Venue Highlight: Renting the MICEC
by Janet Bihun
Think of a special event that stands out in your memory. Is it a cultural festival you attend yearly? The first professional conference you participated in? Or do you join the annual fundraiser for a charity near and dear to you? These events are usually large in scope and tend to stand out as prominent occasions in our memories.
One thing these events likely have in common is that they were hosted at one location. An event venue can have a sizeable impact on events, large and small. A facility that is too small often leaves visitors and attendees feeling cramped and uncomfortable. Too large of a space can leave a diminished impression on guests. Similar to the well-remembered fairytale of Goldilocks, finding the “right” event venue that is neither too small nor too big, but instead is ‘just right’ can be an adventure – both for your budget and sanity!
The Mercer Island Community & Event Center (MICEC) is your modern, central and superb event venue for business and other special events.
Did you know that the MICEC also hosts several fundraising events for the City of Mercer Island each year that make use of the entire facility?
Renting the entire MICEC is available to you, too!
In the past, these occasions have consisted of professional conferences, cultural events and fundraising functions. Unique events are welcome at the MICEC.
Optimal Features of a Large Venue Rental
The MICEC is a modern facility, built with flexibility in mind. The event venue’s contemporary design, with defined horizontal and vertical lines, is appealing to the eye, while the interior makes clever use of space.
There are many benefits to booking large events with the MICEC.
- We are able to book events in our Mercer Room up to two years in advance.
- Meeting rooms can be booked up to a year in advance. This longer lead time for booking can be beneficial for annual events and for events that are still trying to lock down attendance size. Entire facility-wide event venue booking times are arranged per each unique event.
- Rentals at the MICEC come with facility chairs and tables, free of charge.
- The MICEC has a large parking lot, with over 200 parking spots. The best part about this parking lot is that it is FREE to our clients.
- Luther Burbank, a beautiful park, is just a scenic stroll away.
- The City of Mercer Island is committed to practicing sustainability; this includes recycling, composting, use of solar panels, (all of which can be found at the MICEC), and other efforts. These other efforts include the support of public transit – the MICEC is located only .3 miles away from a bus transit center and park and ride, convenient for those who utilize the bus system.
One of the reasons the MICEC is a Goldilocks-approved, ‘just right’ event venue for large corporate and professional events is our five meeting rooms for rent. These rooms have been used in a variety of ways.
One way was by a charity fundraiser that hosted various silent auctions in each meeting room. Participants had the option of moving from room to room.
MICEC meeting rooms have also been used as breakout rooms, allowing meetings and events to have many smaller discussions, presentations or class-sized seminars. For those who need additional breakout rooms, we have air pullout walls in the Mercer Room, allowing the room to be divided into thirds in a matter of minutes.
Other reasons to pick the MICEC include:
- Our central location, between Bellevue and Seattle.
- A state-of-the-art media system in the Mercer Room that is both user-friendly and features the use of iPads and two 1080p HD projectors for bright, detailed presentations and slideshows.
- An exceptional customer service team.
- Our affordable banquet and meeting room rental rates – we even have discounted rates for non-profits with a valid 501c3!
Once you have decided that the MICEC is just right for you and your event, there are several things to do.
First things first: Secure an event date.
As a popular special event venue, finding a date where it is possible to book the entire facility can be difficult – but not impossible! Here are a few tips for finding a date that is not already booked.
- Book far in advance, by taking advantage of the two-year lead time on booking the Mercer Room. Having the Mercer Room even before any other meeting rooms is a big part in successfully securing a date.
- If wanting a summer date, book further in advance or consider a weekday or Sunday. If possible, consider having an event during the week. This is a great strategy for events that can end before 9 p.m.
- Book a Friday night! The MICEC closes at 7 p.m. on Friday and has extended hours until 12 a.m. (midnight). One regular cultural event employs this strategy for using the MICEC – as a religious celebration the later hours work perfectly with the traditional celebrations and ceremonies of this religion. This group then utilizes the meeting rooms for different activities. Another benefit to this is if the Mercer Room is booked 24 months in advance on a Friday night, the likelihood of meeting rooms being available for rent is higher. Meeting rooms generally are not available for extended hours, unless the Mercer Room is also rented by the same group.
For a large event that plans on serving or providing food, renting the MICEC waives the food and beverage fee normally charged per room. The MICEC does not have a list of required caterers that renters are required to work with. This equates to you having the opportunity to use your own preferred caterer; or you can do all food preparation yourself – if you are up to the task, that is!
After the Event
For events that use the entire facility, we recommend at least one and a half hours are used for cleanup. Time needed to break down and clean up is required as part of the contracted rental time. A cleaning team of two to three people per room is also highly recommended. This gives the event cleanup crew enough time to go through each room and make sure everything has been gathered up and not forgotten. The Mercer Room is the only rental room for which the MICEC does not offer staff cleaning services. Cleaning the Mercer Room, on average, takes approximately an hour. This includes sweeping and mopping, wiping down tables and chairs, and removing any trash and recycle, in addition to any other needs. Our knowledgeable customer service team communicates cleanup responsibilities at booking, check-in and check-out with the point of contact. Any questions during booking are answered by our Reservations Coordinator, Rachel Gilbert. Having a clear understanding of responsibilities before the event helps make for a problem-free check-out.
We hope this information has inspired you to consider the MICEC as the perfect event venue for your next event. Schedule a tour to see our modern facility for yourself!
For more information or a personal tour, please contact:
Phone: (206) 275-7840
Mercer Island Community & Event Center
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040