Holding an event at a museum, sports facility or gallery offers a distinctive experience for attendees. An interesting venue makes for a memorable meeting and creates a refreshing change of pace. Richmond, Virginia has a diverse offering of unique meeting venues, suitable for a wide range of themes and requirements. Recently, our Covington Meetings & Events team inspected several outstanding event locations in the Richmond area with our colleagues from Visit Richmond, VA.
What Makes a Good Event Venue?
To select an exceptional venue for your group first, you should identify the top priorities of your meeting. From there, look at how a potential setting will meet those event needs and find out any restrictions on the venue. Some considerations include:
- Do the presenters need audio/visual equipment? Is Wi-Fi access for the guests necessary?
- Is the venueâ€™s capacity large enough for the number of attendees expected?
- If serving food and beverages, is in-house catering available?
- Do you need lecture seating for a presentation, standing room for a reception or tables for sit-down dining?
- Is parking available for individual vehicles or motorcoaches?
Organizations constantly strive to make their events stand out, so popular venues include art museums, movie theaters, sports facilities, nightclubs or lounges, airport hangers, wineries, and breweries. With this in mind, we jumped at the invitation to tour five outstanding locations that host various types of events.
Torque Club at Richmond Raceway
Our first stop was the Torque Club at Richmond Raceway. With 15,000 square feet of meeting space, this venue can handle large gatherings. The exclusive club level features an expansive indoor glass-enclosed viewing area overlooking outdoor reserved stadium seating. The Torque Club offers full catering in-house, so no outside service is necessary. The lounge area has built-in televisions, two bars, a private elevator and restrooms, table seating and high-top tables for standing. A gathering here lets your attendees experience a one-of-a-kind event in a club atmosphere and you can even include the exciting amenity of pace car rides. Recommended for: Torque Club is a fun and casual venue for corporate networking or team building events.
Next, our inspection group enjoyed lunch at Brenner Pass, a James Beard award semifinalist restaurant in the trendy Scotts Addition neighborhood. This sleek chalet prepares a seasonal European-inspired menu showcasing Alpine flavors. The restaurant can accommodate private dining for parties of 10 to 100 (full restaurant buy-out). Recommended for: Brenner Pass is a chic spot for wedding rehearsals or receptions, business lunches, company happy hours or dinners.
VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
During the afternoon, we visited three local museums that are unique meeting venues. First was The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, also known as the Markel Center. Incorporating the transformative, rotating exhibits of the museum into your event sets the scene for a truly memorable experience for events that require open space. Additionally, a 204-seat state-of-the-art auditorium with built-in audio/visual technology provides cutting edge space for lectures and presentations. They even have a trendy rooftop space for small groups. Because of the city location, parking for attendees can be challenging, so private transportation for groups is advisable. Recommended for: ICA at VCU presents an alternative forum for team building events, collaborative board meetings, and cocktail receptions.
Virginia Museum of History & Culture
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture offers versatile spaces for special events amid exhibitions spanning 400 years of Richmond history and 16,000 years of Virginia history. The Halsey Lecture Hall seats 150 for dinner or meeting space and is equipped with built-in audio/visual and a catering-approved kitchen. The Olsson Gallery provides reception and dinner space with a gallery feel. The Robins Family Forum accommodates large groups for lectures in its 488-seat auditorium. The museum offers ample parking and is motorcoach accessible. Recommended for: The Virginia Museum of History and Culture is perfect for academic seminars or educational forums that have food and beverage requirements.
American Civil War Museum
Our last inspection of the day was the American Civil War Museum in Historic Tredegar. This museum weaves together the stories and experiences from the Union, Confederate, and African American perspectives with a comprehensive collection of artifacts related to the Civil War. The foyer of the museum offers ideal stand-up reception space and the permanent outdoor tent provides a unique setup for corporate dinners or dances. The museum does offer parking and is motor coach accessible. Recommended for: The American Civil War Museum is a great location for programs related to Richmondâ€™s rich history and diverse culture, as well as community and organizational networking events.
Richmond offers many unique venues that will add that special â€śWOW factorâ€ť to your next event, making it stand out from other mundane, uninspired meetings. The vibrant culture of the city is reflected in its diverse offerings, giving you exciting backdrops for your next corporate retreat, board meeting, team building event, lecture, reception or dinner. Contact Covington Meetings & Events team for help choosing the perfect meeting venue for your next special event.