Location, Location, Location: Unique Venues for Corporate Meetings & Events
Every company has them… Meetings! Every once and awhile you get to take your employees off-site and host a meeting. Why not take it somewhere other than the usual spots? Spicing things up for your out-of-the-office meetings can liven things up. Changing the location of your larger meetings can add some additional excitement, especially if you choose one of my top 5 unique locations.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning a company meeting including, probably the most important, the location. Many companies decide to branch out and take their meetings off-site when they know it will be an all day affair and there may be client’s attending or potential business partners. Or let’s say your company has an annual meeting they host at a convention center or hotel, that is the perfect opportunity to branch out to new locations. Of course you’ll have to take a look at the company’s budget for the year and see if one of these out of the box venues will work for you!
Of course these are going to be such great options for your company once everything settles down from COVID-19. Many companies are not hosting any events or meetings off site, however you can plan ahead and think about 2021 meetings. It is July anyways the year will be wrapping up before we know it!
I am a big art person so this one really excites me! Art galleries are incredibly unique and typically they host all types of events throughout the year. Most art galleries are large enough to have a space inside for you to set up a meeting. The size of the museum will be a good indicator of how many people will be appropriate for your meeting. It also might be a good chance for a different meeting set up based on the rooms configuration.
For a lunch break you can invite your staff out into a courtyard or a different exhibit to soak in the art during the break. Being surrounded by so much creativity can really get those creative juices flowing within your employees. There are smaller galleries that are privately owned and then there are larger ones, the MOMA comes to mind right away! Being based in CT I think of the Yale Art Gallery located in downtown New Haven. If you work for a company in the city there is probably an art gallery or two nearby. Check them out and see if they would be a good fit for your next meeting!
Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by colorful fish and marine life while discussing yearly company budgets? Aquariums are definitely a unique spot to host a meeting. Depending on where you are looking it can be more costly to have an event at a location like this. I recently looked into potentially hosting an event at the Mystic Aquarium for one of my client’s, and they allow “Aquarium Encounters” during their events. Penguins could be greeting your employees as they come in for their meeting or take a lunch break and enjoy a private Sea Lion Show!
This can also be an iconic venue for a company holiday party or social gathering. Treat your employees to not just a fun event, but an experience!
Being from CT, I think of the two biggest casinos in the area: Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. Both of these locations feature conference spaces that can hold larger meetings and events. Even hosting a conference at a casino provides you with the space and entertainment to draw in plenty of attendees. Most casinos have hotel accommodations available and give you a variety of restaurants and entertainment to choose from.
Casinos can be a great location for hosting Expos where you’d expect hundreds to thousands of people to attend throughout a weekend. Mohegan Sun for example has 155,200 square feet of exhibition, ballroom, and pre-function space.
This is definitely a fun location for larger companies to bring their employees for off-site meetings. Definitely consider them when planning your upcoming meetings. You can typically book out multiple years in advance, so start your planning now!
Why not spice up your winter (or summer) meetings? Ski Resorts definitely bring an exciting factor to your company meetings. Being from CT I have travelled up to Vermont and New Hampshire for skiing options. Killington comes to mind when delving into the idea of hosting a meeting in the mountains. The Killington Grand is in the perfect location in Killington, VT for your meeting with 40,000 square feet of conference space.
Bring your employees up a day early to enjoy skiing and snowboarding, the Killington Grand Resort has a great connecting bridge that leads skiers right to the ski lifts! There are many great restaurants in the area as well that would be great for a company dinner. Check out the Wobbly Barn for a top notch steak dinner or The Garlic for a classic italian feast.
Nothing is more relaxing than a beautiful ocean view (am I right?). Why not add some relaxation to your meeting week by hosting at a resort or location with a gorgeous view. Anthony’s Oceanview in CT is a really awesome location for a beautiful view of Long Island Sound. If you are located in Connecticut or even near the coast east or west, an oceanside venue can really add to spice up your meeting.
This can also be an easier option for a single day meeting if you find a local seaside venue, you won’t need to worry about hotel accommodations.
It can be extremely intimidating planning events right now for the future months because frankly, it’s hard to predict exactly what the future will bring for events. Many venues have added to their force majeure clauses regarding COVID-19. Make sure you inquire about this when gathering information. You want to be prepared for anything and learn as much as you can about cancellations during a pandemic. Don’t be afraid to reach out to venues and get a quote and pricing for your 2021 meetings.