Think Space, an Innovative Event Venue Opens in Lansing

By Jane Whitttington on June 8th, 2015 / Comments

We’ve all had the experience of sitting through a business meeting in a stuffy, sterile room in some nondescript facility, subsisting on vending machine coffee and hoping that the meeting might end early. Dave Seitz and Traci Riehl have had that experience too. That’s why they imagined, designed and built an entirely new event space that makes meetings not only productive but also enjoyable.

Think Space, a renovated storage facility on South Cedar close to Lansing’s River Trail, opened in March of this year and is providing an innovative alternative to the run-of-the-mill event space.

Dave Seitz says, “Tracy and I had been discussing this idea for a couple of years. We looked at hundreds of places before we found the perfect spot for Think Space. We spent eight or nine months building it out to suit our needs. We did most of the work ourselves with lots of help from family and friends. We looked to professional designers for help in the layout, format and flow of the space. Our part-time employee, Sara Rantz, helped us with design and décor. It was a group effort, and we ended up with the facility we had imagined.”

Think Space offers 2,000 square feet on two levels. Seitz says, “We are providing not just a space but an experience, and we want to make that experience amazing. With an open environment and nothing ‘bolted down’, we encourage groups to arrange and rearrange the rooms to suit their particular needs. We encourage people to use movement to inspire creativity.”

He continues, “The ideal group is 25 or less, but we can accommodate larger groups. We looked at the idea of using the space for private events like parties or dinners, but we are concentrating on using Think Space for meetings and retreats.”

The furnishings are colorful and comfortable, and windows allow natural light to flow through the area. Everything has been designed for maximum productivity and collaboration. Technology is unobtrusive but functional and easy to use.

So far, Think Space has been used for business meetings, board retreats and other such events. Seitz and Riehl, each with a history of involvement in boards and non-profits are available to lead groups in exploring best practices. They are seeking other community partners who can help organizations creatively explore strategies for planning and performing within the workplace.

Seitz says, “Our hope is that whatever happens in the space will be a great experience where people can be creative and productive.”

The Watering Hole, a kitchen area, allows people to literally sit around the kitchen table and explore ideas in a casual, low-key atmosphere. Healthy snacks are available (Seitz’s wife is a dietitian) as well as that essential fuel for business meetings, coffee.

Both Seitz and Riehl have full-time jobs—Seitz is in the technology field and Riehl’s business, Riehl Solutions, provides training, non-profit services and conference management.

Seitz says, “Our focus is on creativity, flexibility and comfort. We’re here to offer a new experience and a new way of getting things done. We like to say that Think Space is where ideas are born.”

For more information and to see pictures of the space, visit

About the Author

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Grand Rapids. A Michigan native and Michigan State University grad, she enjoys reading, travel, politics and volunteering.