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!
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
Space: Old shoplot
When getting creative with using spaces not typically used for events, Bernice has these 5 tips:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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