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3 Benefits of Hosting Your Next Conference Event in a Non-Traditional Venue

Are you currently planning your next conference event? Having trouble coming up with unique ideas and picturing the results in your mind’s eye? Well, take a break, give yourself five minutes of breathing room, and imagine this: your product launch, scavenger hunt, or happy hour teeming with attendees. In fact, the event is nearing maximum capacity — instead of worrying about drawing more people in, you’re concerned you might soon have to start turning people away!

Everyone in the room is smiling, expressing excitement and surprise at the event’s cool and unexpected offerings — such as drinks, decor, souvenirs, and engaging presentations. Attendees are snapping tons of photos and bragging to their friends via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that they’re at your exclusive event.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe so, if you go with the standard conference ballroom or boardroom, with its harsh lighting and generic furniture. After all, the location of your event can 100% make or break its reception with attendees.

But if, instead, you go with a high-quality and non-traditional venue — i.e., spaces with plenty of natural light, exposed brick, stylish decor, outdoor space with fresh air, features like open kitchens, and other unexpected touches — you’re well on your way to hosting a memorable conference event.

Peerspace, the largest online marketplace for event venue rentals, is proud to offer many such spaces all around the country, including lofts, warehouses, rooftops, art galleries, and historic homes, just to name a few. If you’re interested in crafting an unforgettable gathering for your brand, here are three key benefits of hosting your conference event in a non-traditional venue.

1. Raising brand awareness on social media

To put it as straightforwardly as possible: unique venues are the ones that get posted about on social media. And this will be a huge boon to general awareness of your brand. One tweet might generate hundreds or thousands of likes in a few hours, if any of your attendees have lots of followers. The important element of social media appeal cannot be overemphasized. It’s free advertising generated organically based on the unusual appeal of your particular event.

Hosting a cooking class or tasting at a large-scale kitchen, for instance, is sure to generate lots of Instagram posts. After all, whether it’s simple avocado toast or an impressive platter of Kobe beef, there’s nothing people love Instagramming more than photos of delicious, visually pleasing cuisine.

This universal tendency to share not just food but any unexpected location or activity on social media can assist in raising awareness of your brand. It’s also useful if you’re having more than one event, as racking up shares on social media will draw people to your subsequent gatherings during the span of the conference.

2. Cultivating a comfortable atmosphere

For starters, seating is incredibly important when it comes to creating an atmosphere conducive to relaxation. Rows of rigid, uncomfortable chairs will have your event’s attendees looking at their watches and twiddling their thumbs as they wait for the opportunity to leave the event.

You want guests to sit back and relax in pleasant, ergonomic seating. And then there’s the matter of lighting. Harsh, fluorescent lighting can be both headache- and despair-inducing, which is why natural light, as well as soft, custom lighting options, can be essential to a relaxing atmosphere. You’re much more likely find both — comfortable, attractive seating and appealing lighting — in non-traditional venues. And these are just the physical basics.

From a psychological standpoint, taking people out of stiff conference environments helps them relax and enjoy what’s in front of them, and it facilitates more open and casual interaction among attendees. Think about it: any event held at a cozy villa with clusters of beautiful, well-constructed armchairs and couches, rows of bookcases, plants, and art on the walls — all bathed in natural light — is automatically more relaxing than an endless sea of identical sets of tables and chairs.

That’s why a non-traditional venue is a particularly great choice when you’re looking to help guests unwind and de-stress at your event.

3. Setting yourself apart from the competition

Especially during big conferences, you may not be the only person throwing an event. So, if you’re looking to beat the competition, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd of gatherings vying for guests’ attention. As people are looking through what’s available, will their eyes be most drawn to yet another event in some “Ballroom A”? Or will their curiosity be piqued by a hosted dinner at a historic mansion, or even a sponsored event on a chic rooftop terrace?

And if you’re hosting multiple events, it gets even better: once your guests have attended one of your out-of-the-box events with engaging activities, they’ll be excited to attend the ones that follow. (In effect, it’s a feedback loop.) The other benefit about non-traditional events is that, when you’re holding your event at a place that’s got character, you can take inspiration from the setting itself.

For instance, if you’re planning to hold your next function at a vineyard or winery, you can offer a wine tasting as part of the proceedings — which is bound to attract lots of guests. Either way, a distinctive venue means your brand will stand out in attendees’ memories, and that’s invaluable when it comes to making a name for your brand.

Take the road less-traveled and consider a non-traditional venue when you’re planning your upcoming conference event. When you step outside the realm of predictable ballrooms and boardrooms, you’ll find a mind-boggling wealth of possibilities at your fingertips. Fortunately, Peerspace offers an enormous selection of short-term rentals to suit virtually every budget, scale, and aesthetic preference.

With your pick of the most impressive, visually stunning spaces in any metropolis, the sky’s the limit when you host your conference event in a non-traditional venue. Check out Peerspace’s array of options in your city and let your imagination run wild.

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