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Exhibition Spaces in London

Find and book the coolest exhibition spaces in London

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Welcome to our diverse collection of London based exhibition venues. The industry heavyweights of large exhibition venues in the capital are widely accepted as being Excel Exhibition Centre and Earls Court and Olympia Exhibition Centre. Canvas are proud to be able to work with both of these globally recognised conference centre venues, alongside a wide selection of other cool exhibition locations in London such as the Old Billingsgate Market and Tobacco Dock, also considered hip exhibition venues in London that are well worth considering. We don’t only offer these well-known stalwarts however, with many hidden gems also within our database that each have their own unique and unusual characteristics and which come in all shapes and sizes, making them just as practical a choice.

How to create an exhibition to remember

Organising an exhibition is a mammoth task. A lot goes into the planning, and with so many people involved, the whole thing can become overwhelming very quickly. Having a management plan – together with a massive To Do list, is essential for something like this.


Decide on What You Want to Show

You’ll already know the topic of the exhibition – maybe it’s something that happens every year. At the same time, it’s best to have a solid theme and to stick with it. While there may be a few unusual stalls that are skirting the boundaries of the show topic, try and keep everything as cohesive as possible.


Get Together A List of Sellers That You Love

This is your exhibition, so come up with a list of stalls that you really want to see there. Stands that you think will draw the crowds and really encompass what the exhibition is all about.  You can personally invite these sellers and even offer them a discount and extra promotion leading up to your event. After all, they’ll be promoting to their customers, and big companies will bring the crowds.


What Need Are You Fulfilling?

Why are you having this exhibition? Maybe there is nothing else like it in your city, or maybe there has been a higher demand for certain goods and you want to let people know about all of the awesome companies there are out there. Maybe your exhibition isn’t about selling at all, but about informing others. It could even be a career fair. Whatever it is, you need to know exactly why you’re doing this and what it is you hope to achieve. Having an objective in mind will help you stay on course.


Choose Your Venue

The type of exhibition you are hosting will have a major impact on the venue you choose, so consider the feel you are looking for the day. You’ll also need a rough idea of how many stands you are looking, and the number of people you are expecting to attend. Location is always key, as you don’t want to be far away from where you expect the majority of your crowd to come from. Luckily, there are loads of exhibition spaces to hire in London, so you can have your pick.  Make sure that there are plenty of parking spaces and easy access for stall holders to set up.


What Set Up Are You Using?


Shell Scheme

A shell scheme is where all of the spaces are enclosed. They have a walled area at the back and names are on boards about each shell. This set-up is good if stallholders don’t need too much room and they offer a little more privacy.


Open Space

Keeping it open is more popular for more creative exhibitions, as it allows the crowds to see everything easier. The stallholders can set up however they want to within the space that’s been allocated.


Promote Early

Fill all of the available spaces at your venue. If you have spaces free, then you are not making the most out of your location. Think carefully about what you are offering and how much you are charging sellers per space. If this is a brand-new exhibition, it’s best to keep prices a little lower to encourage people to sign up.


The same goes for ticket prices. You need to price competitively in order to draw in the crowds. Think about the different types of competitions you can hold for free tickets to the event – this will help you to promote it. Open tickets to public as soon as possible so you can capitalise on the amount of time you have.


Promote yourself online

Without an online presence, your exhibition may fall flat. This is how the majority of people hear about events now, so while getting flyers out is important, don’t neglect social media. Have a firm marketing plan in place and don’t fall behind on it – this will help pave the road to a great exhibition!

Top Tips

Leading up to the opening, there’s a lot for you to think about. Here’s some top tips to follow for when it gets to crunch time.

Choose Your Staff Carefully

It’s best to have some pros on the front lines who can deal with people wanting to buy tickets on the door. They should be able to answer questions about the exhibition and direct people to where they want to go.

Early Bird Tickets

For those that book early, having an early bird price is a good reward, as well as an incentive for others to buy. This will also save queues on the day if people have already purchased tickets.

Goody Bags on Arrival

This is a great idea to make everyone feel welcome. You can advertise some of the stalls, as well as promote your sponsors. Include a map of the exhibition and a few treats and everyone will have a bag to hold their shopping and any leaflets they get!

Have A Crowd Control System

Certain times of the day are going to be busy, so you’ll need to know what to do with the crowds. Have separate doors for entrance and exit and employ a one-way system if it gets too bad.


Don’t Forget About Seats

Everyone needs a sit down once in a while, and after doing a lap of an exhibition it’s a must! Make sure you have adequate seating, so people can have a rest.


Food and Drink

If there’s no food or drink area, people will leave, so it’s important that they are catered to. Exhibition halls can get warm so keep an eye on the AC and provide free water if it’s a particularly warm day.


Running an exhibition is a big ask for anyone, but with the right support behind you and a rock-solid plan, you’re sure to get it right. The satisfaction you’ll feel when you see what a success it’s been is second to none, so make sure you take some time to savour your achievement!


FAQs Exhibition Spaces in London

Where are the best exhibition venues for hire in London?

Exhibition venues range from large spaces like the Excel Centre, to small, intimate galleries in Soho and Fitzrovia. The style of event you’ll be having will dictate what kind of exhibition venue you need to hire in London. Have a think about how many people you’ll be inviting, whether they’ll be mostly standing or sitting for the evening, and then how much space you’ll need to exhibit. Whether you’re organising a product launch, an art show or an expo, you’ll find the right space for your event on Canvas.

How much does an exhibition venue cost to hire in London?

The cost of hiring an exhibition venue in London will depend on how large the venue is, where it is, and what facilities and amenities you will need from the venue and venue manager for your event. If you’re organising a large-scale exhibition, consider asking the venue manager how much it would cost for them to staff the event. Especially when it comes to technical staff, you could save a lot of stress hiring staff who are familiar with the event space and the equipment rather than bringing in your own team. It may be a little more expensive, but it will probably save you a lot of trouble on the day!

What spaces in London can I hire for my exhibition?

Depending on what you have in mind for your exhibition, there’s almost an unlimited number of amazing venues for hire in London. Before you start looking for the perfect space, consider what atmosphere and style you want your event to be. When you imagine your next exhibition, is it a small and intimate evening gathering, or is large-scale event than runs for days or even weeks? This will give you a place to start when it comes to finding the right venue, and it’s always useful to know how many people you’re hoping will come.

What events are perfect to be held at a gallery?

Galleries are really versatile spaces, and often have very experienced and passionate venue managers at the helm. If you know you’d like to organise an event at a gallery but you’re not exactly sure what kind, they are the best person to ask. They’ll be able to let you know about previous events that have worked really well in their space, and will be able to advise on how to make yours even better. Small galleries work well for cosy and private affairs, and large galleries are perfect for corporate events.

How much does it cost to hire a gallery as a party venue?

Each gallery will have it’s own price to hire it as a gallery space or a party venue, so make sure you tell the venue manager what kind of event you’re planning so they can give you the best price. It’s worth checking in with them about whether you can move any art or sculptures for the event and asking about their insurance coverage. If one of the art pieces is inadvertently damaged, it’s best to know upfront what would happen next.

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