Have you ever thought of utilizing a gymnasium for your event venue? From weddings to birthdays to company holiday parties, a gym can be a great high-capacity venue. To transform a sports-centric building to a venue worthy of a large scale social event, check out these tips.
1. Cover the Gym Floor
There are several benefits to protecting your gym floors with a cover. Using a cover will significantly reduce the wear and tear that it experiences. That also means that maintenance that is dependent on use (e.g., sand, reseal, repaint, refinish) will not have to be performed as often, resulting in less downtime for the gym and lower maintenance costs.
Using gym floor covers can transform your gymnasium into a desirable event venue or meeting place with attractive flooring available in various colors and textures (including carpeted covers and custom branding). In addition, flooring will dramatically improve the acoustics of the gym and make it an appropriate venue for activities such as concerts, political rallies, and commencements.
Another key benefit of gym floor covers is the enhanced safety, which in turn reduces the potential of damage and liability costs. Covers are available in non-slip textures and patterns that can prevent slips and falls even when liquid has been spilled on the floor.
If the gymnasium does not currently have a gym floor cover available, consider protecting the floor with rentable temporary floor coverings, like dance floor, staging, astroturf, carpet, vinyl, wood or tile.
2. Cover the Gym Walls
When transforming your gymnasium into an event venue, covering the walls will redefine the space with a whole new look. Fabric draping offers the most coverage, and can be installed to cover the entire wall space from ceiling to floor. Other options include stand-alone décor items such as faux hedges or barn walls.
Some rental companies offer wall draping, including the installation and teardown, for a reasonable price. See the photos above or click here to see what fabric draping can do to completely transform the look and feel of your gym.
3. Cover the Gym Ceiling
With the floor and walls covered, the only thing left is the ceiling. Gymnasiums typically have tall ceilings with sports equipment, fixtures, and fluorescent lights – perfect for sporting events, but less than ideal for parties or other types of social events.
However, tall ceilings mean there is plenty of room to get creative with ceiling décor and create a more welcoming space. Fabric draping, chandeliers, up-lighting, string lights, and other custom branded features can be hung from the ceiling to cover up any unsightly fixtures in the ceiling and transform your space.
4. Prepping the Gym
Before an event for which you plan to use your gym floor cover, you should use scrubbers and buffers to get the floor as clean as possible. Remember to always use an appropriate cleaning product to make sure its finish is preserved — just because a cleaner is harsh does not mean it will do a better job. All debris should be removed and all spills should be thoroughly cleaned up during this process. Once cleaned, it normally takes less than an hour for a team of two or three to lay down the flooring. This reduced manpower translates into cost savings.
Prior to having any wall and ceiling coverings installed, be sure to walk through and identify any spots in the gym that will need to be accessible during the event (outlets, light switches, lights, safety equipment, etc.) and be sure to communicate this with the project manager handling the installation.
5. Cleaning Up
Once your guests leave and your rental company has uninstalled all the wall covers, ceiling décor, and other rental items, it’s time to clean and remove your gym floor cover to reveal the undamaged hardwood below. Because gym floor covers are far easier to clean than hardwood floors, the cleanup time is dramatically reduced. There are also specially designed mobile storage racks (available with covers) to help you both store and deploy your gym floor covers. These racks also help keep them clean when they are not in use.
~ Cover Sports contributed to this blog.