Easy and Affordable Meeting Venue Ideas
So you’ve planned a fantastic meeting, but where will you hold it? The possibilities are more varied than you may believe. Always keep in mind one question and you’re certain to secure an appropriate space: What is in it for the venue?
For example, a commercial realtor is trying to showcase available space the firm represents or owns to potential tenants. The PTA is trying to provide substantive content (and value of membership) to their members. Can they cohost or sponsor your meeting and provide you with free space? The more you start to think like the space provider, the more likely you are to obtain some great locations for free!
Below are some tried-and-true, and possibly new, ideas of where you might be able to hold your AAUW events. Know of other great places? Send your suggestions to email@example.com and we will periodically update this list.
You’ll note that the list below doesn’t suggest holding events at individual members’ homes. While that practice has been a mainstay of many branches and still can be useful for smaller, special-purpose meetings not open to the public, it is not recommended for most events for the following reasons:
- This type of space is frequently not Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
- You run a risk making your name and address available to the public at large.
- Any accidents or injuries that occur in your house are your personal responsibility.
Meeting Venue Ideas
- Book store: Particularly if you host an author, panelist discussion, or include suggested reading around a topic.
- Coffee shop or restaurant on a quiet night
- Movie theaters: Hold a screening and a panel discussion on the topic afterward.
- Elementary, middle, and high schools: See if the PTA will sponsor your event. You’ll get publicity and free access to the school.
- College campus: Particularly if a school is an AAUW college/university member, you might be able to access campus meeting rooms.
- Community recreation centers
- Neighborhood recreation centers
- Commercial realty firms: They have space they are trying to lease! They are also interested in getting more women into the commercial realty industry. Cultivate relationships with them in your community. But remember, they compete with each other, so once you start working with one, you probably will not be able to work with others.
- Corporate sponsors’ facilities: If a local company is sponsoring your event, they often have space where you can hold it as well. Or you can use their space as an in-kind donation and list them as a sponsor.
- AAUW members’ place of employment: Companies are often willing to let an employee use their space after hours for an event.
- Parks and gardens: Many have covered facilities.
- Places of worship: While you should avoid having meetings in an area that contains obvious religious symbols, most places of worship also have halls attached that are for more general events.