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.
We are a 150 capacity, multifunctional events space situated in the heart of London, Europe’s largest creative hub. Our community is comprised of the best in the Music, Film & TV, Tech & Fashion industries and we service them along with a multitude of external clients. We’re designed to be highly versatile to cater for the niche requirements of the top tier in both the creative and corporate industries. Some of our regular clients include Apple, Amazon, Sony Music, BBC, Channel 4, Beats 1 Radio and The British Heart Foundation amongst many others. We’re here for music events, artist showcases, panel discussions, art exhibitions, community workshops, presentations, private parties, Q&A’s and corporate away days. Our events are a platform for both the top tier and the underground. We have personalities, visionaries, legends, next big things, ideas, inspiration, diversity and substance all rolled into a calendar of events that are designed to engage, entertain and inspire. We have a fully licensed bar and bespoke catering facilities, and a dedicated event team to guide your event from conception to completion.
No. 4 Hamilton Place is an Edwardian townhouse in London’s Mayfair, available for hire for weddings, conferences, private dining, drinks receptions and parties. The venue is a Grade II listed building featuring nine versatile event spaces and an attractive outdoor terrace with views over Hyde Park. Once home to the Duke of Wellington, No. 4 Hamilton Place is an impressive, luxurious building with regal décor and traditional Edwardian features including a grand sweeping staircase. Our conference room is well-equipped with full audio-visual facilities and capacity for up to 250 delegates in theatre style, convenient travel links in, out and around the city and renowned high-quality catering provided by our exclusive partner, Blue Strawberry. We have a range of meeting rooms available for hire for groups of differing sizes whether you’re hosting an AGM or a small training session. Each is filled with natural light to keep your guests feeling awake and productive, with a team on-hand to provide any A/V support or refreshments. No. 4 Hamilton Place is also a popular venue for weddings and private events with a license for civil ceremonies and elegant range of ornate rooms suitable for celebrations of all size.
Ramp is an Art Gallery and event space with is fully licensed from Mid-day to Midnight 7 days a week. The space can be hired for a whole host of events from sample sales to birthday parties and everything in between. Each floor has the capacity to hold up to 60 people, with the Gallery on the ground floor and the bar and events space in the basement.
ONLY TAKING BOOKINGS FROM OCTOBER 2020 ONWARDSA hidden gem in the heart of the city, and a 3 minute walk from Barbican tube and St Pauls tubes. The Lounge can host up to 80 guests for drinks and canopies, with an outside terrace, ideal for summer parties! This whole venue is available for exclusive hire for up to 220 people.. with a long bar, roomy dance floor and a stunning outside terrace. Ideal for corporate and private parties, press events, product launches, breakfast meetings, presentations, and wedding receptions.
This original Town Hall is located just a three minute walk from the tube station, Bethnal Green - only one stop away from the financial district. The hotel is renowned in the filming industry and extremely popular for weddings, meetings and parties. We can also cater for all types of business meetings, product launches, corporate events and private parties. With three separate events spaces this historical hotel gives you plenty to choose from. There's also 97 bedrooms with four different sizes to choose from and plenty of different styles - not one room is the same! Our rooms are popular for green rooms, photography, interviews and small boardrooms.
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.
A unique, modern venue in the heart of Dalston, East London. Offering immense flexibility for creative events, pop-up shops and workshops, the event space features industrial/minimal design, floor to ceiling windows, mezzanine storage, adjustable spotlights, and colour-changing RGB Lights. Additionally available on request are audio/video equipment and furniture. Space for loading is also available. There are multiple options for hire within the event space itself ranging from 335 sq ft, to a total of 1800 sq ft for a full hire. The spaces are situated in a unique, multi-purpose commercial venue featuring various independent shops and studios.
With a capacity for 120, this space is perfect for private networking, reception events and summer BBQs. The contemporary museum space comes with the added benefit of a private courtyard that features a beautiful living plant wall which adds to the venue’s atmosphere and acts as the perfect backdrop for summer parties. The indoor modern and contemporary museum space offers great versatility and in addition, allows guests to explore the inspiring exhibition galleries or enjoy a curator-led museum tour.
Strand, Central London
The Vaults at RSA House are ideal for large standing receptions, unique celebrations and evening parties. Originally designed as river-front warehouses, these fully restored Vaults offer a striking contrast to the splendour of the rooms above. The Durham Street Auditorium is a purpose built theatre ideal for screenings, conferences and meeting. It was built on the last remaining stretch of 18th century cobbled roadway which was part of a tunnel beneath the House leading down to the Thames. The DSA can accommodate up to 70 people. The RSA is an enlightenment organisation that seeks to understand and enhance human potential located in the heart of the West End. Throughout its history, the RSA has extended a welcome to others looking for a place to discuss their ideas. This tradition continues, with the Great Room, Durham Street Auditorium and Benjamin Franklin Room and our more intimate rooms providing the perfect backdrop to dinners, conferences and workshops. Recently awarded Best Historic Venue or Livery Hall at the London Venue Awards, 2018.
Juno Rooms is a brand new, lively bar & kitchen ideal for meeting colleagues, clients or friends in the heart of The City. Spread across two floors on the Square Mile, Juno Rooms is equipped to host a variety of events ranging from drinks parties, delegate days, and private dinners to birthday parties, wedding receptions and engagement celebrations. We also work with brands to create the perfect space for product launches, pop-ups and press days. Our spaces can be dry hired by production companies for filming and photography. Our main floor offers a restaurant with a delicious seasonal and vegan friendly menu, a Private Dining Room and eye-catching drinks areas, such as our Blossom Tree. Behind the bar our experienced team mix up some of London’s best cocktails and signature gin and tonics; just the place for after work drinking and dining. Our Basement Bar is the ultimate spot to unwind, with an Amazonian atmosphere it is fast becoming the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Vauxhall Arches is a collection of 10 railway arches close to the River Thames. Only 20 yards from Vauxhall Underground, Rail and 24-hour Bus Station, the venue is well known and easily accessible. Close to the banks of the River Thames under Vauxhalls railway arches possibility can flow freely and spontaneity has more than enough room to dance.Vauxhall Arches are available for external hire throughout the year. Now regarded as one of London's leading clubbing destinations, we offer a multi-functional and flexible interlocking rooms. The venue is made up of Fire, Lightbox and Protocol, 3 separate rooms can be hired in a variety of combinations to suit the size of your event. The main room and lounge can be used together to create a 1000 capacity event which can be increased through the use of an additional small, adaptable room.The 2nd Arch can be hired for a 1 room event to hold 450/500 people and finally all 3 rooms can be hired together to host a larger scale event.
The City Thames
Newly refurbished, The Oyster Shed is one of the City’s finest venues. With an abundance of bookable space during the week and panoramic sun drenched views across the Thames - it is ideal for any event. Offering exclusive hire at weekends, you can happily let all your dreams come true in this beautiful space.
The Emmanuel Centre, situated in the heart of Westminster, a truly unique place, used regularly for exhibitions, AGM's, shareholders meetings, training seminars, council meetings, product launches, church gatherings, rallies, presentations, concerts and conferences. This Grade 2 Listed building, built in 1928, was designed by the world renowned architect, Sir Herbert Baker, has a distinctive atmosphere, elegant marble foyer, high vaulted ceilings with Bible inscriptions and huge columns.
Oval Space is an amazing warehouse-style venue finished to a very high standard that offers 5,000 square feet of unobstructed event space, with the iconic backdrop of the Bethnal Green Gas Holders. Two terraces frame the venue on the West and South side, providing a summer reception space and / or BBQ garden with a striking view. Although it is full of unique features, Oval Space offers a fantastic blank canvas, making it a venue of choice for an extraordinarily wide range of events.
This incredible space in The Shard does a pretty good job of speaking for itself – up on the 24th floor of the tallest building in the UK, it boasts some incredible views that manage to sit just under the clouds, meaning perfect visibility out over the Thames. TOG worked really hard to give the space in The Shard a distinctly different, relaxed feel, plus it’s more versatile than you think; it has event space for up to 200 people and has hosted everything from mini golf to cocktail fountains and poker tables. In addition to this, there are 8 meeting rooms, ranging in size from 5 - 70 person.
Run by The Royal Foundation of St Katharine our Yurt is a beautiful and unique space for receptions, parties, dinners, networking events, talks & seminars within 5 minutes of Bank and Canary Wharf. We have a expert team of chefs who can provide catering for all occasions. Available for hire in the evenings from 6pm.
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.