BY Ravena Hundal
Owning an unoccupied shoplot is more of a boon than bane these days now that the option of turning it into an event venue is on the table. A number of shoplot event spaces have been transformed into viable, money-making businesses as they cater to residents of their community.
Location, it goes without saying, plays the most important role. While it does not necessarily have to be located at the city centre, ensure that your shoplot is easily accessible to the public.
An highly marketable event space is one that comes with ample parking. If your venue does not have sufficient parking, opt to provide a jockey service as a value-added service with the rental of your space. Some examples include:
• Spacelab Sunway
Located in a shoplot in Nadayu 28, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, has a built-up of 1,800sq ft.
Full day rental: RM2,500++ *
• Base 26
A double-storey shoplot event space in Kota Damansara, Selangor, offers its space of 1,650sq ft.
Full day rental: RM1,200++ *
You will need some basic equipment to start off with such as tables and chairs, PA system, basic sound system, air-conditioning and WiFi. These amenities are necessary to meet the requirements of a viable event space.
While the prices for such equipment may vary depending on quality, RM17,000 will get you good, long lasting equipment. Although this figure may seem steep at first, in the long run it is more cost-efficient to own equipment instead of paying premium rental costs.
If, however, that sum is too hefty for an initial investment, consider investing in stages; start with tables and chairs, and as your venue makes money, invest in buying a good PA system with basic sound and two cordless microphones.
There is immense potential that can be cultivated within 1,000sq ft of space.
All event planners crave the flexibility to customise a layout that best suits each event; be it theatre-style seating for a training seminar or cocktail tables for a networking event. So design-wise, it is best to keep things to a minimum.
The industrial theme has been trending. Simple concrete walls, flooring and exposed ceilings will not only save you the cost of extensive renovation but also add that raw minimalism to your space which allows planners the flexibility of dressing it up or down, to their preference.
Add quirky details like a writable wall to give your space that creative touch, such as Space Seven, an industrial-inspired event space in Setia Alam, Selangor. At 1,600sq ft, its full day rental is RM4,000++*.
Pricing your venue correctly in the market is tricky and it’s best to do your research, know your competition and see what they offer. Price your venue slightly below market rate to start with, in order to attract people to your venue. If you price your venue correctly, you will make your returns very quickly.
The bulk of the cost of running an event space is the fixed costs involved such as utilities, insurance, taxes, staffing and maintenance. So be sure to charge cleaning fees and a security deposit to cover damages incurred during an event. Ensure that you have obtained the necessary legal documents such as licences and permits before launching
your event space.
After securing a space and furnishing it with the necessities, it is time to spread the word and get online. While there is nothing more effective than word of mouth marketing, an online presence is crucial in this internet age. These
days, Google is everyone’s best friend and counsel, regardless if it’s to diagnose certain symptoms or to search for the best venue for an event.
A frequently updated Facebook and Instagram account by showcasing your space in different settings to maximise its full potential allow people to better visualise their event at your space. If the venue is Instagram-worthy, you are
sure to attract the millennial masses who are and will be the driving force of future events.
Once all of that is sorted out, it is time to throw your very first party to showcase the new space on the block. Invite wedding planners, event companies, caterers as well as your circle of friends and family and show them exactly why your venue is the best place to host their next event.
(*Prices quoted are rough estimates. Please contact each venue for full quotation.)
Ravena Hundal is Content Director for
Venuescape, a Malaysian-based venue sourcing
platform for events. For more information, visit