If you have been tasked with the Planning your company conference it can seem like a big operation with lots of moving parts and seemingly endless decisions to make, including your choice of venue in the right Location and sourcing the best and most cost effective AV and production for the event. Finding a venue that ticks all the boxes might seem impossible, however the Event Book are here to take the pressure off you, as we are the experts with over 15 years experience. The Event Book work with the very best conference and meeting venues London & the UK has to offer. We know that organising a conference is no mean feat and getting it right requires a great deal of thought, data gathering, and organisation.
Whether you’re looking for a large conference event space, corporate seminar venues, or a small quirky meeting room to hire, our extensive collection of conference facilities in London will make planning your next event a effortless.
Whether you need modern conference venues in central London for an all-company conference for one thousand people or you want to impress your Guests with a more unusual conference venue in the city, Take a look at a selection of our conference venues below and get in touch with us today so that we can send you the perfect venue to meet your event brief. We have popped together our top tips for finding the perfect conference venue. Read More
Your guide to finding the perfect venue for hire in London and the UK for your conference or meeting.
It’s all in the brief
It sounds simple but making sure you really think about what you’re trying to achieve is key for your conference and the message you want to convey to your audience. Really think about your brief and what you need, in terms of breakout spaces. Consider your guest numbers, location, set up, times, style, format and catering. This will then identify your requirements which will help refine your venue search.
Picking a date
Peak time for conferences is to be between the end of the end of January – May and then again picks up from August and mid-November. It avoids the summer – when everyone is on holiday – and the festive period. You could consider planning your conference between January and March when Conference planning often starts about 10-12 months before the event, so bear in mind how much lead time you’ll need. In terms of day of the week Mondays and Fridays tend to be slightly cheaper days of the week to host a conference or meeting, so if you can be flexible and are working towards a tight budget these days of the week may be good for you to opt for.
Location is one of the main factors when it comes to choosing a venue. Rather than thinking about an exact location think about your transport links. Perhaps you’d rather Mayfair but actually walking distance from Green Park or Piccadilly would work equally as well. Start with where your guests will come into and then consider venues within a certain distance. Equally if it’s a staff event look at which tube lines will people use from the office as perhaps rather than being walking distance from the office it could be just a few tube stops away which opens up options. Also remember that for a black tie event people are less likely to catch public transport so being close to a tube isn’t as important.
Format of the event
Think about the journey of your guests. What are the important steps and how do you want the event to flow. If a good first impression is paramount then choose a venue with a good postcode or pull, an impressive entrance and space for guests to mingle as they arrive. Perhaps a great conference space and then a contrasting party space for after-hours is what you’re wanting – in that case a flexible venue with different style rooms would work. The format is important and thinking about every step of the day helps. Top tips include: – Avoid too much movement, no one likes being herded around.- Think about your check-in or guest registration and where this will happen – Where are your catering spaces if you’re running a conference – it’s nice to mix it up and have a change of scenery- If guests move throughout the event ensure they can still access the facilities easily such as the bathrooms and the cloakroom
Think about what will work best for what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking for people to network, then a standing reception clearly works well. However, if you still require networking but would like something more formal then perhaps a seated dinner long tables would be worth considering. Try to think outside what’s always been done. Just because you’ve always opted for a cabaret layout for your conference doesn’t mean that you can’t do theatre style. The switch may mean you can use some of the incredible screening rooms in the city benefitting from state of the art sound, better viewing with tiered seating and impressive digital displays.
Providing Tea and coffee and water is an essential part of any conference. 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.
Its all about the food… one of the most talked about things on the agenda for any conference or exhibition will be the food and refreshments, but you really can make a huge difference with catering. informal meals can be good networking breaks, like street food or bento boxes, while a quick finger buffet can keep people going through a creative workshop session and keep those creative juices flowing. Most importantly make sure it’s tasty (why not ask the venue to let you try some before booking?) and nutritious, you want your delegates on top form during the afternoon. Always remember to ask your delegates for there dietary requirements prior to the event, and its always worth checking that the venue you select can cater to your specific requirements.
The Conference room & Natural Daylight
Never under estimate the importance of natural day light for your conference. This may not be necessary for the actual main plenary room as its likely guests will be looking at a large screen and the lights will be required to be low, however during in breakout sessions and breaks its nice to have some form of natural daylight. If your event is planned during the summer months, try having a view or even some outside space that delegate can go and stretch there legs.
Audio Visual Equipment
When booking your conference or meeting, make sure it has all the technical AV services you require and that any AV requirements are compatible with your laptops or any other devices you may be bringing along to the event and that they have good onsite technical support, if required. A lot of venues offer AV technicians either included in their conference venue hire, or for an additional cost. Also if you have your own AV team that you prefer to use, a lot of venues are flexible to allow you to use your own preferred supplier, so do not be afraid to ask the question. The benefit of using the onsite AV team means they know the equipment and spaces extremely well so will be invaluable to the smooth running of your event.
What the average Day Delegate Rate ( DDR) for conference venue in London?
The Day Delegate rate can really vary dependent on the location of your conference and the style of venue you select. For example, a 5star hotel in London on a Thursday in May you would be looking at a DDR from £80 – £120 per person. The same can not be said for the same venue in August when rates could be as low as £70.00 per person. 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. The Event Book pride ourselves on the wide range of affordable conference spaces to suit every budget. You’re guaranteed to find something within your budget, and that meets all your other requirements too.
Have a clear idea before you approach venues as to what you want to spend. Regardless of the cost of a venue you will have a figure in your head and this will in turn dictate the venue you choose. If you’re aiming for a cost-effective option, then a venue that offers packages would work well. On the other hand, if you want more flexibility then dry hire venues could work well as you can then bring in all the suppliers and transform the space. When it comes to working out how your budget will be divided, the food and drinks will most likely be the largest part of the bill. After this it depends on the nature of your event. A conference may require a bigger AV bill to get the sound, lighting and presentation perfect. A gala dinner may require more budget for styling and décor. If you need help breaking this down, one of our Event Book experts can speak to you in more detail and help with this. Expert advice When it comes to venue finding it’s worth consulting the experts. Venue finding companies such as The Event Book work hard to ensure that we know all the best spaces available for hire, that work with all budgets big and small. Equally, we also keep in touch with new openings and refurbishments. Using a venue finder is free for you to use.
Access to your venue
Maximising your accessibility is vital to any event. Lots of venues 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.
Planning ahead – before the day of the conference
Conference and event bookers will be snapping up some of the best conference venues early on, sometimes at least a year in advance, and the best way to avoid disappointment is to always be one step ahead. Lead times vary depending on the size of your conference, however if it’s a large conference then its best to get in early and secure your unique conference venue.
In the days before the conference – Do your guests know how to get to the conference venue? Do they know the dress code for the event? Is there any preparation they need to do beforehand? Last-minute arranging may be OK for some, but most people need to know these things weeks before an event.
Thanking your guests for attending
Always thank people for coming to your conference, send out an email the next day with any highlights from the day and try to include images from the day. If your looking for feedback for your next event, try sending out a survey Monkey feedback survey so you can gather information for your next event. This way you can review what happened, and share the progress that’s been made. Delegates like to feel special, so why not provide them with some exclusive content from one of your speakers or perhaps recommend some supporting reading that will help them towards their own goals.
It’s a full-time job keeping on top of all the venues in London & the UK and as a bespoke events agency and venue finder we have spent years visiting thousands of event spaces and hotels, to build that knowledge. Using an expert isn’t cheating, it doesn’t cost more, and it takes the stress away from you, so you can concentrate on the important and fun things, like planning the menu and attending the tastings!
Contact the conference and exhibition expert in our team today with your enquiry.