When picking a venue for your event you have two main categories to choose from. You could go for a traditional venue or you could find a unique non-traditional event venue.

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Picking a traditional venue is easy. If you do things the traditional way  you could pick a hotel ballroom, a resort, convention center, or banquet hall. These venues are reliable and have been used time and time. They are tried and true. However, they are a bit boring and you can bet your guest will not remember the venue after the night. Events are becoming more and more of an immersive experience planners and event professionals alike are turning to non-traditional venues to find that extra wow factor.

So what is a non-traditional event venue? Non-traditional event venues are places that are generally not created for events as their main purpose. There are many types of non-traditional venues for your event. Two categories come to mind when thinking about non-traditional event venues; architectural spaces, experiential venues. We will break down the two categories in the following paragraphs.

The first type of non-traditional event venue are architectural spaces. These are interesting architectural spaces such as a warehouse, an airplane hangar, a rooftop, or train station. Below is a photo from one of our events where we transformed a manufacturing warehouse into venue.

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The second type of non-traditional event venue are experiential venues. These types of venues offer some sort of attraction that people would normally go visit whether there was an event or not. Zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and art galleries fall under this category.

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When deciding if a non-traditional event venue is right for you, ask yourself “Will this add to my event cause or take away from it?” If you are planning a gala to raise help for animals, using a non-traditional event venue like a zoo may be perfect for your event. It will add a lot to the theme and create a fun and immersive experience for your guests.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a non-traditional event venue as they do present a unique set of challenges when planning. Because non-traditional venues are not typically only event venues and used for other purposes during the day, they are likely to not have as much in-house options as a traditional venue would. You will more than likely need to find your own caterer, furniture rentals and more. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing and can help you create a truly unique and one of a kind event. Below are a few things to consider when looking at non-traditional event venues:

Food and Drink

While almost all traditional venues come with options for catering and beverages, it is not the case for non-traditional venues. Some non-traditional event venues may give you a list of preferred caterers but almost all will allow  you to choose your favorite to bring in. Often a non-traditional venue will also allow you to bring in your own bartenders and alcohol which can save you huge amounts of money at your event.

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Event Rentals

Often traditional event venues will provide your events with tables, chairs, power and sometimes even linens necessary to make your event a success. This is not always the case with non-traditional event venues. When seeking out a non-traditional event venue be sure to see what is included in your venue rental. You may need to rent out chairs, tables, and more from an event rental company. If you are having your event somewhere like a parking lot or an airplane hangar you should also check on what the power limitations are. In non-traditional venues you are more likely to need to bring in a generator as your power supply.

Safety

Another important factor to consider when choosing a non-traditional event venue is the safety of your guests. While safety should always be an important factor when planning events, it will need special attention when choosing a non-traditional event venue. These venues are often they are not designed for events and do not have on staff event security. Be sure to check with the venue to see if you need to hire outside security before your event.

Now you have a great idea of how to start seeking out and looking for your perfect non-traditional event venue. Non-traditional event venues may be a little bit more work while planning but they pay off is definitely worth it. If the planning is too much hire an event planner to help you through the process. If you do go with a non-traditional event venue your event will be extremely memorable! You will be rewarded greatly for thinking outside the box and choosing a unique and fun venue!

Are you planning to have an event in a non-traditional event venue? We would love to help you with your AV/Production and other needs for your event! Contact us now to get started!

Image Credit: Airport Hangar | Aquarium

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Kaitlin Colston

Author Kaitlin Colston

Kaitlin Colston is the Content Alchemist at Endless Events — one of the leading publications in the events industry. With a passion for helping others and learning, she focuses on empowering eventprofs through content by sharing her knowledge gained from over 10 years in the events and marketing space.

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