What problem does this solve?
The location you choose for your event matters. Even if you don't have money to rent a private space for your event, you should still spend some time looking at the options that are available to you and try to find one that is the right size, has the right atmosphere, and all the necessary amenities if you want people to show up at your event, enjoy themselves, and get work done.
What is the solution?
For smaller events like meetups and informal edit-a-thons, a venue like a coffee shop may be perfect. Informal venues are especially useful for events that have limited budgets, or small organizing committees. Make sure the space is large enough for the group you expect. If possible, you should find somewhere that allows loud conversations, is open late, allows people to stay for a long time without continuously buying things, has table space for writing and computers, and has plugs and wifi.
Some bars, restaurants and coffee shops will rent out whole rooms to larger parties if the party expects to order food and drinks. You can often reserve these rooms with the venue days or weeks in advance if you have a good idea of how many people are going to show up at your event.
- Be considerate to the venue owners. Don't choose a place where your group is going to fill up every seat for the entire day. That will crowd out other potential customers and earn you the resentment of the owners.
- Be considerate of other patrons. Even if you choose a venue that is spacious and where it is okay to make noise, be conscientious and respectful of the needs of other customers who are not part of your event.