Choosing perfect conference facilities in London makes the difference between a good event and a great conference that delegates remember for years.
Location is important
London conference facilities range from those on the outer peripheries of Greater London to those in the heart of the Square Mile. For many conference organisers, the best locations are those that combine excellent communications by road and rail from being just outside the central area, with being close enough to London’s heart for vital after-hours relaxation.
Locations such as Hammersmith or White City are perfect – outside the London congestion zone, on the right side of the city for Heathrow Airport and close to the M25, M40 and M4 motorways.
Selecting your venue involves much more than just finding ‘conference rooms’ in a convenient location though. Whether you’re planning an event in the capital (or looking for conference facilities in the UK), here are some important things to consider.
Rooms and suites – the heart of conference facilities
Imagine what a headache it would be if delegates and speakers at your London conference turned-up at a room that was too small. Avoid this classic ‘beginners’ error by carefully selecting facilities for your purposes. A London conference facility can range from small rooms to a venue with many different-sized rooms and suites. The most versatile conference and meeting facilities offer 10 or more rooms – ranging in capacity from a few delegates to hundreds and offering a choice of the following:
- Large halls for plenary sessions
- Overspill rooms
- Small rooms for more intimate breakout sessions
- Specialist facilities (e.g. E-learning suites) – not all conference facilities have these
- Comfortable break-out and catering areas
For major conferences, look for venues that can mix and match rooms to give exactly what you need – complete with audio-visual equipment, natural light and air-conditioning.
Will delegates and speakers travel by car or public transport? Top venues make it easy to do the latter, but many delegates still come by car. London isn’t always the friendliest place for drivers, but conferencing facilities outside the central congestion zone take some stress out of the journey. If a venue has on-site car parking facilities that’s a bonus; you only need to look just outside central London, to areas such as Hammersmith, to find venues with plenty of parking.
Conference room facilities for disabled visitors
Look for facilities with convenient ground floor rooms, disabled toilet facilities and wide doors that make life easier for disabled conference participants. There should be dedicated parking for disabled badge holders too, as well as induction loop equipment in the conference rooms. Tell the venue’s conference services manager about your special requirements – their response will speak volumes about how they cater for disabled and able-bodied visitors alike.
When delegates are visiting a conference facility in London for several days they need other facilities so they can manage their lives and get the most out of the conference:
- On-site shopping and catering
- Banking facilities
- Accommodation or help with local hotel bookings
- Access to central London and nearby shopping malls such as West London’s Westfield Shopping Centre
The best venues offer all of these facilities as well as a wonderful selection of rooms, good parking, excellent transport connections and a helpful professional team.
How to shortlist the perfect London conference facilities
Firstly, create a shortlist of required facilities; the foregoing will give you a good starting point. Next, try an internet search, shortlist a few promising looking venues and arrange to visit them. You’ll get a good idea about their facilities from their website – but nothing beats seeing their conference facilities for yourself and meeting the team who will run your event or conference.