To think outside of the box, you have to get out of it. If your team, group or company has fallen into a rut, there’s no better way to shake things up than by changing location. Say goodbye to the overused whiteboard and tired conference table. There’s no need for the same old, same old in the Twin Cities, which has experienced a surge of collaborative spaces featuring brash interior design, malleable spaces and top-ofthe-line amenities. We searched the metro area for collaborative hubs that rent out meeting and event space and discovered each space boasts unique personality and fresh energy. Now all you need are a guest list and some RSVPs.
If an Instagramable gathering space is high on your wish list, Studio 125 is your venue. Located on East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, Studio 125 boasts 6,000 square feet of creative, collaborative space that’s been used for everything from photo shoots and hosted events to a holiday marketplace and a beauty and wellness pop-up. The modern industrial space, designed by Wit & Delight, accommodates 250 cocktail-style or 100 for a seated dinner. It’s also equipped with two kitchens, an enclosed conference room and a powder room. Audio-visual capabilities include Wi-Fi, a sound system, conference calling and video conferencing. Easy access to parking and loading docks ease any logistical headaches of your event, as do preferred caterers like D’Amico, Surdyk’s and Chowgirls. But what guests really fawn over is the natural light from the six large windows that encompass the space. “It feels like you’re in a globe of light,” says Julie Brousseau, studio director. “It brings this feeling of Zen."
Located in the North Loop, The Coven is a crowdfunded, collaborative, community space for women and nonbinary individuals to connect, network and thrive in their personal and professional lives. Open since International Women’s Day of 2018, it occupies the third and fourth floors of the historic building that once housed the Market Hotel. Rent the full floor (2,400 square feet) for up to 120 people for an intimate, cozy gathering in a brightly colored and smartly furnished environment with floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities include a full kitchen, a parent/prayer room, private phone booths and a beauty bar with large vanity. You can also book the conference room for groups of 12 or fewer. A mobile screen or flatscreen TV are available, as is a wireless sound system. Use The Coven’s preferred caterers (the Wedge, Chowgirls and Kado no Mise) or arrange your own. Proceeds from event rentals go to help support The Coven’s community-funded membership model, so you’ll be supporting women and nonbinary individuals just by virtue of holding an event there.
Located in a 1915 brick building that’d be right at home in Brooklyn is NEW RULES, a “closed-loop ecosystem for entrepreneurs and folks in the creative sector,” describes Christopher Webley, president and CEO. This 3,000-square-foot space has a warm, colorful aesthetic with art-covered walls, hardwood floors, 12-foot tin ceilings and garage bay doors. Used as an outpost for makers of all kinds, amenities in this space span from the usual (chairs, tables, A/V hookups, livestreaming) to the exceptional (photo shoot equipment, strobe lights, a sewing machine, drum machines). Those looking to host artsy events, like a fashion show, or who simply need a gallery setting for their get-together will find visual flair and flavor in this North Minneapolis space that accommodates 150. An on-site kitchenette will suffice for your choice of caterer and lounge furniture and coat racks are available for use. Make sure to take advantage of the venue’s curatorial and eventplanning staff as well.
Impact Hub MSP, part of a global network of almost 100 similar co-working and event spaces, aims to inspire, nourish and connect inclusive and impactful enterprises and entrepreneurs. Its Elliott Park facility, located on the fourth floor of the FINNEGANS House in the FINNOVATION Lab Collaboration space, clocks in at 13,000 square feet, about half of which can be reserved. The largest area for rent is the Commons, a total of 1,468 square feet that can be arranged in various formats to accommodate up to 150 reception-style. The Training Room fits up to 50 theaterstyle and features both ample wall space for projection or chart paper. For smaller groups, the Board Room seats 12 and offers views of downtown Minneapolis through floor-toceiling windows while the small Conference Room provides privacy for up to four people. All rental spaces come outfitted with a variety of A/V options, including HDMI connections, whiteboards, conference phone and TV screens. A PA system, podium, and projector are also available for use. The Elliot Park Hotel is scheduled to open next door this fall, providing convenient overnight accommodations for guests.
If choice is tantamount for your next meeting or event, Fueled Collective has options in spades. Formerly known as COCO, the Fueled Collective is now a national chain. With three Minneapolis locations and one in St. Paul, there’s bound to be a configuration of rental space that meets your needs. At its location in the historic Minneapolis Grain Exchange building, seat up to 10 for strategy sessions at the Game Room or the Library. The professional-looking and naturally lit Menagerie and the Parlour both seat 12. The Sidecar and the Manhattan offer smaller spaces for brainstorming for three or four, respectively. Looking for something larger and more elegant? Try the wood-paneled Classroom for up to 40 seated lecture-style. Design-savvy planners will appreciate the options at the Uptown location, which offers sophisticated rental spaces like the Greenhouse conference room (for eight), the living room-esque Lounge (for 10-20) or the masculine Taproom (for 10). All the typical A/V hookups are available in these rooms, as is a “resident geek” who can offer tech support, either on-site or virtually. “What we try to do is try to help people have more collaborative encounters where they can share ideas successfully and get in the spirit of doing interesting work,” co-founder Don Ball says. “It doesn’t feel like an office space. That’s really by design.”