Don't get me wrong, I love my light-stands. and boy is my garage full of them. I don't know what I would do without them. However events like a wedding, a party, or press conference are not the best place for a stand, drunk guests at weddings, tight rooms, or way to many people can bump or knock over stands. My other solutions are as follows.
The stock solution. Nearly every flash these days come with their own little foot stand. Great for displaying your flash on a shelf. but don't toss it aside right away. not only is it great for setting a flash high on a bookshelf or table, most of them have a 4/20 thread on the bottom that you can attach to a pole, stand or other. Or best yet a Bogen micro ballhead
An expensive upgrade to the stock stand is the micro bogey tripod. Crazy strong little guy, he will even support a pro body and a wide lens if you know what your doing. Gives you more options in the way of aiming your speed light.
The super clamp. By far one of my favorite photographic accessory. There is almost always a tent pole, rail, chair, fence or something. only thing is you have to make sure what you are clamping to is strong, and not valuable. The clamps are amazingly strong so be careful.
Clamp and extension arm. This is a little thing I rigged up with some clamps and a center column of old profoto light stand. Great for getting the strobe high above when there is nothing tall around. This also doubles as a light pole for an assistant. If you every have a broken nightstand to caniblize. I highly recommend doing so.
I always have a light stand or 6 in my kit. Like I said, i could not live without them. But depending on the situation, these can be some great alternatives.
Disclaimer. I used to set up these clamps with speed lights and cameras for NBA game,. safety is a huge concern. depending on where they are, they should have a safety cable, and redundant clamps. to make sure they can't hurt anyone, or your gear. Also depending on the venue and the placement of the strobe, you might want to ask permission. A liability insurance policy is also a plus, or possibly a requirement.
Links to stuff