Are Less Traditional Meeting Spaces the Future of MICE Events
Are Less Traditional Meeting Spaces the Future of MICE Events
When you think of MICE events, you probably picture them at a hotel or convention center. These are the tried and true locations where these, and many other events, have been hosted for years. When most people attend an event, they assume that it will take place at these types of traditional venues.
However, in recent years there has been a trend towards using less traditional venues for such events. Event planners are looking to cut costs and offer more memorable and distinct experiences by hosting events at locations outside of the ordinary.
Some of these unique and memorable event venues include airport hangars, rustic farmhouses, wineries, historic homes, rooftop gardens, warehouses and more. There are so many different spaces that can be transformed into a venue for an event!
Are these less traditional meeting spaces the ideal venues for MICE events now and in the future? Let’s take a closer look at the reasons so many events are being hosted in less traditional venues these days.
Advantages of Using Less Traditional Event Venues
There are many benefits to thinking outside the box when it comes to planning MICE events. Here are some of the advantages that a non-traditional event venue can offer:
- The event will be more memorable in the minds of the attendees
- Unusual venues make for more interesting social media posts to help generate buzz
- Less traditional spaces encourage and inspire greater levels of creativity
- They can be easier on your budget, depending on the venue you choose and the location
- Depending on the dimensions of the space, a different type of venue might have more room to accommodate your event
- A unique venue will usually be more versatile and you may be able to customize it more to your needs
- The venue might allow you to include activities that other venues might not be able to accommodate, like outdoor games
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Start Planning As Early As Possible
Start considering your event logistics as early as possible. Plan out all of the details, from the moment your guests enter the event to the moment they exit. If the venue is out of the ordinary, there might need to be special provisions.
For example, if the event is being held in a rustic lodge in the woods, guests might need to special instructions on how to get there, what to bring and what to expect. The earlier you start planning, the more time you will have to figure out these particular requirements and make sure your event goes as smoothly as possible.
Keep Budget in Mind
Choosing a non-traditional venue might mean that your costs are lower, because it is not as in demand as other more obvious event locations. You may also need to hire third-party services if the venue doesn’t have it’s own lighting, audio/visual equipment, tables, chairs and other essentials. Keep these factors in mind and make sure you have a realistic picture of your budget when you’re comparing venues.
Location, Location, Location
Location is one of the most important considerations when planning MICE events. Events should be easy to get to for all of your attendees. You can have the best event in the world, but if the location is inconvenient it can cause a lot of problems for you and your guests.
This is even more important when you are using a venue that is not traditionally an event venue. If you’re concerned, simply make sure the location and directions are clear in your event marketing from the start.
Use the Space in a New Way
When it comes to choosing a unique venue for your MICE events, it’s important to think creatively. If you plan to host an event in an airplane hangar, warehouse, rooftop, train station or other unconventional spot, you’ll need to think differently about how you set things up.
These venues weren’t designed to host events, so you may need to repurpose some of the spaces.
Think About Audio/Visual Requirements
You’ll also need to consider whether or not the event meets all the requirements when it comes to your audio visual needs, such as lighting and sound. A non-traditional venue might not be built for events like a traditional venue would be. That is, you may need to bring in audio/visual equipment from other sources, or use a third party service to supply the audio.
Check to see if the building has the facilities to set up the audio you need. This might be a challenge depending on the age of the venue. In some venues, you may even need to bring your own power generator!
Consider Attendee Seating
Most traditional event venues will have tables and chairs easily accessible. However, if you choose a non-traditional type of venue that doesn’t usually host events – chairs and tables might need to be a consideration – or even a special order.
If you have to rent chairs, tables or other supplies from a rental company, you should do your research. Make sure what you want is available when you need it and in the right quantities to support your anticipated event size.
Don’t Forget About Catering
Another important aspect to consider is food and drink. Most traditional event venues will come with options for catering and beverages. However, a non-traditional event probably won’t have anything like that set-up. In this case, you’ll need to research local caterers for your event.
The good news is that a non-traditional venue may be more open to you bringing in your own food and alcohol. This is usually a big expenditure for MICE events, so it could actually save you a lot of money.
Always Consider Safety
Last but definitely not least, it’s essential to consider the safety of the guests who will be attending your event. Less traditional event venues have their own safety concerns that need to be a factor.
This is even more relevant when the venue wasn’t designed for events. Do you have access to event security? If not, you should find a way to accommodate that, if needed. Addressing safety concerns head-on is something you should always do, regardless of budget. If it’s too restrictive, you may want to book a different, equally unique venue somewhere else.
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Need help planning your next event?
Here at Traveler’s Q, we want to help you make your MICE events as successful as possible – whether they take place at a winery, art gallery, cattle ranch, or anywhere else!
We have decades of experience planning memorable events and can help you negotiate better prices, find the best travel accommodations and take care of all the other little (or big) details. Tell us about your event, and we’ll tell you how we can help!