Planning a conference can be a really exciting project, but depending on the size of your upcoming conference it can feel like there’s a lot to do. If you’re unsure where to start, you’re in the right place. Our event experts have plenty of experience planning large-scale events such as conferences, expos and corporate functions.
Conferences are a great way to connect with a wide audience and provide your guests and speakers with a platform to share ideas and network. London has a variety of specialist conference venues as well as flexible spaces that offer conference facilities alongside a number of other event types.
If you’re looking for a prime space in Shoreditch it doesn’t come better than this. Situated between Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road, you’ll find Protein Studios, a 3,500 sq ft multi-purpose warehouse to hire. Protein Studios has four interconnected spaces with multiple hire options available. Studio 1 - Bar area and restaurant setup, perfect as an entrance to your event. Studio 2 - The largest space in the studio with shutter access directly onto New Inn Yard.Studio 3 - The smallest studio in the space, this space works as an extension of Studio 2 and Studio 4.Studio 4 - A self-contained unit perfect for pop-ups and retail.
We are very excited to be able to host small events and weddings for up to 30 guests from 1st October in our Balcony Room, and we are taking enquiries now. Can’t wait until then? Visit our Bankside Bar and Restaurant for drinks, dinner or afternoon tea for a taste of what we can offer you. Looking out onto St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Thames and, of course, the Globe Theatre, our top floor Balcony room has a private balcony allowing your guests an exclusive space from which to take in London. If it’s a sit down affair, whether for a meeting or dinner, then 70 guests can be accommodated comfortably. If you are hosting a standing reception then 120 guests can enjoy the space. The Balcony Room overlooking the world-famous Globe theatre is one of the most romantic wedding venues in London, we are fully registered for weddings – all you have to do is find your Romeo or Juliet!
Absolute Pleasure Yacht is available for private and corporate hire. Both catered and self-catered packages available.
Amber Lakes is a new and unique London events venue based in Wraysbury, close to Old Windsor and Heathrow and only 45 minutes from Central London. It is a year-round events venue perfect for conferences for up to 120 guests, summer parties and team building for up to 500 guests, Christmas parties for up to 120 guests and any other number of events including dinner parties and product launches.
The Pickle Factory offers 255 sqm in a slightly askew rectangular shape, with white walls throughout. Steel beams across the ceiling facilitate rigging equipment overhead and the frosted skylights allow natural daylight to pour through: this is your ideal intimate blank canvas, ready for dressing & transforming by the imaginative minds of location managers, wedding planners, pop-up stores or restaurant operators - and anyone in need of an intimate reception space.
Located right behind the Tate, this space is now the relocation of the previous Gallery. Ever wondered what it might feel like to be in a creative New York Loft. Well wait no longer, and come and experience it right from London.
21 Arlington Street, a beautiful, elegant Grade II* listed property. This unique venue in London was originally built in 1740 for Richard Boyle - 2nd (and last) Viscount Shannon. Centrally located in London’s West End, 21 Arlington Street is just a few steps from the Ritz Hotel. The three private rooms available are situated on the first floor, with the main Boardroom overlooking Green Park. Perfect for private dinner parties, receptions, business meetings, product launches and filming. Not available after 11pm.
The building once formed part of the London Gaslight and Coke company. It was badly bomb damaged during the 1940s London Blitz and shortly after demolished and rebuilt in the early 1950s. It later became a textile factory, car park (yes, really!!) and later a theatre rehearsals studio space. It is now a location for filming, photography, launches and events. Features include: Electric blackout blinds, 3 Phase Electrics, Changing and Make up room complete with light-up mirrors, steamer and hanging rails. There are two rooms upstairs for either clients, extras or a green room. The venue has two entrances, one of which is a secret entrance for events and immersive theatre productions. Outside there is a court yard and parking space. It is an ideal place to shoot cars and furniture, with a giant shutter ensuring easy access and loading.
In the heart of Covent Garden and set in London’s original flower market, has three unique event spaces available for hire. The interactive Museum Galleries can be hired before public opening for naturally lit breakfasts under the Victorian glass roof, and after hours for memorable evening events. Guests enter through the immersive World City Walkway and then have exclusive access to two floors of London’s rich transport history. Highlights include an iconic collection of red Routemaster buses, early Tube carriages and an Elizabeth Line driving experience. The quintessential backdrop is complimented by integrated branding opportunities and bespoke menus delivered by some of London’s finest caterers, carefully selected due to their excellence. The Galleries can accommodate up to 150 guests for a seated dinner, 500 guests for standing receptions and 200 guests for seated breakfast events. The Cubic Theatre is a purpose-built auditorium featuring 121 distinctive moquette seats, perfect for conferences, training sessions and film screenings. A high-spec short throw projector ensures slick presentations, whilst a DCI/DCP projector and Dolby Digital surround sound offers a full cinema experience. The adjoining Foyer can be used for registration, catering and breakouts with great branding opportunities. All guests are welcomed to visit the Galleries, making for inspiring breaktimes. Smaller celebrations are welcomed to Canteen. Situated at the front of the Museum, Canteen has views over Covent Garden piazza and is flooded with natural daylight. Featuring decommissioned furniture from the London Underground network and the Museum’s vintage poster collection, Canteen is perfect for informal gatherings, small cocktail receptions and networking events.
Old Street's bespoke venue; Interior design, bright, exposed brick, big windows, high quality sound system, central, breakout rooms, commando sockets for photography. As well as dry hire, we can also create a fully bespoke service for your event - everything can be arranged internally such as catering, barista coffee, professional photographer, event staff, sound technician, etc on request..Please note we do not host private events, parties or celebrations due to the fact we are situated within a residential building. .About the venue: Set up to address the lack of properly equipped affordable studio and workshop spaces for wellness, personal development professionals and photographers. The spaces are used for meetings, workshops, photo and video shoots. Our white studio has high speed hard wired internet for streaming and video conferences. Our vision for was to create a beautiful, well-designed space that would be a home for personal growth and development. One of our recent clients described it as ‘the third facilitator’ in her workshop and we hope that you will feel that way too. We’re proud to give 10% of profits to our sister venue The Arc Centre in Islington which is a local community project.
With an interior lovingly crafted by set designer Dick Bird (Royal Opera House, Royal Ballet) Omeara Live is a truly magical discovery nestled beneath a railway arch just minutes away from London Bridge Station. As a Live Music venue the space is 320 capacity and boasts a high spec PA and lighting rig. For a standing drinks reception/party capacity is 250 and theater style presentation/screening up to 90 capacity. The space has an impressive late license and an array street food vendors on site who can supply amazing events catering. Additional spaces can be added to Omeara for larger capacity events including Omeara Cantina Terrace & Mezzanine (100 capacity), an adjoining stand alone private event space, The Siding (150 capacity) or Omeara Cantina including the terrace (250 capacity).
The White Collar Factory is a striking new 15-floor building near Old Street roundabout. This contemporary space makes the most of lots of natural light, with a large lounge perfect for product launches and presentations with capacity for up to 350 people. In addition to the event space, this venue has 8 meeting rooms ranging in size from 4-30 people.
Over 3500 SQFT of blank canvas space in the City of London. Situated in the heart of the City, a short walk from Bank, underneath Cannon Bridge Station, The Steel Yard has been extensively refurbished and offers a new experience to The Corporate market. The Steel Yard comprises of two beautifully restored Victorian railway arches featuring a reception bar, main hall and mezzanine. The venue offers excellent production potential with in-house lighting, sound and AV to make your live and virtual events memorable. Importantly, it also offers one of the fastest internet speeds out of all of London’s venues, presenting opportunities in this current climate to communicate to your clients, staff and key stake holders effectively. Managed by Oxygen, the venue offers an exciting blank space supported by an expert team of production specialists to help transform the space to your exact needs, whether it be hosting dinners, award ceremonies, drinks receptions, conferences, exhibitions or fashion shows and product launches, together with Oxygen and the Steel Yard you will have a truly successful event that achieves your goals. The venue is loved by the corporate market for its flexibility to promote and raise company brands. There is a wealth of options to make the venue your own through branding on the columns, within the arches and along the bars. The venue can also provide bespoke packaged live streaming services, allowing for your event to reach thousands across the globe.
Tottenham Court Road
Set within an award-winning modernist building in London’s West End, Congress Centre offers exceptional value. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider the venue for your next event: 1. An unbeatable central location Two minutes’ walk from Tottenham Court Road Underground and a short walk from Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Soho. 2. Great value for money Say no more! 3. Flexibility A choice of 16 different air conditioned conference, meeting and event spaces of varying sizes, most with natural light, ideal for large conferences (up to 500 seated), receptions (850 standing), launches, exhibitions, fashion shows, receptions, dinners and awards ceremonies, as well as smaller meetings and events. 4. Quirkiness The venue is set within an architecturally renowned 1950s’ modernist building which provides a striking backdrop for any event. 5. Hi-tech facilities State-of-the-art AV equipment, plus experienced technicians if required. 6. Fabulous food & outstanding service Repeat bookings are a high proportion of the venue’s business thanks to terrific in-house catering and a dedicated events team. 7. You’re in good company This gem of a venue has hosted events for a large number of corporate clients including Apple, Barclays, Coca Cola, John Lewis, Microsoft and Yahoo!, as well as public sector organisations such as the NHS. Day delegate rates from £49 + VAT per person Room hire rates from £300 + VAT
This eclectic venue features custom lighting by Patrick Woodroffe, a full bar and state-of-the-art sound system, making it ideal for receptions, film screenings, high end dinners, drinks receptions, corporate meetings, fashion shows, product launches and play backs. Room hire from £1,500 with a minimum spend of £5,000 in Food and Beverage No private birthday parties under the age of 25
Whether you’re an experienced conference producer or a bit of a novice, it’s a good idea to start with our planning checklist to make sure you’ve got the foundations of your event in place before the invitations get sent out.
Step 1: Set a purpose
So why are you planning a conference? Maybe it’s an established annual event, or it’s filling a new niche in the calendar. Either way, it’s good to have an overarching purpose for your conference that you can remind yourself of when decision making gets tough. It could be to present exciting scientific findings, or create a space whether vendors and suppliers can network. It’s especially useful to have this purpose in mind when choosing a keynote speaker, which is often the highlight of the conference for delegates. Is there another conference that fulfils a similar purpose to yours, and how can you make your conference unique, memorable and useful?
Step 2: Plan a budget
Planning a budget can seem daunting but it’s vital to know what spending money you’ll have available to you before you start making big decisions. It’s generally possible (and virtually unavoidable) to change the budget once you’ve started, but it’s important to know a ballpark figure. This will help you make decisions from the get go and keep delegate expectations in the right place. Nobody wants to recreate the Fyre Festival..!
Step 3: Pick an estimate date and location
Peak time for conferences tends to be between the end of August and mid-November. It avoids the summer - when everyone is on holiday - and the festive period - when everyone is drunk/hungover. You could consider planning your conference between January and May though, and making the most of quieter calendars and potentially off-peak venue prices. Conference planning often starts about 10-12 months before the event, so bear in mind how much lead time you’ll need.
Step 4: Choose a venue
So you’ve decided on the purpose, budget and location of your conference - now you need to pick a venue. When you were settling the financial plans you should have outlined an estimate cost for your venue hire, as well as the number of delegates you’d be expecting to come. Once you’ve started looking for your conference space you’ll need all of this information to hand to make sure the venues will be suitable for your needs. It’s also a good idea to have a think of any technical requirements you might need, and whether you’d rather the venue provided them or if you’re happy to bring them in yourself.
Elaborate bells and whistles are all well and good, but unless you cover the basics your conference is likely to go down like a lead balloon.
Check out our tried and tested conference essentials that are guaranteed to leave your delegates happy.
High speed wi-fi
This is especially important if your conference is in the tech industry; expectations will be high! Unless you’ve got firm assurances from your venue that their wi-fi can handle a lot of intense traffic, it might be worth bringing in extra resources to make sure all your delegates can access and use the wi-fi reliably. This can be an unexpected expense, but it’s well worth it. Having access to wi-fi should also encourage your delegates to be active on their social media accounts while at the conference without having to rely on their own data.
Free hot drinks
It’s not always feasible to make the budget stretch to feeding all your delegates for free - unless you’re organising a smaller event, or your ticket prices will incorporate the cost of the meals - but it always goes down well if you can provide free hot drinks. Depending on your event this could be as simple as hiring a number of large urns, or it could mean bringing in baristas. Why not use the opportunity for a marketing boost by adding your hashtag or social accounts to the coffee cups for additional exposure. Don’t forget to provide free water, too.
Even if you’re not providing food for free, it’s a good idea for your delegates to at least be able to access it within the venue. If your guests have to leave for their lunch, it’s much more likely that they won’t bother coming back. Consider inviting local food vendors to set up inside, and as they’ve got a “captive market” they may be able to cut you a good deal for a reduced menu. Whatever you do regarding food, remember to include options for vegans and vegetarians as well as those with gluten or dairy intolerances.
It’s good practice to try and make your event as sustainable as possible. Have a think about your disposable cups and plates; bamboo cutlery makes a great alternative to plastic and is generally considered to be a good biodegradable option. Just remember that even if you have recyclable materials, your delegates will still need somewhere to recycle them. Why not provide facilities for your guests to separate their food and recycling waste to maximise the benefit.
If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, it’s not always enough to throw a couple of trendy pot plants around and hope for the best. Your venue can often do the talking for you; the space your conference is in tells your delegates what to expect from the day and can set the tone of the event.
When people think of conferences they tend to jump to needing a big empty space - like the ExCel London - and while they’re great venues for large scale corporate conferences, they’re not necessarily right for everyone.
Take a look at our checklist for finding an unusual conference venue:
Large or small?
You should have a good idea of the number of delegates, speakers and trade stands you’re hoping will be attending. For standing receptions, it’s easy to remember - you need 1 square metre of space per attendee. But don’t forget that on top of that, you’ll need to factor in the stage and seating, break out areas, food and drink stalls, storage space and bathrooms. It’s always better to have a little too much space than not quite enough.
Maximising your accessibility is vital. Lots of venues in London are sadly limited, especially when it comes to wheelchair access, because of their age or location. You should be looking to attract a diverse crowd and make your event as accessible as possible, so bear this in mind when you’re looking for a space. Venues that cater to conferences tend to be on the larger side and are more likely to provide access, so they’re a great place to start. But also have a think about adding hearing loops, large-print schedules and maps, and facilities for guide and assistance dogs to make sure you’re doing your bit too.
The location of your conference will depend on the industry you’re targeting. Theatre, fashion and photography tends to be based around W1 - so think Soho, Mayfair, Fitzrovia and Marylebone. The City of London is historically the hub of the financial district, but lots of businesses operate out of Canary Wharf so they’re both good locations to consider with different attributes to recommend them. When it comes to conference venues within a particular district, try and find somewhere close to transport links to make the journey for your delegates as easy as possible. Bonus points if your closest station has disability access.
You’ll find a variety of conference spaces all over London, it just depends on what you’re looking for. At Canvas, we have a wide range of conference venues and conference centres to suit all specifications. From small conference venues in London to larger ones, our selection of venues include the different facilities and features you’ll need to host successful conference events. If you have specific requests or necessary features for the venue of your choice, make the most of our search filters. With these, you can narrow down your search to see the venues that match your specifications.
If you’re planning a conference event, you’ll undoubtedly want a venue that will impress those attending. From its location to its facilities, the venue you choose is important. Whilst we have a few to choose from around here, we pride ourselves on having the most popular conference venues in London all in one place on Canvas. Whether you’re looking for a tech venue, a contemporary event space or just an affordable presentation lecture theatre, browse through our selection of popular conference spaces and find something to suit your needs.
When it comes to hiring a conference venue in London, there are so many options to choose from. If you’re looking for a Central London location for a conference, you have to consider that prices will be higher. If you branch out to Zone 2, you are likely to get cheaper rates for your event space of choice. Wherever you choose to hold a conference, it should be in an easy-accessible location with good transport links. You may also want to consider venues with accommodation nearby if people are travelling into London for the conference.
The cost of hiring a conference venue in London varies due to different factors. It very much depends on size, location and also any extras you’d require from the venue hire. At Canvas, we pride ourselves on the wide range of affordable conference spaces we have. You’re guaranteed to find something within your budget, and that meets all your other requirements too.
There are lots of reasons to opt for a venue in Central London, especially if people are travelling far for your conference or event. It is a location that’s filled with great event spaces of all types and all sizes, including a variety of conference or corporate venues. You can find your ideal conference space in Central London by searching through our wide range of venues for this event type. Whether you’re after small conference spaces, a large, more modern space, or a venue with breakout rooms available, we don’t doubt you’ll find something that’s the perfect fit for your event plans.