By Emma Kennard, operations manager at venuepot – drp
Blank canvas venues are highly popular. They are on trend and they are seemingly eternally photogenic, shared frequently on social media platforms such as Instagram. Overall, they offer versatility that enables innovation, creativity, and unique experiences that an ordinary venue may not have the capacity to offer. There is the chance to utilise the space in new and unexpected ways. Each time a blank canvas venue is used, it’s painted differently, and this is what makes them so attractive to clients. The flexibility to make the space your own and put your own mark on it is exciting and different. It is arguably far better to be delivering an event that is fresh and mesmerising, rather than standardised and uninspiring.
However there can be some drawbacks. Clients may not consider the additional costs involved with a blank canvas venue:
- Some need toilet facilities built in
- If the industrial look is not appropriate, then you have to look into carpeting and draping
- You’ll undoubtedly need to bring caterers in, and if they need to build a temporary kitchen then this can be very costly
- Most have 3-phase power, but the cost for using it will be additional
- A lot don’t have internet set up or, if they do, it will only be basic, so there can be extra costs for this too
- On top of this, there are expected costs that go with delivering an event: staffing, furniture hire, crockery, first aiders, security etc.
The costs may seem endless and venues are not always upfront about these areas.
That being said, blank canvas venues are incredible for creating a bespoke, completely unique environment for the client. You can dress the room however you wish and the only real limitation is your imagination.
Here are some of our top picks from around London:
Printworks is a multipurpose space for events, with a capacity for 6,000, and includes six acres of land, with six event spaces arranged over multiple levels. In fact, we hosted an event for Triumph there.
They also have a huge outdoor space. There’s plenty of room to use their infrastructure to benefit the style of the event. Printworks definitely suits experiential events, concerts, and product launches.
Tobacco Dock has multiple event spaces that are trendy and spacious, offering both natural daylight and waterside views. It has indoor and outdoor courtyards, and features traditional timber beams.
The versatile spaces can be adapted in many ways to provide a place for a board meeting, an awards ceremony, or an exhibition. It’s authentic and offers something completely charming and original, in the heart of London’s thriving enterprise.
This studio is like nothing I have seen before; its rustic and quirky and definitely that ‘something different’. The studio works very well for promotional events, launches, and film shoots.
The floor space is split into two areas, filled with a collection of eclectic props and furniture that can be arranged and dressed as you see fit.
This former Victorian warehouse hosts some fascinating architectural features; from the large main atrium, to the ten metre-high glass-panelled ceiling, and the historic Victorian brickwork of its 19th century vaults.
It can be altered and modified to suit any kind of event: from conferences and launches to intimate dinners, parties and receptions, fashion shows, or for filming and exhibitions.
The large blank canvas space has a standing capacity of 700 and a seated capacity of up to 250.
Outside of London, they’re not as common…
Camp & Furnace, Liverpool
Taking up an entire city block, Camp and Furnace has plenty of space to play with. They have a massive events space and their industrial spaces include an historic Edwardian foundry, coach builders and an old blade-making factory – full of authentic personality.
Camp and Furnace suits anything from conferences, product launches, fashion shows, exhibitions and dinners, to weddings and private parties. The Furnace warehouse still reflects the manufacturing and indoor scrap yard of its past. The other space, Camp, boasts life-sized woodland wallpaper and hosts some of Europe’s most characterful vintage caravans.
Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
Victoria Warehouse is a truly unique and historic building, and I think it is the most desirable blank canvas venue available in Manchester. It suits events with an urban edge very well. It can host 1600 delegates in theatre style with an abundance of space for breakouts or meetings.