In May of 2019, Disneyland in Anaheim, California will finally unveil the long-anticipated 14 acre land of Batuu, known as Galaxy’s Edge, to eager Star Wars fans.
It is estimated to have cost a staggering $1 billion to build, but in today’s age, they will recoup that easily.
I can say that with confidence because people LOVE to be immersed in new experiences that make them feel like they have encountered the other-worldly.
And because Disney has got it goin’ on.
So what does this have to do with trade shows?
The current go-to venue spaces have been done to death – I’m looking at you faux-gilded ballroom.
It’s time to expand our venue universe to boost relevance and better connect with our attendees.
Here are some game-changing spaces I want you to consider…
Sometimes we have to trust our instincts and go with our gut when it comes to choosing a venue space. I have had my fair share of doubters when it comes to venue choices and there is nothing more satisfying than hearing, >how did you pull that off? Or I would have never thought of that, but it’s amazing!
Events aren’t only about what is happening within the space, it’s also about the space itself.
How do you transform what seems like an ordinary or undiscovered space and turn it into a showstopper?
You make it your own.
Some of my favorite spaces are ones that are a blank canvas where I can let my imagination run wild. But please, DON’T choose a space without first considering who your audience is.
Some spaces are not kid-friendly or suitable for all demographics.
Here are some spaces that deserve a fresh look…
- Old warehouse (structurally safe, of course!)
- The top level of a parking garage overlooking a vibrant city.
- On the lawn of a historic mansion or building.
- Music studio.
- Airplane Hanger.
Some of the most impressive venues are a nod to the arts and can be surprisingly versatile. Here are some more venues to consider…
- Libraries. There are some architecturally stunning libraries out there that rival some of the best landmarks.
- Art, Science, or History Museums.
- Music Halls.
As much as I love creating something unexpected, you can’t go wrong with having a personalized event in a branded space.
But, I thought you said to be unique?
Who says NO to having an event at the Coca Cola factory in Atlanta? Or aboard the Queen Mary 2?
People dig visiting an iconic space off-hours that can be explored with inside tours that show the inner workings of a beloved brand and appeals to all demographics – and it holds the allure of being exclusive.
Some of the most memorable events for attendees are those steeped in a history that is rich in culture and context. One of my all-time favorite event memories involved witnessing the hard work that goes into assembling the traditional Mardi Gras floats. I got to visit secret locations within the city that were taking part in the historical process.
It still has me talking.
Four walls are so limiting, don’t you think?
The vibrancy of the outdoors has a way of bringing people together and creating an organic vibe that the indoors cannot recreate.
Whenever the stresses of life get to be too much, nature is always a go-to cure because fresh air and seeing the vast sky is good for the soul. It’s a prescription that I love to prescribe to event-goers. Plus, an outdoor location gives you plenty of space to work with.
Having an event outdoors also acquaints your attendees with the host city and gives them a feel for what it has to offer. Serve up local food fare for a truly homegrown experience.
If the time of year or weather limits the ability to have your event outside, bring the outdoors in. Incorporate everything local like food, vendors, decor, and flora. That way your attendees can have an authentic experience of the city.
Conventional meeting places are turning people away in droves while unconventional spaces are seeing a huge uptick in popularity.
Dedicated meeting spaces are out and the use of unconventional spaces are in.
Hotels and other once-popular venues designed to host events in a college lecture style are taking notice and re-vamping to compete.
People want spaces that are multi-purpose and a bit funky. Lofts and quirky industrial buildings that give off a casual, cool vibe may seem like surprising choices but that’s exactly the point.
If it doesn’t have an element of the unusual, then it’s too predictable and is unworthy of being the creative space that upcoming generations desire.
Having a hard time finding the perfect unique meeting space?
Peerspace is a great economy based online tool that lets you search from thousands of unique venues and meeting spaces based on your location and activity.
Whatever space you land, make sure to transform it into a brand home that is truly reflective of your event and goals.
What do all of these amazing venue options have in common? They have the ability to connect with your attendees and create lasting memories.
Break-up with the traditional and show your attendees a whole new world that will get them talking and taking notice. The end result is unexpected – in the best way possible.