One of the best things about event venues is that each one is different and has its own unique qualities--be it a charming pergola near the entrance or grand arched ceilings in the main event space. With that in mind, however, each venue comes with the distinctive challenge of making the most of a space in creative and innovative ways.
Here are four ways to see your venue with a new perspective and truly maximize your space:
1. Start fresh
Step back and take a look at the property with fresh eyes to see if you can see something new. If possible, have a brainstorming meeting with your team to come up with new ways of using the space--the more perspectives, the better!
At the same time, ask your creative partners to work with you to think of new ideas. For large spaces, it could be the question of how to minimize the area and create a more intimate location for guests to enjoy. For smaller spaces, it may be about maximizing the underutilized spots, such as corners, alcoves, entrances, and hallways.
If the locations aren’t particularly appealing, enhance areas with lighting, mirrors and drapery to create more functional and visually pleasing spaces.
2. Work together
It’s no secret that designers and planners have a way with transforming a space, so don’t be afraid to take the lead if you’re in that role. On the same hand, if you run a venue, allow them the artistic integrity and be open to their suggestions in regards to using the space.
Collaborate to set up new ideas to ensure that they are functional--diagram out the spaces and set up a photo or graphic of the area so clients can see a visual representation of what you have in mind.
3. Get creative
With input from clients in the way of their final vision, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing and think of innovative ways to maximize the venue space.
For example, using wooden and greenery walls with decorative gates is a great way to create a breathtaking entrance or separate two spaces. Drapery works in a similar fashion and can create a dramatic effect, with the added benefit of being used to hide any elements you do not want to be visible in the room.
For spaces that are larger than necessary, consider breaking them down into distinct spaces to create natural flow throughout an event. For example, one area could be filled with food stations, whereas the next one can be the dance floor.
4. Expand your season
Part of maximizing a venue space is using it all year-round!
Oftentimes, spaces are booked primarily for weddings but venue owners tend to be eager to expand into other event types to book the space more regularly. To encourage corporate and other social events during the off-season and on weekdays, create separate venue pricing that is attractive to prospective clients. Usually, corporate and social events have fewer moving parts than a wedding; therefore, you’re able to decrease the pricing for less work on your part.
In addition, start getting involved with your local association chapters (such as NACE, MPI, ILEA, local chambers of commerce, etc.) and offer to host events--this will allow you to make connections with planners and suppliers who will look to send their business your way in the future.
There’s no reason to let the cobwebs accumulate--all it takes is a bit of creativity and teamwork to truly make the most of a venue space!
Heather Jones is the catering sales director for Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Calif., a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a group of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.