Planning an Event to Promote Your Business Durham NC

Are you a small business owner who wants to host an event but struggles to find an affordable venue? Choosing the right venue is one of the most important decisions you'll make when organizing an event. But as a small business with an even smaller budget, finding a space that's affordable and marketable can feel next to impossible.

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Planning an Event to Promote Your Business

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These 8 Ideas for Alternative Event Venues Will Save You Money and Wow Your Attendees
By Alice Barry

Are you a small business owner who wants to host an event but struggles to find an affordable venue? Choosing the right venue is one of the most important decisions you'll make when organizing an event. But as a small business with an even smaller budget, finding a space that's affordable and marketable can feel next to impossible.

Having spent several years planning events in the technology industry, I was used to working with large hotels and conference facilities on a multi-million dollar corporate budget. Now that I produce my own events through my home-based business, I have had to find space for a shoestring budget without looking like a shoestring business. So, I rolled up my sleeves and researched the options available. My findings were staggering.

Facility rental can account for more than 20% of your budget, excluding hefty food and beverage minimums often imposed by a traditional facility or its on-site caterer. Alternative venues offer more affordable and more flexible options since events are an added source of income and not the main source, as is the case with traditional venues. They also provide a stylish backdrop for your event.

The following eight alternative event venue ideas for small business owners vary in capacity and aesthetics, and invoke their own distinctive palate of themes that will get the attention of your attendees and put your personality and creativity in the spotlight.

1. Independent Theaters and Movie Theaters
These ready-made event spaces are often owned and operated by nonprofit organizations who gladly accept a renter on "dark" nights or during the day when no shows are scheduled. They provide great ambiance, offer built-in sound and lighting equipment (A/V), and can even supply a technical staff for a low fee to run A/V for you. Ranging in capacity from 25 to 2,000+ seats, these spaces are great for medium to large group presentations, seminars, and events that include video, movies, or musical guests.

2. Art, History, or Children's Museums and Zoos
What do you get when you join educational and artistic exhibits with a well-groomed building? Lots of creativity! A museum has multiple spaces of various sizes designated for special event rentals. Often they have everything you need for your event, including chairs, easels, A/V, and even catering contacts. To add flair to your event, consider what types of art or exhibits fit in with or relate to your theme. These are great for receptions, small groups, roundtables, workshops, large group presentations, and seminars.

3. Art Galleries
What do artists whose works hang in galleries want more than anything? People to see (and maybe even buy) their art. Hosting your event in a gallery creates a win-win situation for artists, gallery owners, and you. You get space, flexibility, and beautiful art for your event whil...

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