When I wanted to present a halfday workshop in Norfolk, Virginia two years ago, I asked my friend, Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect, if she knew about any inexpensive meeting rooms in Norfolk, where she lives.
She immediately told me about how the YWCA of South Hampton Roads markets its facility by offering its meeting room, free, for speakers.
I couldn’t believe it, so I called executive director Cheryl Marks. Cheryl said matter-of-factly that they’d offer me the room that could accommodate up to 60 people, and also provide coffee, soft drinks, fruit and muffins, at cost. I’d need to bring my own AV equipment. In return, I let her send staff members for free.
It worked out beautifully. I used the room again this year when I presented two half-day workshops on August 14. When I was at the Y’s website recently, I noticed they mention the free facilities.
Banks and libraries often let community groups use their meeting rooms. Why don’t more businesses and nonprofits do that? It’s a great chance to get your marketing materials into the hands of audience members who might not know about you. On my first visit, I even asked Cheryl to welcome my Publicity Hounds and tell them a little about the Y.
If you have free meeting space, consider writing a press release about it, then distributing it to local media and through one of the press release distribution services so out-of-town speakers who want to present a program in your community know about it. My two favorite distribution services are PRWeb and Expertclick: The Online Yearbook of Experts.