into the city you are hosting your event and see what is possible.
Still need help finding the perfect event space? Let us find the perfect venue for your needs. Contact us here to get started.