Help! I Need a Space to Host My Workshop?

We recognize how overwhelming and time consuming it can be to search for workshop space.  There are many types of venues to choose from and each type has its benefits and features.  It is most important to choose the venue that best fits the nature of your workshop and the overall experience you want your attendees to have.

Outlined below is a process to help you get started and a comprehensive listing of types of workshop venues to explore.

Where to start

Before you begin, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Identify the qualities most important to you in a workshop venue
  2. Force rank the qualities from #1 to total number of qualities

These qualities will serve as criteria to help you filter your options.  Force ranking them will provide even more granularity when you are challenged with selecting one from several that meet your criteria.

Questions to Consider

Below are key questions to help clearly identify the qualities most important to you in a workshop space.

1. Size/Area of Space – How many attendees does the space need to hold and what room setup is ideal for the nature of your workshop?

2. Look/Feel – How do you want attendees to feel when they walk into the space?  What qualities are most important to you about the look and feel?

3. Budget – What is the maximum dollar amount you are willing to spend on a room rental?

4. Food – Will you need to supply food for your attendees?  If so, what does the venue provide and for what fee?

5. Location – Who are you looking to attract, where are they coming from and how far are you willing to ask them to travel?  Does it need to be close to the city or to major highways?  Hotels/living arrangements?

6. Surroundings – What is important to you about where the space is situated and what surrounds it? How much parking is available?  Is having it near public transportation important?   Is it important to be walking distance to restaurants? Is your topic more suited for a natural setting that inspires reflection?

7. Equipment/Services – What kind of equipment will you need for your workshop setup?  Does the venue supply the equipment and for what fee? Can you bring it yourself?  What other services are important to you?

Types of Venues

Below are types of venues to consider based on the nature and type of your workshop.

  • Conference Centers: Generally used for Corporate and more formal workshops and seminars.  Space typically includes auditorium type seating and varied room sizes to choose from.  Typically has own in-house services for equipment and food.
  • Hotels: Generally used for Corporate and larger live events, workshops and seminars.  Typically has varied room sizes and larger ballroom style settings.  Provides in-house services for equipment and food.  When negotiating, room rates can often be waived in exchange for a minimum food budget.
  • Community Centers: Depending on nature and length in existence, local Community Centers often rent space.  Room sizes can change and generally, no equipment/food service is available.
  • Health & Wellness Centers: Although they often run workshops and seminars in-house, some Health & Wellness Centers rent out their space.  Depending on nature of workshop, this may be an appropriate option.
  • Libraries/Historical Sites- State & Local Buildings: There are several buildings owned by the state or city you live in that may rent space.  You will find these by calling your local town, city hall and library.   Local libraries often have separate meeting room space that can be rented and historical sites operated by the state or city can often serve as unique space with lots of character.  One thing to note is they often don’t allow you to charge for your event and some require your event to be open to the public.
  • Churches: Many churches rent space and although this may not be an appropriate venue based on the nature of your workshop, it could be an option.
  • Local Clubs & Associations: Local VFW’s, Rotary Clubs, Lion’s Club and other Associations in your local city or town often rent space at a reasonable cost.
  • Retreat Centers: Retreat Centers are a great place for 1-2 day retreats and seminars.  Centers may also rent space out for ½ day and evening workshops as well.
  • Colleges and Schools: Some colleges have Conference centers on campus or often rent space in different facilities at a reasonable cost.
  • Yoga Studios & Fitness Centers: Depending on the type of workshop or seminar you are holding, yoga studios or fitness centers could be an appropriate option.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Some non-profit organizations hold in-house workshops for their clients and may rent their space to the public.