Are you looking for the perfect local venue for your client’s next event but stuck on that je ne sais quoi that seems to be missing? That special location could very well be right under your client’s nose, literally. How about their own office space! If it meets the event’s foundational criteria for guest capacity and design format, then why not treat the office as an event venue?
We recently transformed a client’s office into a dreamy event space. Based on the glowing reviews, we highly recommend it.
- It’s a nice gesture that is much more personable. The client’s customers/guests get to know them better by experiencing/understanding the space they work in (just like inviting a guest into your home).
- Guests get to meet more influential people. Everyone is right there — the CEO, strategic directors, managers and sales reps. Plus there’s no struggle in getting people out to the venue when the commute is mere steps away from their desk.
- Designing the event space can be more flexible, and it will totally be “on brand.” Bonus points if your client already has a gorgeous office or boardroom to show off.
- Cost savings (every marketer’s favourite win!) — no venue rental costs and other potential budget nuisances such as landmark fees, union fees, gratuity, etc.
Things To Keep in Mind:
Don’t be intrusive. No schlepping box after box in front of employees trying to take calls at their desks. Be a magician. Employees should be blown away by how and when you were able to transform their event space without them knowing.
- Brief the office’s facility operations team on when and what the event is all about (they will be your BFFs helping you maneuver through office red tape) and get their approval on everything and everyone who will be involved.
- Avoid a 9 a.m.-5 p.m. set-up time (or just opt for quieter set-up activities during this time). Consider early mornings and after-work hours (aka normal event planner hours) for set-up.
- Book the loading dock on a timely schedule for your suppliers. This needs approval, too, especially downtown Toronto, where no one will be happy if a supplier shows up unannounced at a corporate office building loading dock.
- Storage space is crucial if you plan to move things out of the office space or have supplies that need to be stored. This will 100% affect your event space design.
- Communication is key. No one wants to be in the dark or look unorganized in front of customers. Send out necessary company-wide e-mails about interrupted service (i.e. unavailable boardrooms, changes to in-house catering services, furniture that will be removed, etc.)
- Be extremely friendly and patient with the front desk staff. They should be well informed of your event logistics as they are your front-line first impression to every supplier and guest that comes through. Bring in reinforcements (temp staff) to support them if they are going to be flooded with an extra 100 visitors the day of your event.
- Measure out your event space, consider the capacity and event flow just as you would any other venue. Make sure you create a detailed floor plan.
Don’t forget to get creative! Elevate the office space by showcasing a visual and experiential investment in welcoming customers and guests. It’s still an event after all, so give some love to your event space design and event flow.