Many corporate events and events hosted by cultural or nonprofit organizations require venues with state-of-the-art technology, ample seating, and facilities for screening DVDs or films. Examples include product and marketing launches, kick-offs, festivals, and annual meetings.
When organizations have financial constraints, there is a need to be creative in locating affordable venues that "fit the bill" without blowing the budget.
Here are 5 ideas for finding state-of-the-art event venues:
In What's Hot: 8 Out of the Box Event Venues for Church Meetings, I highlighted a number of church venues that are also available for private meetings and corporate events. When budgets are tight, a local church may be just the right place to find large screen and modern technology. In addition to the sanctuary, many churches also have large church halls with kitchens attached that may be the perfect fit for nonprofit or corporate events.
For example, Rose Heights Church in Tyler, Texas has a 350-capacity conference center with a large commercial kitchen.
- Community and Cultural Centres
Community and cultural centres aren't what they used to be. As communities have grown, due to generous donations from members and benefactors, many have evolved into multi-functional venues that are fully equipped with modern technology.
Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is the perfect example of a community centre that regularly hosts a variety special events that include corporate events, royal events, galas, film screenings, concerts, bazaars, festivals, and annual meetings. Kobayashi Hall, the largest function room, is a flexible state-of-the-art venue with 24-foot-high ceilings, a giant screen, and retractable theatre seating for 384 attendees.
- Movie Theatres
During off-peak hours, many movie theatres can be privatized for for special events.
The Book of Negroes panel and screening that I described in my post two days ago took place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox complex. Groups can take advantage of the theatre spaces for screenings and meetings and then proceed to Malaparte, the new event space with a capacity of 150 for dining and 250 for receptions.
Cvent lists a number of Cineplex theatres across Canada that can be used for private events.
- Universities and Colleges
In Back to School: Best Kept Secret for Corporate Event Venues, I provided an overview of the types of venues and function rooms available on campus. Thanks to the generous donations of alumni, many facilities have been upgraded to venues with state-of-the-art technology and large screens. Large auditoriums can sometimes been found on campus.
The Toronto Black Film Festival held its opening night at Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on the University of Toronto Campus. This 500-seat facility is centrally located and steps away from the Museum subway station.
- Museums and Art Galleries
At galleries and museums, when events align with programming, there may be some opportunities for savings based on cross-promotion. Many galleries also offer special rates for nonprofit organizations.
The Reel Asian Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and South African Film Festival have hosted events at Jackman Hall at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario. On February 13, 2015, The Toronto Black Film Festival hosted its Tribute to Fred Williamson at Jackman Hall. With a capacity of 200, a built-in screen, projector, and theatre seating, there are affordable rates for non-profits. The venue also has 3 seminar rooms with built-in audio-visual. The capacity of the largest room is between 50 and 80, depending on configuration.
Photo Credit: Executive Oasis International