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.
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).
North West London
Experience the year-round magic of Lord’s; from the elegance of the Pavilion to the unique J.P. Morgan Media Centre and the modernity of the newly-built Pelham's. Conveniently located in the heart of London and offering stunning vistas of the Ground, Lord’s is an exceptional venue boasting 14 different spaces perfect for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and dining events for between 10 – 300 people. Long Room Lunch/Dinner – 200 Standing - 300 Long Oval table – 82 Writing Room Lunch/Dinner – 60 Standing – 70 Long Oval table – 24 Theatre style – 45 Cabaret – 32 Boardroom – 18 Pelham’s Lunch/Dinner- 136 Standing - 169 Long Oval table – 60 Theatre style – 136 Cabaret – 88 Boardroom – 66 Thomas Lord Suite Lunch/Dinner without reception area – 400 Lunch/Dinner with reception area - 250 Dinner Dance – 200 Standing – 500 Cabaret – 160 Theatre style – 300 Boardroom – 58 Classroom – 126 Pavilion Roof Terrace Standing – 250 Mound Stand Terrace Standing – 350 Tavern Boxes Theatre – 30 Boardroom – 18
This magnificent late Victorian building, lovingly restored to its original glory, provides a beautiful, memorable and photogenic backdrop for weddings and receptions, while its central position at the heart of the exclusive Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, offers event organisers a well-placed, endlessly adaptable space. It is also a popular location for filming and photo shoots.
Hawker House is our huge indoor food and drink warehouse in Canada Water. It can fit up to 2,000 people indoors, with an additional 1,000 capacity space in the summer months when we open our huge outside area, aka the Land of Bamboo - our own tropical tiki paradise. Hawker House is the perfect versatile event space for conferences, exhibitions, awards ceremonies, product launches, parties and LOADS more. The venue is split across two rooms, meaning you can hire one side of Hawker House for smaller groups of 200 up to much larger whole-venue takeovers. Hawker House is the perfect alternative space for large scale conferences. With 1500 square metres of transformable space and a capacity of up to 550 theatre style with an additional further 4 breakout rooms, our brilliant Canada Water warehouse provides a unique urban backdrop, with an unbeatable operations team delivering slick service and catering for all your needs. We believe in work hard, play hard and can offer fantastic after parties to round off your conference, complete with DJs and delicious cocktails. Expect world beating street food and service in a memorable venue. The incredible warehouse space has nine brilliant bars, ten world beating street food traders and loads of extra room for you to play around with, including optional pool and beer pong tables. Hawker House is a short walk away from Canada Water Overground and Underground Station, and is only a short distance from London Bridge, Borough and Canary Wharf. **Venue does not allow consumer ticketed events**
Two beautiful venue/meeting rooms in an old church school building, 5 minutes walk from London Bridge Station. Comes fully equipped with furniture, projector & screen. This space is suitable for Away Days, Conferencing and Meetings Please note that we have no availability for evenings or weekends.
Arundel House is owned by the International Institute for Strategic Studies and is perfecty situated just opposite Temple underground station. With great views over the river Thames, Arundel House is the perfect venue to host your conference, dinner or drinks reception. Our conference facilities have just undergone a major refurbishment in January 2013 and state of the art technology installed. The rooms are light and spacious and stylishly decorated.
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
Newly opened flexible and inspirational state of the art conferencing and event space. We can cater for all types of conferences, meetings and more. From a small space for interviews, therapy sessions and similar to conferences for 220 people or exclusive venue hire for up to 500 people and many combinations in between. Our onsite catering team can provide sit down intimate private dining, large scale buffets and bespoke menus or choose from our range of menus for elegant simplicity.
Mail Rail at The Postal Museum is an award winning venue in Farringdon, Central London. Available for exclusive unique venue hire, our inspiring venues are suitable for all corporate, experiential and private events. For more than 100 years, Mail Rail was hidden from view. Now you have the chance to experience the secret space for yourself – the ambition, dedication and ingenuity that makes it truly unique space. Mail Rail is an immersive subterranean venue which has maintained many of its original fixtures including exposed brickwork, vaulted ceilings, archways and authentic railway features. This industrial event space also contains a mini exhibition gallery with numerous interactive displays for guests to experience during their event. Highly adaptable it can be hired for product launches, award ceremonies, corporate events and gala dinners. The unique 275 capacity venue also provides guests with an exclusive opportunity to enhance their event experience with an underground miniature train ride through the secret 100-year-old Mail Rail tunnels
Bayswater - Paddington
Ma Dame is an intimate, French- inspired, live music night club & late-night dancing venue in the heart of west London, close to Royal Oak and moments from Hyde Park. With our boutique style furnishings and superb cocktails, customers enjoy a unique ad intimate experience, late into the night! We pride ourselves in offering great service and bespoke packages, tailored for private parties, intimate gigs, corporate VIP after parties, VIP birthdays, engagement parties and much more! We want to create a movement that incorporates fashion, music and art with product launches and branded parties.
Exceptionally well located in the heart of the West End and moments from Carnaby Street, providing the ultimate luxury backdrop for your event needs. With a private event space that can fully immerse any audience with cinema sized screen and full AV set up. The collapsible partition walls the space can be expanded to include two additional break out areas - perfect for those larger scale events.
Senate House in leafy Bloomsbury, Central London is one of the capital’s best known landmark event venues, combining style, grandeur and history with modern conferencing facilities. Built in 1936, Senate House is an iconic Art Deco statement on the London skyline. The rich history and architecture of this unique venue in London inspired George Orwell and has made it an ideal location for conferences, weddings, fashion shows and corporate events. Daytime availability.
If you are looking for a unique, raw and beautiful venue in Central London, then look no further... We are able to offer an exciting atmospheric space in London’s fast moving South Bank and Bankside areas. A vast, untouched four-storey warehouse, the venue is a blank canvas with tremendous scope, often transformed by creatives for atmospheric exhibitions, immersive performances and interactive events. It is also a unique setting for press launches, fashion shows, staff motivation events, filming and photo shoots. The venue has a range of different spaces, each offering unique features and quirks; rooms can be used on their own or in combinations depending on event requirements. Our venue is owned by Coin Street Community Builders, a social enterprise located along on the South Bank. Coin Street has a dedicated Community Team who rely on the money raised from these commercial spaces to create a fun, safe and exciting place to work and live. Please note that the space is not suitable for weddings, private parties or large-scale music events. FULL VENUE HIRE ONLY. Please contact Sarah Witt to receive a venue brochure, installation guide, or come and see the venue for yourself!
A new cinema in London's culturally vibrant East End. Our screens can be hired for private events from bespoke birthday parties to corporate presentations. Three of the screens in this unique venue are equipped with their own bar area, making it easy to look after your guests or clients.
City of London
Located in the City of London, in a magnificent refurbished Victorian building, our rooms are a rare find in this part of London. There is a variety on offer, from large auditoriums (220 & 70 seats), 3 dance studios and training rooms, to a fully equipped gym. We offer quick, reliable service, with a flexibility to meet your needs. There is a small in-house canteen that can provide refreshments and snacks or we are happy to commission outside caterers, if you prefer. The venue is within 5 minutes’ walk from the stations of Aldgate, Tower Hill, Tower Gateway and Fenchurch St, so you have access to the major underground lines of District, Central, Metropolitan, DLR, as well as the Overground line. For those coming from outside London, Liverpool Street Station is 10 minutes’ walk away or one stop on the Underground
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.