Finding training venues on a budget

I  love running live, face-to-face training sessions. I love the internet too, but there’s nothing like talking to real people who are in the same room as you!

I’ve been thinking of running a live workshop for a while, and although I haven’t got anything planned (well, it’s just one of the many projects on my list!) I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground for budget training venues. So I thought I’d share my ideas just in case you need to run a session too.

Even if your business is basically home-based, you might find you need a venue to train a your team or to run a promotional event. Many mums are now offering live internet marketing or social media workshops to local business, too. Workshop venues can be quite expensive, but with a little creativity, you can find some for much less.

That said, bear in mind that the venue will affect the people who will attend and the price you can charge for a ticket. For example, if you want to attract people who would normally expect to attend a business event held in a hotel, they probably wouldn’t show up to an event in a village hall, even if the ticket price was a bargain. In fact, a cheap ticket price would probably put them off. Your choice of ticket price and venue are part of your brand (whether you do it intentionally or not), so going for a low-price venue might not be the right option.

So here are some low-cost places you can run training events or workshops:

Village halls or community centres

These can be a really good value option. Some centres have a main hall plus a smaller meeting room suitable for around fifteen people. One of my local community centres even has an IT training suite. Facilities vary widely from one centre to another (as does the decor!) so it’s worth checking what is in your local area.

Sure Start Centres and charity/voluntary organisations

Sure Start Centres are usually very well equipped and happy to make a little extra income by renting out a meeting room.

Business ‘incubators’ and enterprise agency centres

Look at the organisations in your area that help new businesses get off the ground, such as enterprise agencies, as they often have low-cost meeting facilities. If you need a room on a regular basis, virtual office packages sometimes include discount meeting room hire.

Independent coffee shops

I’ve not tried this one personally (yet!) but I think that working in partnership with an independent coffee shop could work really well. You could promote each other (your leaflets could sit on the counter of the coffee shop and their coffee shop’s address will be on your promotional materials) and it could be a really nice venue with great coffee!

Anywhere that has a meeting room that isn’t in use

Get creative and think of any organisation that might have an under-used meeting room. Even your local doctor’s surgery!

Hotels and pubs

OK, this is probably one of the first places that comes to mind, but it’s worth mentioning that a) prices could vary quite a lot depending on the time slot you want, b) it’s worth seeing if you can negotiate the price down from the one advertised and c) make sure you find out the prices of refreshments in advance so you don’t have any surprises.

If you have any other ideas for workshop venues, please do leave me a comment!

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Photo credit: teaguelabs

2 Replies to “Finding training venues on a budget”

  1. How about:
    – conference and wedding facilities (some are very expensive, but not everyone can afford a top-notch wedding!)
    – universities, colleges and business schools (if you have an educational event for an interesting target group you might even get a venue for free, or if you are prepared to run at their downtime e.g. August or Saturdays)

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