How to Choose the Perfect Conference Venue in Central London
By Aneeza Qureshi /London Venue Expert
Mon 2nd Jan 2023 Corporate Venues
Organising a big meeting or conference in Central London? Before you can jump into the specifics of the agenda, figuring out the best venue for your constituents is crucial to the success of your event. You’ll consider accessibility, capacity, convenience, accommodation in some cases, food and beverage concepts, among other things. It’s no small juggling act, but if you find the right venue, the other elements will click into place easily.
Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this complex task alone. Our team of local venue experts at Venue Crew is here to help. We provide an extensive selection of venues that are located all over Central London — meaning whatever your plans may be, we can find the perfect place to accommodate them. Simply contact us for personalised recommendations.
In this guide, we’ll give you a round-up of what to consider when selecting your conference venue in Central London. We’ll also give you a glimpse of our selection of venues, so you can get an idea of the types of venues we recommend to conference planners throughout London and around the world.
Pro Tip: Establish the Best Location Based on Your Guest List
In most cases, conferences don’t just last for a few hours — they occur over multiple days. That has implications for where you choose to host your upcoming conference.
First, consider where your guests are travelling from. If they’re coming from out of town, you might want to select a venue that’s close to major train stops or airports — so as not to add too much travel time onto their journey. You’ll also want to think about nearby breakout venues, attractions, and eateries. After all, you’ll want to ensure your guests have a positive experience outside of the event as well.
Our Farringdon Pick: Butchers’ Hall
Butchers’ Hall is located in London’s vibrant Barts Square Development, conveniently situated near Barbican Station.
It houses an array of 5 flexible event spaces — from an intimate boardroom to a grand banqueting hall, all equipped with the latest state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and sealed with impressive catering menus from Bovingdons.
Our Waterloo Pick: St John’s Waterloo
Being located opposite Waterloo Station and London Bridge, St John’s Waterloo is easily accessible by public transport and is perfect for hosting larger-scale events, such as gala dinners, awards nights, product launches, and conferences.
Known for impeccable hospitality, this venue will leave your guests with an unforgettable experience.
Our Westminster Pick: 10-11 Carlton House Terrace
Just a few minutes’ walk away from Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, and Embankment tube stations, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace makes for a convenient and accessible conference venue.
With 10 different event spaces that are suitable for events of all shapes and sizes — from small meetings to larger conferences — it’s no surprise why this venue has long been a favourite among event organisers in London.
Pro Tip: Select A Conference Venue with Multiple Event Spaces
Another factor to consider is whether or not the conference venue has multiple event spaces. Having multiple locations on hand can help to make your conference run smoothly. This is especially important for larger conferences.
If you can separate out different elements of the event, such as seminars and workshops — this will help ensure that all of your guests have a great experience. You might have break-out sessions that need a different atmosphere, an area for networking and discussions, and maybe a separate space for formal meetings.
Here are 3 of our top conference venues in Central London that have multiple event spaces, each offering something a little different:
With 12 different event spaces, all equipped with the latest in conferencing technology, you and your guests will be spoiled for choice at Sofitel London St James. From the Westminster and Mayfair Suites — suitable for larger gatherings — to the five smaller meeting rooms for hire and the option to gather in the beautiful restaurants on site, this hotel has everything you need to make your next event a success.
High atop the Shard, Shangri-La The Shard offers an impressive selection of conference spaces. Located on level 34, this venue boasts three private river-facing meeting rooms with modern interiors and uninterrupted views of London’s iconic landmarks. Or, if that’s not quite enough for you, you can hire out the entire floor exclusively for your event.
With Mandarin Oriental, there’s a venue for every type of event. From their grand ballroom for 250 guests to their more intimate Carlyle Suite for up to 120 theatre-style guests — you just name it, and this venue can deliver. And being within walking distance of London’s financial district, it’s perfect for those looking to host a business event in the heart of the city.
Pro Tip: Take Food and Drink Requirements Seriously
While the purpose of your event may not be to impress your guests with an award-winning meal, you’d be wise to consider the role delicious food and drinks can play in taking your guests’ experiences from adequate to unforgettable at a conference. Great food gives people something to talk about, and a great cocktail? Even better!
Some of the best conference venues in Central London come with top-notch on-site catering options. No need to just trust our judgment on the best food around. These venues are all home to Michelin-starred chefs.
Set on the edge of Hyde Park, The Lanesborough London is a five-star hotel with conference spaces that are anything but ordinary. A perfect pick for the smaller conference that requires spaces of varying size to accommodate different speakers and a wide-ranging agenda, The Lanesborough is perhaps most praised for its impeccable service standards.
With five-star catering, you’ll be able to enjoy exquisite dishes crafted by their in-house culinary team — all made with the finest ingredients sourced from top producers and suppliers in London. Plus, they have a ‘liquid museum’ of rare cognacs, an impressive wine cellar, and a selection of other drinks to add the perfect personal touch to round out your event and end on a high note.
The quintessential British five-star hotel, The Connaught, is made up of more intimate event spaces that are easy to tie together for multiple events over the course of a conference. The Mayfair Village location and plush accommodations make this an easy pick for conferences with out-of-town VIP guests.
The Connaught London is renowned for its sophisticated, contemporary, and exquisite dishes. Led by world-renowned chefs Hélène Darroze and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, their menus will leave a lasting impression on your guests — from breakfast to dinner, canapes to bar snacks. So why not treat your guests to something truly special and have a meal at The Connaught?
Conferences at South Place Hotel are probably best suited to an exclusive hire of the entire first floor, which will allow your guests to seamlessly flow between five event spaces as your agenda requires.
South Place Hotel is helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Gary Foulkes and a talented brigade of chefs. This dynamic team prides itself on creating delectable dishes that celebrate seasonal ingredients and local produce.