5 tips on using atypical event spaces

Bernice Chauly, the Festival Director of the George Town Literary Festival, spoke at the fifth edition of Backstage Pass in Kuala Lumpur, a community event for organisers to share about her experience with using spaces creatively to host events.
Here are 6 understated spaces she’s transformed into effective event venues at the George Town Literary Festival!
Space: Cafe
Event: Held a poetry session during lunch, a movie screening and the festival finale here.
Space: An old heritage shop lot / warehouse
Event: Book launches and discussions, a pop-up book store, and even a punk rock concert.
Space: Chinese Temple courtyard
Event: Performance space for a spoken word event and Wayang Kulit, a traditional shadow puppet performance.

Space: Refurbished heritage shop lot
Event: The festival opening, book discussion and talks were held here.
Space: A clan temple
Event: Workshops
Space: Old shoplot
Event: Exhibition
When getting creative with using spaces not typically used for events, Bernice has these 5 tips:
  1. Scout out the space beforehand and ensure it’s safe for the nature of your event. Is there ample ventilation? Is there a fire exit? What’s the maximum capacity for the space to prevent overcrowding? Take precaution, and consider all safety aspects.
  2. Get ready for the unexpected, and be adaptable. There was a heavy downpour at one of the book discussions which drowned out voices due to the zinc roofing, but it was all a part of the event experience of hosting it at a unique venue.
  3. Work with space owners who believe in the idea or mission or cause behind your event. When you have them on board, it’s a lot easier to coordinate in using the space for your event.
  4. Think out of the box! Any space can be transformed. You may need to bring in additional items to make it a viable space for your event.
  5. Consider all angles on how you can make people feel comfortable in a unique space to remember your event for years to come.
Inspired? Look around your city for the understated and under-utilised spaces and think about how you can creatively transform them into venue spaces for your events.
All Image Credits: The George Town Literary Festival
Global, Malaysia, Singapore, United States. permalink.
Claire Ding

Claire Ding is the Community Manager at ticketing platform Peatix in Singapore. She runs a community event for organisers, Backstage Pass , where organisers connect with others and learn tips on event management. Quite the thrill-seeker, Claire’s gone skydiving, bungee jumping, and enjoys anything that puts her on edge (quite literally), it’s no wonder she’s in the business of events with never a dull moment!