Event Spaces: Are You an Innie or an Outie?

“Most of the time, when you book an outdoor venue, you also need an indoor one as a contingency.”

Are you an innie or an outie!?

I’m talking about belly buttons, of course. As their names imply, innie belly buttons go inward, while outie belly buttons stick out.

As it turns out, it’s a matter of chance as to whether you end up with an innie or an outie, but the most common type of belly button is an innie.

And the same holds true for event venues – or does it!? It’s the ultimate dilemma … an indoor venue for your event or an outdoor one. Unlike belly buttons, we actually have a choice in the matter.

Choosing the right location (and the right venue) is a critical decision in the event planning process. Make the wrong choice and it has the potential to negatively impact your entire event!

I’ve spent a lot of blog time talking about venues and site visits recently because it’s just that crucial.

So, when I was recently approached about planning an outdoor event – something that I hadn’t actually done in a while, I was prompted to reflect on the pros and cons of IN vs OUT.

 

Advantages of Hosting Your Event INDOORS:

– Weather – it’s a controlled environment. So, unless there’s a blizzard or hurricane on the way that will affect travel for out-of-town attendees, you’re pretty much guaranteed that Mother Nature won’t hijack your event.

– Power – power sources at an indoor venue are usually everywhere. It’s plug and play!

– Décor – so much freedom! Indoor venues sometimes need no décor at all, but if you do decide to add some bows and tassels, it’s a contained environment, so it’s fairly easy to come up with a décor plan.

– Toilets – nothing beats an indoor bathroom with all the amenities and comforts of home. Enough said.

 

Advantages of Hosting Your Event OUTDOORS

– Lighting – there is no replacement for natural light. Photographers love natural light and you have the choice of staging your event to coincide with the time of the day that best matches your event theme or style – sunrise, sunset and everything in between!

– Ambiance – outdoor spaces are special. Stunning views and scenery beat pipe and drape any day.

– Logistics – load-in is a breeze! Well, most of the time it is. Usually there are no loading docks, ceiling height limitations, staircases or walls in the way.

 

The Downside of Indoor & Outdoor Venues

So, what’s the down side of each of these options you ask?

– Outdoor events are so unpredictable – weather is a HUGE factor. Most of the time, when you book an outdoor venue, you also need an indoor one as a contingency. So, you end up with two spaces (and possibly double the cost)!

– Indoor spaces can be limiting (those four walls are a pain), and they are in high demand in the winter months in Canada which tends to affect price.

– Outdoor spaces usually end up being pretty pricey too – they are a blank canvas so you often have to bring in everything from waste removal services to tents to food preparation areas to tables and chairs. This is over and above whatever you’ve paid to reserve/rent the space.

 

Conclusion

So, I actually don’t have the answer on indoor vs. outdoor event spaces. It’s a matter of personal preference (just like belly buttons!). My default position though is to always try to find the best possible space for each specific event. No two events are the same.

 

Btw …. I have an innie!