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.
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.
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.
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.
Situated on the first floor of a Grade II Listed warehouse in close proximity to London Bridge Station. Available for events, meetings, photoshoots and filming, the space features plush soft furnishings, a cornucopia of plants and period details, and large sash windows. The space will be a talking point for your guests and provides the perfect backdrop for events both corporate and otherwise. In addition to numerous areas of soft seating there is a 14 seat table for business meetings and lunches, a small kitchen and 3 toilets. Weddings 2021 Based in the heart of London Bridge, a stone’s throw from Borough Market, Menier Venues is a versatile collection of wedding venues and meetings and event spaces - beautifully designed with spectacular views that are set to impress for any occasion. Taking away the stresses for the many couples who have to re-plan after tweaking, changing, postponing and downsizing their weddings this last year, Menier Venues is launching intimate, safe, and most importantly stress-free wedding receptions in its most popular spaces: the Menier Penthouse and the Menier Lounge. This chic venue collection in the heart of London Bridge perfectly lends itself to an intimate and stylish soiree in the City. Ideal for couples keen to tie the knot this year without breaking the bank or losing yet another sleepless night, our reception package is a one stop shop: you tell us the date and the best bit? As much or as little as you want of the organising is taken care of — bonus! We’re talking cake, flowers, brunch or dinner, drinks, entertainment, all curated and included in the package price or as optional extras. Promising to be the easiest wedding reception anyone has ever had to plan; our wedding reception package comes as a direct response to the pandemic and the restrictions couples who are eager to plan their big day now face. Our packages offer you and your guests a memorable ‘big day’ experience with all the traditional touchpoints of a wedding reception noted and organised in our signature Menier Venues style. We are proud to be a Covid Secure venue, acredited by Hirespace Safer Venues, enabling us to create these packages with your safety in mind. Contact us for more information.
PLEASE NOTE: STARTING PRICE £6,000+VAT SUBJECT TO AREAS HIRED NO CLUB NIGHTS LICENSED UNTIL 1:00AM This brand new exclusive event space is ideally located in the middle of The Strand. Finished to a high standard this venue has the perfect balance of a modern contemporary blank canvas venue. The space can accommodate up to 250 people standing and features 2 arches, 2 breakouts, 1 VIP area, a reception area and a kitchen space. The space perfect for product launches, receptions, press days, Christmas parties, experiential activity, private parties, after-parties, exhibitions and much more.
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.
Venue Video Profile Banking Hall is a venue that has been designed to impress. Surrounded by towering marble columns and stunning Art Deco décor, you can host your event with a touch of glamour in an excellent location. Banking Hall straddles Cornhill and Lombard Street, overlooking the Bank of England. The space is flexible and can be adapted to accommodate your needs – whether for a dinner, standing reception, wedding banquet, conference or exhibition for up to 800 guests.
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.
Lumiere London is excited to announce the opening of their new studios in Underwood Street, 7 minutes walking distance from Old Street Station (Northern Line, National Rail). The Victorian Loft features plenty of daylight and a bohemian style that is peaceful and cosy. the perfect place for intimate meetings, receptions and any event that wants to break free from the boring meeting room mould. A unique, versatile warehouse loft space, with original features perfect for your corporate workshops, seminars, receptions and everything else your imagination can muster. Practically located in Old Street (Zone 1) the space is perfect for corporate events, product launches, celebratory dining experiences, fashion, photography and editorial. Completely refurbished, the building has a modern reception providing a large communal area, two passenger lifts, cycle storage facilities, air condition and wheelchair-friendly access and bathrooms.
Modern, bright and airy, the private event space on 7th & 8th floor is contemporary and fully flexible with a prime location right by Holborn underground. Labs House is perfectly suited for corporate events such as conferences, innovation days, workshops, large business meetings, dinners, parties and networking events. With access to private bar, AV, catering and onsite event management, the Labs team can provide every element to make your event a great success.
ARCH 29 offers contemporary and innovative space for events. With 2,840 sq. feet spread across the ground and mezzanine floor, the arch is perfect for a wide range of functions such as product launch,talks, screenings, corporate events and more. The venue is available for Dry Hire and provided without any extra features – This is a great option for organisers who want a fabulous location while controlling every aspect of their event from business to catering. The Venue is centrally located with great transport links from Southwark station, Waterloo station, London bridge, Blackfriars and Elephant and Castle. Total capacity for the venue cannot exceed 150. Total capacity standing: 75 (ground floor) / 75 (mezzanine) Total capacity seated: Theatre 50 / Cabaret 40 (mezzanine) Theatre 50 / Cabaret 40 (ground floor) Late events: Evening events must conclude by 11pm Monday -Saturday and by 10pm on Sundays due to residential properties in the vicinity
The White Collar Factory is a striking new 15-floor building near Old Street roundabout, with an incredible roof terrace and views across London. 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. For a really show-stopping setting, the rooftop terrace has indoor and outdoor space for up to 120 people standing, with a bar, views over all of London and a running track – plus this is a pretty exclusive space, with hire only available four times a year. In addition to the two event spaces, this venue has 8 meeting rooms ranging in size from 4-30 people.
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.
Hoxton Docks is an incredible canal side venue for hire in London. The ex-coal storage facility is a unique blank canvas venue in London. We cater to all types of events in London including weddings, product launches, and corporate parties. Found on the regents canal in Hoxton E2 we function as a private dinner party venue and as a film and photography location venue. There is very little that we can't do as the space is so versatile. We have two rooftop venue locations on site as well as large internal and external courtyards on location.
Based in an iconic building with a rich history, Battersea Arts Centre is a unique venue with a number of flexible spaces for events of all sizes. With an eclectic mix of historical architecture and theatrical flair, the venue provides everything you need to make your event last long in the memory. Battersea Arts Centre hosts a wide variety of events; from weddings, award ceremonies, parties, location filming and conferences. Capacities of largest rooms in the venue (multiple spaces available): Grand Hall: Event Seating: 600 Cabaret: 500 Dining: 350 Standing: 800 Council Chamber: Event Seating: 160 Cabaret: 150 Dining: 120 Standing: 200 Boardroom: 40
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.
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.