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.
Amber Lakes is a new and unique London events venue based in Wraysbury, close to Old Windsor and Heathrow and only 45 minutes from Central London. It is a year-round events venue perfect for conferences for up to 120 guests, summer parties and team building for up to 500 guests, Christmas parties for up to 120 guests and any other number of events including dinner parties and product launches.
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.
AMP Studios are situated on the Old Kent Road in 2 railway arches with a spacious courtyard and pavilion. They are an ideal location for many types of events, from private parties, wedding receptions, product launches, exhibitions, rehearsals, community groups, exercise classes and theatre. The covered courtyard area is perfect for alfresco dining and drinks receptions and is great even in wet weather! There is a large loading bay on site so vehicles can drive directly in to unload, and vehicles can even drive inside the arch if required. The courtyard space is ideal for accommodating street food vans or outside games, and there is also a back courtyard for caterers to set up if you prefer. We have lots of tables and chairs on site which are available to use for your events, and similarly these can be stored in the back courtyard if you need the space clear. A perfect versatile venue for a range of events!
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
The Mess Hall is a brand new 300 cap event space in the heart of Mayfair, located inside the UKs first Immersive Theatre, IMMERSIVE | LDN Located in an ex-military building, we have a broad range of unique spaces including Gatsby's Mansion, The Mess Hall, a shooting range, gun & ammo store and The Lucky Club, our very own cocktail bar. Conveniently located just 60 seconds walk from Bond Street tube station, the venue is in a prime location for everything from product launches and corporate events to performance based shows.
Shoreditch / Hoxton
MOTEL blends Mid Century design, Victorian Architecture and 21st Century technology to deliver the perfect East London venue for your event. A hidden gem in the heart of the evolving landscape of Shoreditch, our generous and open spaces have hosted a diverse range of clients and brands including ADIDAS, LVMH, NORTH FACE, KAPPA, BATHSTORE, NIKE, BURBERRY and many more. With over 4300 sq ft of ground floor space, let MOTEL bring your project home in style. KEY POINTS: 100MB WI-FI, LIVE STREAM POSSIBLE, DRIVE IN ACCESS, LIMITED PARKING AVAILABLE, BLANK CANVAS
Our venues are located in the Grade II listed Millbank Tower offering something for every event. The Millbank Media Centre on the Ground Floor is a versatile space with its own digital cinema and outdoor terrace, whilst SKYLOFT is a popular warehouse style venue with exposed reclaimed brickwork and wooden floors. In contrast Altitude 360 offers a modern, bright and highly original space with our famous 360° views of the capital.
Absolute Pleasure Yacht is available for private and corporate hire. Both catered and self-catered packages available.
SouthBank, Waterloo, London
Situated on London’s dynamic South Bank, the Coin Street Conference Centre is operated by social enterprise and development trust Coin Street Community Builders. Venue: With a range of contemporary, purpose-built meeting and event spaces, Coin Street is the perfect venue for your next seminar, training event, board meeting, conference or reception. The versatility of the rooms allows for a range of configurations and an experienced events team will ensure your event runs smoothly. With enviable views over the capital’s iconic skyline, an exclusive hire of the Third Floor Suite includes a large well-equipped conference room for up to 170 delegates theatre style, alongside two ideally placed smaller rooms suitable for use as syndicate spaces, or as refreshment areas. Purpose-built contemporary meeting spaces, the South Bank Rooms have been designed to offer flexible solutions for small workshops through to large conferences. Situated at lower-ground level, clients can take advantage of their own spacious foyer complete with original artwork, perfect for your cloakroom and refreshment areas. The Neighbourhood Room is situated at ground level - a spacious and versatile room capable of hosting a range of events. With natural daylight and residential garden views, the Neighbourhood Room can host events up to 250 people reception style. In addition to the meeting rooms, Coin Street are proud to offer a spacious roof terrace with brilliant views across the capital. During the summer months the terrace works well as an outdoor breakout space, lunchtime barbecue, or post-meeting drinks reception. Social Enterprise: All profits from the conference centre are invested back into the local community as part of their social enterprise principles. By choosing Coin Street Conference Centre for your event you are investing in the future of the South Bank and Bankside neighbourhood. Sustainability: The sustainable features of the conference centre form an integral part of their daily operations. Some of the features are: solar chimneys ventilate the building naturally, energy efficient lighting that turns off automatically when an area is not being used, sustainable caterers, and recycling facilities. It is a fully accessible venue, with all lifts wide enough for motorised wheelchair users and hearing loops available in the meeting and conference rooms.
41 Portland place is located in the heart of Marylebone, close to Regent’s Park & Oxford Circus. Our unique central London venue is an elegant Grade II* listed townhouse, rich in Georgian architecture with many historic features symbolic of the period. We provide event spaces that seamlessly combine traditional features with contemporary facilities and state of the art AV to ensure a successful event in beautiful surroundings. Perfect for conferences, press & product launches, dinners & receptions, parties, weddings and filming.
The Royal Foundation of St Katharine is a unique venue located in East London, in walking distance from Canary Wharf and with great transport links to the City of London financial centre. We have a range of facilities, which includes 9 beautiful meeting rooms for groups from 2 – 70 in number and the Yurt Cafe in our Precinct. Our meeting rooms vary in style from the listed Georgian house, to the modern and contemporary rooms refurbished in 2019. Many of our meeting rooms have natural light, and look onto our beautiful garden. High speed unlimited WiFi is available free of charge throughout and we provide complimentary AV equipment to suit each groups conference or meeting requirements. We can organise and host celebration dinners and special events such as wedding receptions, birthdays and garden parties. With such unusual and beautiful buildings and grounds we are an ideal filming location for productions of any size. Home cooked and freshly prepared every day, all of our food is made on site. We provide appetising and wholesome food for all our meeting and conference guests, with every effort to provide fair trade produce where possible. THE YURT CAFE 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.
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.
Once one of the grandest civic buildings in London, is a magnificent Grade II listed building in the heart of one of the most vibrant areas of the capital. Now a flagship arts, community and live events venue, the space boasts a number of stunning and unique spaces perfect for a range of events. The Assembly Hall is an ideal location for corporate dinners, product launches, talks and other events. The high ceilings, Italian marble panelled walls, Matcham style balcony and glorious architectural features give the Assembly Hall a distinctive feeling of grandeur and elegance. Once the original Vestry Hall, the Council Chamber is the most architecturally significant space, featuring an original highly ornate moulded ceiling, floor to ceiling columns and stained glass windows. Located on the ground floor, the Council Chamber is a flexible space ideal for parties and receptions, conferences, launches and talks and can be hired as a singular room, breakout, or complemented by the Mayor's Parlour, the adjacent space. The Committee Rooms, with their distinctive period features, Edwardian fireplaces and an elegant buttressed ceiling and located on their own corridor are ideal for private parties, networking drinks, receptions, meetings and breakout spaces. A unique venue in London perfect for product launches, conferences, fashion shows and dinners. As an arts venue with a programme of non-traditional theatre, it has established itself as a key part of the east London cultural landscape. With eight stunning spaces, hireable in a number of configurations, clients can create events that are completely unique, guaranteeing a creative and innovative brand experience for guests, just five minutes’ walk from the City of London.Learn more about all of our spaces for hire, for a bespoke quote or to arrange a site visit, please get in touch with a member of our dedicated events team.
A unique private lounge and terrace located in the heart of London's Design District Clerkenwell. This truly bespoke top floor event space with a lovely view of the city comes fully furnished, with a full AV set up, attached meeting room with screen (additional meeting rooms available if required), feature piece bar and beautiful terrace included in the hire. It is the perfect space for conferences, away days, networking events and workshops. This venue can also provide bespoke packaged live streaming services, allowing for your event to reach thousands across the globe.
A versatile and modern venue for any special event from 5 to 500 guests. Our onsite catering and events specialists, Sliced Events, can cater for your personal requirements from stylish weddings, intimate dinners, private parties, corporate functions, conferences, examinations and more. We have four newly refurbished event spaces available for hire.
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.
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.