If you are organising a large conference in London, you’ll need a suitably big venue to hold all your guests. Here are ten contenders to help narrow your search.
Ministry of Sound may conjure up the idea of fantastic music based events, and while they do of course offer themselves as a host for such occasions, they are in fact a very versatile venue that is available and suitable for a whole range of different private and corporate gatherings, including a large-scale conference. The funky, ultra-modern interior and state-of-the-art facilities, huge 1600 person capacity and proximity to nearby transport links will surely both please and assist, making Ministry of Sound a viable option that is not be overlooked.
The Troxy was originally known to Londoners as a grand cinema, having first opened its doors to the public in the 1930s. Now, as a Grade II listed building rich in Art Deco styling, it has been tastefully adapted into a modern venue that lends itself to any number of different occasions, without losing any of its initial grandeur. In fact, many original features remain intact and now exist alongside the various mod-cons, which include air conditioning and a cutting edge PA and lighting system in the Grand Hall. As for its capacity, you can expect to invite up to 1800 guests per event.
Any sport lovers amongst your guest list would surely delight at being at one of the most historic stadiums in the world if you were to opt for The Kia Oval. Still functioning as a modern sport venue to this day, hosting world-class cricket throughout the summer months, it also now plays host to all sorts of different corporate and private events, allowing the public to utilise the vast amount of space available, whether related to sport or not. With a capacity of 1000 to make the most of and several different rooms and areas to choose from, it’s a great choice; if an unexpected one.
Tobacco Dock was originally used in the 19th century to house, as you might have guessed, tobacco that was being imported from the New World. Its current owners have subsequently converted it into a mass-scale conference and exhibition centre, with two floors and more than 16,000 square metres of space in all, as well as some additional outdoor, quayside space. It is well connected via transport links but if that isn’t all your guests’ cup of tea, there is a car park that can hold up to 800 cars onsite as well. In terms of capacity, it is almost unrivalled, being able to hold up to 8000 guests at once.
Now, I was careful to say that Tobacco Dock’s 8000 capacity was almost unrivalled, and that’s because in spite of its mammoth scale, Alexandra Palace is able to go one better, offering a maximum capacity of a whopping 10,000. This massive venue is set in 196 acres of its own parkland and as such feels tucked away from the bustle of the city, without sacrificing its convenient transport links for practicality. Its stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline will undoubtedly impress, as will the roll-call of world renowned artists who have graced the stage here, from The Rolling Stones to Björk and from Led Zepellin to Jay-Z.
If it’s a blank canvas you are searching for instead, you may well have found it in Olympia West. This 2500 person capacity venue is known for its versatility, with the award-winning service team well versed in bringing people’s plans to life no matter the occasion, promising that the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Previous customers to utilise this space include no less than Jaguar, HTC, Samsung and Victoria’s Secret; quite the illustrious list to join. Its location is equally as good, with great links to the city beyond, including public transport and many top attractions.
Old Billingsgate can also be tailored to suit many different individual requirements, allowing you to put your own stamp on the style and feel of the décor; great for setting the desired tone for your guests and the conference ahead. With a Grand Hall, a suspended steel mezzanine level, gallery area and vault space all on offer under the one roof, the possibilities are extensive. The simple finish keeps your options open, but small touches like the various interlinked arches and brickwork add a bit of charm to this 2400 capacity venue, close to the River Thames.
Situated right in the heart of Canary Wharf, just a mere 3 minute walk from the tube station of the same name, East Wintergarden is a stylish and modern venue with a maximum capacity of more than 1200. The most striking and unique feature here is without doubt the 27 metre high domed glass ceiling that establishes a bright, airy atmosphere and a contemporary finish for any event. Meanwhile, the addition of the Promenade Room is a great extra space, being ideally suited to smaller scale meetings and conferences if you should prefer.
The renowned Speech Room of Harrow School dates back to 1871, and with its tiered seating and distinct curvature, it replicates the iconic style of the Globe Theatre. The sweeping grandeur of the space is sure to impress and that is why it has become such a popular choice for a wide variety of different events, including conferences in thanks to the excellent in-built acoustics. At a walking distance of just 10 minutes, the closest transport link is Harrow & Wealdstone.