Event Venue, ModernWell: Minneapolis, MN
When you're part of women's networking group here in the Minneapolis, you see a lot of the same people and then you meet some new faces. Julie Burton, owner of the women's co-working space ModernWell located just outside of Minneapolis, MN, was one of those new faces. It was a few months into my rebrand which was turning event and wedding planning full-time down to part-time and offering event and venue consulting full-time. In this particular networking group, we were doing 3-5 minute intros of ourselves and our businesses. I'm one of few Venue Consultants here in the Upper Midwest (and nationally, to be quite frank) and the only one that specializes in helping event venues not only book more events, but also offer their venue to multiple event types. This is where Julie emailed me.
A lot people look for a lifestyle venue for their gatherings rather than a full-blown event venue who mostly host weddings. What is a lifestyle venue you ask? It's a space where it feels like it's an extension of your home. That perfect space that you can host your family gatherings, birthdays, anniversary parties, showers, etc. The bonus is that most of the time you don't have to clean-up after yourself either 🤪 If you're a parent that has ever hosted a graduation party or shower, you know what I'm talking about. Coming from South Florida where these types of spaces are not hard to come by, Minnesota is a different story. People automatically look at event venues but they forget that there are a lot of spaces out there that don't host events full-time; Some spaces just offer up their "venue" after-hours or on the weekends. That's where co-working spaces come in, specifically ModernWell.
ModernWell is a women-centered co-working space on the weekdays. I know a lot of people that office out of there and the community is so strong and just overall, beautiful. If I needed an office, I would definitely go there. The space is so modern (no pun intended), clean, fresh and chic. The natural light is spot-on - Not sure about you, but bright natural lighting is everything in my books. I envisioned so many things happening at this space; in addition to the event types I listed above, I could see off-site meetings, one-off work days, book readings, networking groups, book clubs, branding photo and video sessions, pop-up's - I could honestly go on and on. When Julie reached out to me to partner to raise awareness about her space, I immediately thought STYLED SHOOT!
One of the most important things as a venue, of any kind (a full-time venue or a part-time venue like ModernWell), is the imagery. No matter what you say on your website or social media content, the images are the first thing people will look at and "know" what you offer. They needed fresh new imagery so I planned a 2-day photo shoot. On the 1st day, myself and the vendors involved staged the space as a fashion shoot, branding session and an engagement session (shout out to my husband who stood in as a model 😂). The nice thing about these photos is that they can be used for any type of event or topic, they're versatile. Heck! I use them throughout all 3 of my businesses - We did the wardrobe styling so I use some of the photos for my personal styling company. I use them to talk about venue consulting and branding. My blog posts and guest blog posts. You name it!
The 2nd day of shooting I focused on the lifestyle events such as a bridal and baby shower, girls birthday party as well as a holiday party. Sounds like we did 4 shoots right? Nope! Based on the decor and the photos we actually took, ModernWell can now use those photos to showcase BOTH of the showers and the girls birthday party because the decor I decided on could go either way. ModernWell can even use these photos to showcase family dinners or a tea party with your gal pals! The holiday photos can be used as that and then some; family dinners, company holiday party, etc. Of course, I can personally use these photos too since I still offer event planning part-time but in addition to, we did the wardrobe styling through my personal styling business; I can use the photos for that as well. Other services I offer at that company are product styling and interior decorating; I can now use those photos to showcase that too! So what's the point of me telling you all of this? The key as a venue is to really think about the imagery and kill 2 birds with 1 stone by utilizing the photos in different ways, just like I am and how ModernWell is. You should get the most out of them while accomplishing the look of you hosting all types of events.
When I plan a styled shoot with someone, it's just as big as planning an event or wedding. It's a lot of work. However, the end result is always awesome for years to come. I like to maximize my time and all the vendor's involved so I look for people who need photos themselves and include them. Example: the local handbag company, Arway Bags. It seems like they would be too outside the box, right? Absolutely not! We utilized their handbags in some of the photos because ModernWell can go back and talk about how they can host fashion shoots or can just post about something and tag Arway. Arway on the other hand can reshare these photos and when they post they have to tag everyone that was involved (and vice versa), just like myself and ModernWell do. THIS IS FREE ADVERTISING...for everyone! Get my drift? 😉
So with all of this being said, here is the highlight gallery and photo credits of the awesome vendors involved:
Photographer: Madeleine Davidson / @d_madeleinephoto
Venue: ModernWell / @modernwellco
Event Planner & Stylist: Yours truly
Hair & Makeup: Prior to Pearls / @priortopearls
Decor & Stylist: Carriage House Studio / @carriagehousestudiomn
Model: Megan Mann / @megann_mann
Bakery: Veeyon Cakes / @veeyoncakes
Speaker: Lisa Harris & Company / @lisaharrisandco
Wardrobe Stylist: Yours truly, MH Style Consulting / @MH_style_consulting
and, Thrift Stylists / @thriftstylists
Handbags: Arway Bags / @arwaybags
Wardrobe: Arc's Value Village / @arcsvaluevillage
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