If you know me, you’ll know that I like to ask questions. My view of the world is so far from being decided, and I enjoy seeing things from different people’s perspective. So with that in mind please do discuss this with me!
In the neighborhood where I live there are 5 community spaces next to each other along a stretch of road; a church, a patch of private derelict scrub land, an old hall which is occupied by an arts council funded Theatre Company, a Conservative club and an old nightclub turned private dance centre. All have space available and are open to hire (either for free, a small cost, or a larger cost). I’m using these as an example but my thinking is the same anywhere I put on events.
Among other things, I put on events for a living,but I’m not strictly speaking an event organiser, I’m interested in community engagement, and what’s known sometimes called place making. So I don’t just book venues, I consider the space in terms of who will it attract and deter and why.
If I wanted to bring the widest population together, in a creative, fun filled way, to enjoy themselves and find commonality which venue would I look to work with?
Lets say this is my basic criteria;
1) It’s accessible.
2) It has accessible toilets, preferably with baby changing facilities too.
3) The cost is not a barrier
4) I would like people to bring their own food to share, so a kitchen would be great.
5) I would like to mix up ages, genders and cultural backgrounds
6) I would like to keep the event free so that there is no barrier to attending.
7) I would like people who attended to go away feeling glad they’d come, made connections, and felt welcomed back.
8) I would like to use the opportunity to understand how people from different backgrounds feel about their situation, but in a light touch way.
If you were weighing up coming along and getting involved in this free, fun event, what would you consider in advance of rsvp’ing? Would you have any preconceptions about the choice of venue?
What questions would you have or would you just come if the activity, timing and costs sounded appropriate, no matter which space it was held in?
I’m genuinely interested in your responses.