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If you are looking to book a conference venue in Central London for the very first time it can be a very daunting task. In Central London alone there are hundreds of potential conference venues of all shapes and sizes. The type of venue you choose not only says a lot about your company's credibility, but can also be the difference between a successful event and a damp squib. To assist, here is what you need to consider when booking a central London conference venue:
Where should I have my conference?
Look for somewhere convenient, you should consider where your delegates might be travelling from. To prevent delegates from arriving late, getting lost, or not showing up at all, the venue should be at an easy to find location in Central London – consider the tube stations, how easy is it for a delegate to get from a mainline station to the venue? Are they travelling by car? These are all massively important factors. The choice of venue can also reflect how your company is perceived; do you want your delegates looking for a poorly maintained venue that hasn’t been decorated for a number of years? Visit the venue before booking and make sure you get a full viewing.
How big should the venue be?
Conference venues in Central London come in all shapes and sizes so it is important to choose the right size of venue, if it is too small then a lot of bodies in close proximity in cramped conditions could cause sweating and discomfort. If you choose a venue that is far too big then it could look like half of your audience hasn’t arrived! Ensure that you have confirmed the number of delegates expected to attend if there is any audio visual equipment to be used. Liaise with the conference venue, they have experience of matching numbers to rooms and will guide you.
What kind of equipment and facilities will I need?
These days many conference venues have been purpose built and will include everything that you need. You may want to put together a checklist. For instance, do you need event documentation, Wi-Fi, LCD projectors, flip charts, audio visual equipment or microphones. Always check that these are available and ask the venue whether or not there are extra charges involved above your original quote. Also are there disabled facilities – this is very important to check, especially if your delegate group is unknown to you and is arriving from different parts of the UK.
Can I get a snack and refreshments?
As mentioned your delegates could be travelling from far flung corners of the UK and could also be spending considerable amounts of time listening to speakers and viewing presentations so it is vital to ensure there is quality catering on site. Ensure that water, tea and coffee are readily available, have sandwiches ready for any scheduled break and ensure all necessities are looked after. There are many of the major Hotel brands based in Central London and these are particularly good at providing for conferences.
How much should I pay?
When choosing a conference venue in Central London, you should have a clear budget in mind and make sure you do not waver from it. Venues vary with the types of packages on offer, some will include equipment/refreshments, etc, others will just quote for day delegate rates so it is important to understand what qualifies as extra to your initial quote. Venues.org.uk is a useful tool to use when sourcing a Central London conference venue, as you can specify your budget when making your initial enquiry to the selected venue.
What if my delegates need overnight stays?
If the conference is due to run for more than one day, or to a very late hour, you would do well to look for comfortable, nearby accommodation for your delegates. You may, or may not wish to cover the cost of this, but if you look to stage your conference in a hotel, it may be worth asking for a special room rate, this will make life easier for your attending delegates.
When the conference has finished for the day, how do I entertain my delegates?
After a long day’s conferencing, your delegates will in some cases need to relax their minds and perhaps enjoy fellow delegates company. You could consider, if using a hotel for your conference, organising a banquet. If they wish to go out instead it’s worth making sure they aren’t tempted by poor quality nightclubs or cheap scruffy bars – bear this in mind when booking a conference venue in Central London; you should try to book somewhere with decent eateries and bars nearby.