The location of an event is one of the most important decisions in the event planning process. If chosen correctly, the setting can be a defining reason for why people attend.
Hotels can be the obvious choice. But what about places with their own built-in charms? Those that don’t need transformation, because they’re great just the way they are?
In addition to saving on décor budget and the energy required to imagine a new identity, such venues work well simply because there’s NO PLACE ELSE LIKE THEM.
Below is a list of venue types to consider for their intrinsic appeal, with some great examples near Eventfully Angela’s home base in Charlotte, N.C.
Check out a number of our favorite non-traditional event venues and some of the best event spaces in Charlotte!
Venue type: Museum
These are great for events such as cocktail parties and welcome receptions. A museum’s airy, sophisticated atmosphere offers your guests plenty of built-in conversation topics.
Mint Museum Uptown: Our favorite space here is the Sally & Bill Van Allen Terrace and Carroll Entryway. It has a beautiful blue glass sculpture hanging from its wood ceiling and the interactive Grand Staircase – which makes a variety of sounds as you walk on it! – leads to the terrace with its dramatic views of Uptown.
Venue type: Estate, Mansion or Homestead
Ah, luxury. At a large, opulent home, your guests will feel as if they’ve been invited to an ultra-exclusive event.
The Duke Mansion: Located in the shadow of Uptown Charlotte, this 1915 home sits on 4.5 acres and is operated as a non-profit. Luxurious with checkered flooring, it has small- and medium-sized rooms for corporate meetings and can host weddings and parties for up to 150 guests.
If you’d like to sample the Duke Mansion, stop by and take a stroll through the beautiful Mary D.B.T. Semans Gardens, which is free and open to the public (as long as an event isn’t taking place, anyway).
Venue type: Warehouse, or Old Factory
This is kind of the opposite of an estate event. It’ll be gritty, maybe with exposed pipes or air ducts. More cool than regal. Plenty of open space, too.
The Terrace at Cedar Hill: With 4,500 square feet of space along with 2,000 more on a covered terrace, this great spot is located on the top floor of a historic brick building with a panoramic view of the Charlotte skyline. It works well for everything from corporate events to weddings.
Here’s a link to the photo gallery for the Terrace’s corporate event offering. You’ll see vaulted ceilings and lots of space, with plenty of windows to enjoy the view. The venue is operated by Best Impressions Catering, which gets high marks for its food.
Venue type: Brewery or Distillery
Have you enjoyed the brewery craze? Charlotte has, with approximately 30 breweries in the area, most of which offer a fun, casual atmosphere. Five distilleries have recently joined in on the fun.
Broken Spoke: As much as we like the breweries, we’re huge fans of the Broken Spoke, which has lots of exposed brick and eye-catching tin ceilings. The mezzanine level can hold anywhere from 20 to 100 guests, and you can rent the entire space for up to 180. We really like the beer bottle chandeliers and light pendants.
Also, a distillery tour can be a fun addition to your event. Whiskey, anyone?
Venue type: Gallery
In addition to offering added beauty to a space, galleries have an abundance of items that will spark conversation among your guests.
Foundation for the Carolinas: This catalyst for philanthropic activity boasts art throughout the facility, multiple conference rooms, a rooftop vertical garden terrace, and a solarium with fantastic views of Uptown.
The solarium is the star, with its floor to ceiling windows and a “Nana Wall” that opens to provide the city view. It can hold up to 230 people for a cocktail-style event, but there are plenty of smaller options at the venue.
Venue type: Sports facility (arena, stadium, racetrack)
Impress your guests as your event overlooks a baseball diamond, football field or basketball court that hosts your favorite local stars … at least when you’re not entertaining guests there.
BB&T Ballpark: The home of the Triple-A Charlotte Knights baseball team features a magnificent view of the Queen City skyline. It has space for larger corporate events – both indoor and outdoor – as well as smaller space that can be used during a Knights game.
Venue type: Nightclub/lounge
These are more casual, for sure. They’re also more intimate, with a setting that encourages close contact and conversation among your guests.
Suite Charlotte: Located at Uptown’s action-packed EpiCentre, this venue offers “upscale ambiance and breathtaking skyline views,” according to its website. It also has a geometric wall, hanging ceiling “sculptures,” and an illuminated bar top
The fun and dimly-lit Suite Charlotte can accommodate events from cocktail parties to sit-down dinners.
Venue type: Garden
Not into the club scene? Enchant your guests with an elegant, colorful garden. Enjoy the fresh air, and stroll with them down nature-filled paths.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden: This wondrous setting is located on 380 acres on the banks of Lake Wylie in nearby Belmont, N.C. Its beauty includes gardens, fountains, trails, a great hall and a conservatory that displays tropical plants and orchids.
The DSBG offers educational, team-building and recreational options with its corporate retreats. How’d you like to design a terrarium?
Venue type: Rooftop bar
Who doesn’t love a rooftop? Charlotte has a multitude of them, located everywhere from two-story shopping centers to skyscrapers.
Fahrenheit: This 21st-floor rooftop might be Charlotte’s hottest, scoring through the roof – pun intended – on the atmosphere scale. Event options include a rooftop garden, multiple dining rooms, and space for up to 400 guests.
This roof includes linear fire pits, a social pool, and a seasonal herb garden.
Venue type: Farm or Barn
Yeeee-ha! OK, just kidding. A farm or barn can be a fun, offbeat event location, offering a rustic feel for your guests.
The 1932 Barn: This is no hay-filled barn, folks. Located east of Uptown, it offers a unique combination of elegance and homespun charm, with chandeliers, high ceilings, and hanging Edison lights. You need to see the Barnyard, the Horse Pasture … we could go on, but we’ll let the 1932 Barn’s photo gallery speak for itself.
These Charlotte event venues are some of our favorites, and we’ve got many more for when you’d like to discuss your next Queen City occasion. Contact us now!
Eventfully Angela is a premier independent event management partner specializing in Corporate Events and Event Branding. Based in Charlotte, NC, Eventfully Angela fills the resource gaps of businesses both large and small, with premium and customized services. Specialties include full-service planning, sourcing and venue selection, on-site day of support, consulting and contract audits, event marketing and branding, experiential event design, and fully customized event registration websites. 704-754-2627 firstname.lastname@example.org