How to Transform Your Office Into Event Space
Most marketers I know wish they hosted more events.
Not necessarily massive, industry-spanning events. But meetups and community-builders to connect with influencers, establish valuable contacts and elevate their brand’s profile a bit.
The barriers to hosting more frequent events usually vary, from a lack of bandwidth necessary to manage them to waning enthusiasm, once the novelty wears off.
Logistically, a lack of in-house, event-worthy space can halt an events program before it starts.
If you have little-to-no-budget, renting out dedicated event space is a non-starter for a one-off event, let alone a recurring series. Hosting the events in your own space is optimal, but if you simply don’t have the room, or a space nice enough to make a good impression on guests, your events program will likely stay on the backburner.
Alternately, if you do have space for events, you’re sitting on a valuable commodity, and not just for your business. You can be an indispensable resource to other businesses as well—always a healthy place for a company to be.
Benefits of leverage carving out event space in your office:
- If you rent more space than you currently have use for (which isn’t a bad thing), you might as well use it as a community gathering and event space.
- If events marketing is part of your marketing mix, you can save yourself literally thousands of dollars on the cost of a venue, usually the biggest expense in hosting an event.
- You can turn a profit. Plenty of companies looking to host events but don’t have their own event space. If you offer up yours at a friendly, discounted rate, compared to more formal event spaces around the city, you just invented a nice new revenue stream
- You can build partnerships. If money isn’t your aim, you can be even more strategic with your space and who you lend it to for events. If there are other companies in your industry you want to build partnerships, offering up your space or agreeing to host joint events can be a great inroads
- You can build awareness – inviting other companies to host events in your office exposes your brand to a new audience segment, one that, if chosen carefully, can be strategic for everything from recruiting to business development.
Now, for how to do it:
- Make sure you have permission – generally speaking, renting (or subletting) out your space, for any reason, requires permission from the landlord. Check your lease to see if there are any provisions about renting out your space.
- Test the space yourself – try hosting an event yourself to observe how the space accommodates visitors. What is room capacity? If you need chairs for the event, for example, what’s the maximum that comfortably fits in the space? Does the onsite A/V system provide an adequate experience, or do you need to rent one? This is all information your potential event clients will need to know as well.
- Conduct tours of your space – you might think your space has what it takes for hosting awesome events, but the only way to be sure is to get feedback from your potential events clients on what they need from an event space and the degree of customization they would want to host an event in your space.
- Leverage the truly unique aspects of your office – if you have a roof, no brainer. State of the art A/V? Could be a deal-breaker for clients looking to host. Glamorous kitchen? If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
- Make the necessary facilities arrangements – if you’re renting out your space to 3rd parties, you might consider having your cleaning service come by at a different time to spruce the place up. If it’s a matter of scheduling an extra cleaning visit to make sure the space is presentable, you can always pass that cost down to your client.
- Connect clients to vendors – If your client has the need for catering services, chairs or an A/V requirement that the space doesn’t satisfy, connect them to the vendors who can help (if you have a list of “preferred” vendors).
Brandon Carter is the Senior Content Manager at SquareFoot. You can follow him at @brandedcarter on Twitter.