Best Places in LA To Have Business Meetings - for Free
Having a business comes with a lot of expenses, and aside from the usual office supplies, and subscriptions, a while back I began to notice that a lot of my costs were coming from networking and meet ups. Sure you're just having a quick meeting, but when you factor in the gas, parking, and food, you find yourself racking up useless costs, therefore, I had to find a way to make my meetings more affordable and practical for my entrepreneur lifestyle.
I started researching into local places that I could utilize to have efficient meetings with less money coming out of pocket. Since then, have had a lot of success in cutting down my spending while discovering some awesome places to have meetings all over LA. Here is a list of the best places to meet up at little to no cost that can help you the next time you're scheduling dozens of meetings.
The Public Library
When I think of libraries, I think of the years I went CSUN here in the San Fernando Valley. I picture myself walking up to those ancient looking PCs to find a catalog of books that I would take hours reading through to find the key sources for a research paper, thesis, or whatever all while walking through a morbidly silent hallways. As nerdy as it may be I liked going to the library because I could get my work done, and if I needed to meet up with a group we could easily rent out one of the many rooms.
That is why meetings at Public Libraries are so great, the environment allots for you to be able to work well in the space. With dozens of locations in LA County it is simple to find a Library close by that you can hold meetings and workshops in. Libraries usually have lots of parking space, and free WiFi. With so many conference rooms I find that many businesses use these spaces for all kind of meetings big or small.
Quick Tip: Remember to sign up for a Library card for the locations you plan to go to most in order to reserve spaces ahead of time for your meetings.
Whether it be a friends or your home office, meeting up a someone's place can be very cost efficient, but more importantly a house has a comfortable surrounding that is a lot more engaging than when you're trying speak over everyone at restaurant for example. It's very easy to host someone in your office because you have access things like water if anyone needs it, and most houses have their own WiFi. Meeting at a house also allows for flexibility with timing since you don't have to worry about closing times, filling the parking meter etc...
Quick Tip: When doing meetings from home make sure you don't have any distractions when you set the time...you don't want the gardeners outside, or construction going on when you're trying to work.
Community and national parks in LA are everywhere and a unique place to have meetings. I think its great that I can get in a workout, be outdoors, and have a meeting all at the same time. Not only is this a chance for you and your meet up to disconnect from the city, but also a chance to talk and walk. Being cooped up in an office all day can be sucky, so by doing this you're getting up and about, while talking about business.
I think this type of meet up spot is great if you and the person you're meeting have pets, because you can bring them along to the park, and its always good to find something in common with the person you're networking with.
Some national parks charge for parking, but with countless locations throughout LA, you can definitely find one that has free parking.
Quick Tip: Since you'll be sweating and most likely will need to go home to shower and change, book your meetings at parks for early morning to give you that time or for your last meeting of the day so you can just go home after the active meet up.
LA is jam packed with Museums all over the city. From The Broad, to The Getty, and LACMA, there are tons of museums that give visitors free access on specific days of the week or month. Some locations charge for parking only, but there are quite a few locations that are free with parking available on the street.
Meeting at a museum can be a huge conversation starter, and also a great way to show someone who just moved to LA more about the city. The versatility of the spaces make it easy to find a cool spot to chat about work while taking in the artwork and history.
For a great list of the free museums in LA check out this amazing article from TimeOutLA
Quick Tip: Avoid weekend crowds by scheduling meetings at museums during the week.
My favorite places to meet up tend to be local cafe's and coffee shops throughout the city. From Metro Cafe, to Aroma Coffee & Tea Company, the ambiance at coffee shops is very relaxing, and you don't get too much noise coming from the counter. One of the best parts about cafe's is theres always free water stations that help me avoid the sweets and going into my pocket for cash, but lets be honest a cup of tea is not a lot of money. Most have free WiFi, and with so many around your area, finding your favorite spot isn't tough.
Quick Tip: If you're not planning on spending money at the location, eat at home before you go so you aren't hungry or craving any foods during the somewhat long meeting.