Be Intentional About Your Space
Today we’re talking about space.
A lot of times we overlook our space. We spend more time thinking through what we put into our spaces than the actual space.
Take a moment to consider the iconic venues around the world. The Sydney Opera House, Radio City Music Hall, the Ryman Auditorium, amongst countless others have been built, both inside and out, to be an environment that inspires performers and patrons alike.
These days it is as important to have an incredible atmosphere as it is to have an incredible performance.
4 Areas to Be Intentional about your Space
I’m an avid baseball fan and my team is the Boston Red Sox. I grew up just an hour from this iconic sports venue where I’ve been to countless games. The proximity to the field, the players, the action is unparalleled to any other ballpark. However, one of the most glaring issues with this 100+ year old stadium are the support beams around the grandstand. There are seats literally placed directly behind a support beam. Sold as “obstructed view” seats, these are not the places you want to be when you catch a game at Fenway Park. However, the atmosphere, history, and story of this renowned franchise allows people to overcome these obstacles and still enjoy the experience.
Your venue isn’t Fenway Park, but more than likely it’s a new church building, renovated cathedral, or a warehouse space that’s been converted to a concert venue, church, or club. Take time to think through site lines. If you’ve got obstacles to work around, then think through creative solutions to overcome these challenges. Can you avoid seating folks in that area? Can you add a monitor or screen to help alleviate the obstacle? Thinking ahead on these items now will help to deflect issues later.
Outside the Box
One of the biggest areas I’ve seen many churches, venues, and event spaces fall short is not taking into consideration non-traditional events or space usage. I worked at a venue for a few years and we hosted more basketball and volleyball games then I could count. Combined with concerts, trade shows, conferences, and corporate gatherings, we did a lot of events. However, one thing we’d never done was an indoor tennis event. I was quite skeptical at first that this could work, however when we reviewed the size of our arena and specs the event needed, it would actually fit.
When we thought outside of the box, we were able to bring a new event into our space and draw a crowd that otherwise may not have ever stepped foot into our building. What events come to your community that you can bring into your space? Come up with the options that are out there and take these ideas to your team. This will enable you to get a new audience into your space and have the chance to help them experience something new.
When we thought outside of the box, we were able to bring a new event into our space
For as much as you can put together a killer setup, have the latest technology, and crazy theatrical effects, your audience has to be at the forefront of your thought process. We wouldn’t have events, services, or shared experiences without people. What role does your audience play in your space? How are they seated? How do they get in and out of the venue? How are they getting there?
Answering these, plus many more questions, will allow you the opportunity to truly create a unique, engaging environment that your audience will return to time and again.
One of the most glaring issues we face when dealing with projection is ambient lighting. Maybe it’s emergency lights that can’t be extinguished, or theatrical fixtures that weren’t properly focused and now bleed on the screens. Perhaps you did all your testing at night after work and come Sunday morning, the day time is wreaking havoc on your environmental projection.
Time of day is important. Beyond simple lighting issues if you’re using a lot of projection during the day, the time of your events have a ripple affect on your attendees and the community. Be careful to pay special attention to timing on events. A full calendar next weekend looks great on paper, but did you think through parking turnover, attentiveness to your restrooms, food schedules, etc.?
Think about your space, number of attendees, and length of the event to come up with a realistic schedule including meal and networking breaks. Nothing will kill an event like hungry, overtired attendees.
Your space is crucial to the success of your events. Don’t overlook the small things. Those are usually what can make or break an event.
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