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.
The Art and Ecology Pavilions are two stunning contemporary green roofed venues. Set within the natural surroundings of Mile End Park, they are unique and flexible spaces in an unspoiled tranquil setting. Just a five minute walk from Mile End tube station, they are an oasis in the heart of east London. Perfect for exclusive events for staff and clients. The Pavilions have facilities for auditorium format presentations. They are ideal for conferences, Exhibitions, networking, and professional development events. Both Pavilions are dry hire venues and can be personalised for your bespoke events. We can work with your own choice caterers and do not charge corkage. The Art and Ecology Pavilions are also fully licensed for wedding ceremonies.They can be configured for a range of events including corporate events, product launches and gala dinners. Perfect for private family celebrations, including wedding ceremonies, receptions and memorial events. The Pavilions host public access events such as live performances, makers markets and art exhibitions. Large, light, and airy, The Art Pavilion is a flagship gallery space. It offers exhibitors flexibility for installation of work in a variety of media. The gallery can accommodate an event and workshop programme alongside your exhibition. The pavilions overlook lakes and have direct access to Mile End Park. They can both accommodate mobile catering vans for a street food vibe. The Art Pavilion offers reception and catering space on a private island. The Pavilions are fully accessible and have step free access to all areas and outside spaces. An induction loop is available. Both venues have loading and unloading areas. There is no guest parking at The Ecology Pavilion with limited spaces at the Art Pavilion. Due to The Pavilions proximity to good transport links we encourage guest to use public transport, arrive on foot or by bicycle. The Pavilions are a short walk from Mile End underground station on the Central, District and Hammersmith and City Line. Several bus routes stop on Grove Road and Mile End Road.
Located in central London directly opposite Borough station, this beautiful event space boasts double heighted ceilings, stunning feature piece bar, 'bookcase' wall features decorated with books, ornaments and coloured tiled floor. The unique terrace triangulated between some the most iconic landmarks London has to offer features panoramic views of the Shard, St Pauls and the Tate Modern. It also includes full tech set up, an additional break out room on a mezzanine area, prep kitchen, tea/coffees and option of additional 16 person boardrooms if needed. Perfect for any occasion with a full concierge team at hand with on site catering available too. This venue can also provide bespoke packaged live streaming services, allowing for your event to reach thousands across the globe.
Located in the heart of Clerkenwell, the Crypt on the Green offers a magnificent venue for exhibitions, wedding receptions, wine tastings, conferences, live performances and much more. With vaulted arches, exposed brickwork and parquet flooring, this unique and versatile space is bound to help make your event unforgettable. We have 4 spaces available to hire, so whether you're looking for a party location for 300 guests or a small meeting space for 10, we've got something on offer for you. This unique venue is located at the heart of Clerkenwell, one of London's most attractive, historic & accessible areas, and is situated within walking distance of Farringdon and Angel tube stations. Please note, the Crypt on the Green is not available on Sundays!
Located on the first floor of the South Wing, the Portico Rooms are a spacious and versatile suite of rooms offering a contemporary and elegant location for both daytime and evening events. With original features, natural daylight and uninterrupted views of the London skyline, the Portico Rooms offer a stylish and versatile backdrop which can be tailored to any event brief. This network of four elegant 18th century spaces can be adapted for press days, fashion events, meetings, conferences, receptions, dinners, wine tastings and exhibitions. Included in the hire are two private balconies for your guests to enjoy. Whether you prefer to watch the sunset across the River Thames from the south-facing balcony or marvel at our sensational fountains from the north-facing balcony, the Portico Rooms are a truly stunning venue for your event. The Portico Rooms is connected to the Navy Board Rooms, and you can hire the two venues in tandem for larger bookings. Steeped in history dating back to the 18th century, the Navy Board Rooms are an impressive suite of rooms with a distinctive sense of charm and heritage. Climbing the grand, sweeping Nelson Staircase is an experience, as each flight is a one-off architectural work of art. Entering the main space, marble fireplaces and wooden floors create a grand atmosphere with large sash windows offering panoramic views across the River Thames. Originally home to the Navy Board, overseeing British naval affairs as the country set about building an empire., the Navy Board Rooms are now a hugely popular venue for meetings, conferences, receptions, intimate dinners, and press days.
Here at The Montague, we are lucky to have a wonderful outside area overlooking peaceful gardens. If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate you summer party or make the most of the festive season in London then our themed Ski Lodge or Beach Bar is the place to be! From mid-November, our famous Ski Lodge transforms into a winter wonderland complete with everything you need to get into the festive spirit. In the summer, join us on the Wood Deck at our incredible pop-up Beach Bar, complete with real sand, summertime cocktails and delicious BBQ food. This space is perfect for large parties and tailored to your requirements - call us and let us create an experience that you and your guests will always remember.
is the latest project by the team behind two of London’s foremost cultural institutions, Oval Space and The Pickle Factory. This space has been designed as a blank canvas, set in an industrial but polished setting. The venue comprises of 3 unique areas, a sprawling, blank canvas main room, a roof terrace with breakout containers, and a brandable cocktail bar event space. The venue also features breakout rooms on the 1st floor. The versatility and multi-faceted nature of is bound to whet the appetite of any ambitious event producer, whether they’re planning a product launch, conference or live music gig. Moreover, the venue can boast to be one of the most environmentally sustainable in the country, with a ban on single-use plastics the first step in ‘Oval Green’ a cross-venue initiative to create spaces that deliver unforgettable experiences minus the carbon emissions. All hires include a projector and screen, sound and lighting packages, chairs, staging, lectern and a dedicated event manager.
A unique ground floor, blank canvas showroom event space based in Central London, W1, 3 mins walk from Tottenham Court Road Underground Station. Available for dry hire and ideal for Press Shows, Product Launches, Photography Shoot, Samples Sales, Business Seminars & Presentations. The venue ground floor access, ideal for loading and unloading.
Last minute availability: We are pleased to inform you that our Main Auditorium has become available for hire week commencing 6th September 2021. Please contact the team for further details regarding hire option and offers. Sadler’s Wells is a world-renowned dance, performance and events venue. Sadler’s Wells provides a contemporary, vibrant and inspiring venue for conferences, workshops and performances. The venue can hold private and corporate events from 12-1500 guests in rooms including the main auditorium, a studio theatre and various meeting/conference suites. This smart and modern venue has natural daylight, fully integrated state of the art AV with in-house technical staff, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi internet throughout. Our experienced Events team provides dedicated event management ensuring smooth delivery and success. Clients also benefit from in-house catering providing a wide range of fresh, seasonal menus for a variety of occasions. Sadler's Wells has played host to prestigious companies including Sony Music, KPMG, The Guardian, TEDx and many others. We would be delighted to host your event at Sadler's Wells.
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.
We are an organisation that is dedicated to health and wellbeing, to transforming what can feel like intractable problems that face us as human beings. Our creatively designed spaces in Clerkenwell boast state of the art facilities, including therapy rooms, kitchen, a seminar room, games and sound studio, and an Ofsted-approved children’s centre. We take special pride in our building. Each space at Body & Soul is unique and can be arranged to meet your needs. You can dream up the perfect boardroom or recreate a sitting room; we have chairs, round or rectangular tables, sofas and bean bags. Every penny you spend hiring our spaces is directed to providing support for some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the UK. By choosing us, you’re getting a fantastic space and you’re helping us make the world a better place.
Ideally located just a short walk from Liverpool Street Station, Spitalfields Conservatory offers a unique space for a lasting impression and a key talking point for any event. Tiered seating looks onto a focal video wall alongside ample floor space. The transparent ceiling coupled with vast glass windows allow for an abundance of natural light. Perfect for presentations, drinks receptions, away days and more, the Fora events team will be happy to discuss your ideas and requirements. This venue can also provide bespoke packaged live streaming services, allowing for your event to reach thousands across the globe.
Situated in the City of Westminster, Porchester Hall’s Grade II listed classic art deco design and understated elegance make it a sought-after venue for a variety of events. The grand entrance to the Hall is ideal for reception drinks and leads guests up the elegant staircase with its ornamental bronze and wrought iron banisters, striking marble walls and crystal chandelier. From the stairway, guests are led through to the Main Hall, which is the very essence of grandeur and opulence. Porchester Hall is ideal for weddings, charity galas, conferences, fashion shows, filming, boxing, banquets, exams, private parties, concerts and much more. The main hall’s grandeur and versatility have seen it play host to concerts from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue and Pink Floyd; broadcasts such as Beyoncé‘s ‘Black Is King’ and Monty Python’s ‘The meaning of Life’; as well as countless legendary parties. The Small Hall, Duchess of York Suite and the Blue Room are all ideal for smaller events, or as extensions and ancillaries to the Main Hall. Catering We work with a carefully selected group of caterers to provide you with a wonderful selection of menu choices to suit all cultures, tastes and budgets. For flexibility, we also offer a dry-hire option, along with corkage and cash bars. Suppliers We have a network of fantastic recommended partners, including photographers, DJs, entertainers, florists and AV, however our clients are welcome to use their own suppliers if preferred.
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.
A venue with a fascinating history that dates all the way back to 1719. Originally built as a small Huguenot chapel, it has accommodated many different East London congregations over the years eventually becoming part of Christ Church in 1887. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor in the 1800s using the building for public readings of his works and in 1888 the Match Girls held their famous strike meetings here as they prepared to protest against working conditions at the nearby Bryant and May factory. Magnificently renovated into a diverse venue space; it boasts high ceilings and windows to bathe the room with natural daylight. A recent restoration and makeover has seamlessly combined the contemporary Spitalfields style with the heart of a national heritage building.
Chalkney Water Meadows is a unique festival and glamping venue just an hour from London in Essex. Acres of space on the edge of a tree-lined lake provides endless possibilities for activities, on-site catering, sundowners or team building exercises! Dining/Conference Area There are three festival style giant tipis which seat up to 200 guests, acting as a beautiful undercover space for dining / confernce area overlooking the lake. Accommodation Our glamping accommodation at CWM is in the form of luxury “Nomadic” bell tents which can be made up as single and twin occupancy with double bedsteads, or multiple occupancy (max 4 person) with single mattresses on the floor. Our luxury cabins, are situated just a 2 min walk from the CWM offers all your creature comforts on the edge of a beautiful lake.
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).
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.