Space for a 50-person video conference in LA?
February 17, 2009 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Is there anywhere in LA to host a video-conference for 30, or even 50, people?

My wife’s nonprofit has been having a VERY hard time tracking down a space that can host a video conference between 30 (or, if at all possible, 50) people in Los Angeles and a couple of people in Chicago. (The Chicago end is easy). Several nearby office buildings can offer up to 20 people, but the vision is for something larger.

Does anyone know of a space that can accommodate that? Or an appropriate hack for, like, a movie theater or similar space?

The other catch: This is for a nonprofit, so there is little to no money, use of the room would likely have to be considered a donation.
posted by scrawlyman to Technology (7 answers total)
Try to find a venue finding website for your area. Venues pay to be included and organisations who need venues simply enter a query and someone gets back to you with options that meet your criteria. The ones I use in London are free to us for venue finders.

Example of a UK website

I hope that helps. Good luck!

(Once they have found a few venues this way, see if anyone at your wife's org has connections there - this is the best way of getting a discount.)

Also, try twitter!
posted by Jacqulyn at 11:48 AM on February 17, 2009

Check local colleges (particularly community colleges) They often have this kind of equipment and will probably negotiate on price if you can find a time when the equipment is not in use.
posted by mjcon at 11:57 AM on February 17, 2009

Have you checked into the movie theater chains? AMC, Regal, and all the rest rent out theaters (and the size availability can flow with yor attendence)

Some, not all, have the equipment in place to handle a V/C and the others will gladly improvise and test with you if you need to use certain hardware or equipment (ie. Polycom) but amost all of the vc software out there can be run via a laptop and an internet connection.

I have done this before at United Artist Theaters using just a laptop and a wireless audi setup to allow a few microphones to be out in the audience for questions or comments and it worked very well for my Aussie speaker to reach the group I had assembled. (He was denied entry to the States at the last minute)

Can't hurt to ask, right? I'm sure the theaters could use some morning or mid-day income when they aren't making anything off the movies.
posted by emjay at 12:22 PM on February 17, 2009

The local Regal and AMC theaters here in Los Angeles (specifically The Valley and Santa Clarita) usually have an ad for their video conference/corporate meeting services.
posted by sideshow at 12:26 PM on February 17, 2009

Normally I'd advise a renting a conference room from a local hotel, but the money angle might be a problem. However, it looks like the LA Public Library system does rentals and her organization may qualify to have the fee waived.
posted by platinum at 12:43 PM on February 17, 2009

If none of these other good ideas work out, try contacting Affinity Video Net, explaining your situation and seeing if they have a location that would help out. I used to use their services for work, and the ladies on the other end of the line were always very helpful (and they seem to know and have relationships with every VC facility in the country).
posted by tyrantkitty at 8:24 PM on February 17, 2009

Can't help you on the "freebie" aspect, but your problem has an easy answer... Why not divide the 50 people into two or three groups that can more easily be accommodated?
posted by olddogeyes at 9:59 PM on February 17, 2009

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