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Planning a conference in London but aren’t quite sure where to start? Not to worry – #tagvenue are experts when it comes to conferences in the capital. From academic venues, meeting rooms and MICE venues to 5-star hotels and luxurious private members’ clubs, our smart venue search engine makes it easy to find the perfect conference venue. But before you get into the nitty-gritty details, make sure to check out this year’s best practices when it comes to conference planning.

 

Best conference trends you need to know about:

  • unusual or alternative conference venues (cool conference venues in London are one of this year's hottest trends as they drive interest and make great talking points)

  • seminar venues (our list of the best seminar venues in the capital will make planning your next event a breeze. From dedicated seminar rooms and hotel conference centres, to private clubs and contemporary event spaces, we've got it all covered)
  • entertaining or hybrid events (conferences accompanied by a live blog, online chat or webcast, or combined with a film screening, swap meet, picnic or concert)

  • immersive events (conferences boasting personalised name badges or branded cocktails and swag bags that make for a richer, more memorable event experience)

  • a focus on attendee engagement (think live streaming, video conferencing, audience polling, event hashtags, on-site bloggers, etc.)

  • impressive event tech (dedicated event apps, real-time social media integration, special keynote webcasts, touchscreen technology, online contests, real-time language translations and digital graffiti walls that are a surefire way to blow attendees away)

  • green events (eco-friendly touches, like recycled paper, local and organic materials and green venues, that demonstrate a company’s or organisation’s CSR credentials)

  • team-building activities, such as offsite group volunteer activities (these provide networking opportunities and increase overall attendee satisfaction)

  • a mix of well-known guest speakers that draw crowds and little known but interesting speakers who can offer great insights (having guest speakers mingle with attendees during breakout sessions keeps the discussion going)

 

Whether you’re hosting a corporate, training, sales conference or a university event at an academic venue, it’s important to plan an event that boosts brand loyalty and drives advocacy. That being said, facilitating a group session can be a lot of pressure – leading a conference, large meeting, seminar, trade show or training session is a balancing act, requiring you to keep your audience engaged (and focused) while covering all the necessary information. When organising a conference, the most important thing is to secure great guest speakers and panellists who will deliver fresh, relevant content with confidence and flair. Presenting a session yourself? These top tips and tricks should come in handy.

 

How to present effectively at a conference:

  • at the beginning of your presentation, give attendees some background information about yourself, the topic and what will be covered

  • make a good first impression by preparing materials that are well-packaged and communicate value

  • bring your material to life by working in personal anecdotes or relevant case studies (interesting, real-life examples work best)

  • keep attendees engaged by incorporating a range of elements into your presentation (music, videos, PowerPoint slides, etc.)

  • encourage audience participation and active learning by integrating interactive activities into your session (trivia, Q&A sessions, role play, games, etc.)

  • leave plenty of time at the end for questions (including those from people following the event online who have sent questions to the moderator via Twitter or the online discussion forum)

  • think about what information you want participants to take away with them, and make sure to include your website, email address or Twitter handle on anything you want attendees to connect back to you

  • ensure attendees have a way to provide feedback, whether it’s via a web-based tool, like SurveyMonkey, a follow-up email or a printed feedback form (and remember that feedback works best when it’s written and anonymous)

 

Planning a convention? Whether you’re organising an industry convention, professional convention or fan convention, our list of the most popular convention venues in the capital will make hosting your next event headache-free. Or perhaps you’re putting on a symposium of some kind? Successful symposia are characterised by robust discussions and the generation of new ideas. Hosting a symposium requires a dedicated team and superior attention to detail. From professional convention centres to London’s best symposium venues, #tagvenue is sure to have something that suits your specific requirements.

 

Whether you’re an educator looking for an academic conference venue in central London, a manager searching for a self-catering convention centre in Heathrow, or a conference organiser hoping to find a state-of-the-art auditorium in King’s Cross, we can recommend something that suits. What are you hosting and when? It’s #magic, see how easy it is to book a unique conference venue in London today.

 

Top tips and tricks for planning a conference:

  • the agenda and guest speakers will be the selling factor for potential registrants (remember that the best guest speakers get snapped up quickly, so book them ASAP)

  • strong attendance brings revenue and sponsorship opportunities

  • a conference theme will help unify your ideas and secure appropriate guest speakers and expo partners, as well as allow you to identify the right people to market to

  • use social media to generate buzz, boost attendance and keep your event in people’s minds far beyond the end-date

  • avoid surprises when hiring a venue or working with vendors by getting all agreements in writing

  • coordinate the details by walking through your itinerary as your attendees would

  • be well prepared – communicate with vendors and arrive at the venue early, so you have plenty of time to set up and check last-minute arrangements (and make sure to test computers, internet connections, projectors and other A/V equipment before the day)

  • mix on-stage discussion panels with stand-alone speakers

  • schedule regular breaks, especially for half-day or full-day sessions (breaks every 60–80 minutes are ideal)

  • keep your session on track and on time (let your guest speakers know how much time they’ve been allotted for their presentation, and make sure to account for the time it takes for guest speakers to get up on stage, be introduced, get their presentation up on screen, etc.)

 

A venue can make or break an event, so it’s important to read up on how to choose a conference venue before you start your search for a space. When hiring a conference venue, be sure to keep in mind:

  • your budget (are you looking for a budget conference venue in London, a mid-range hotel with conference facilities, or a premium conference space close to the city centre?)

  • how the venue prices its space (by the hour/day/session)

  • the convenience of the location (transport links, parking facilities, disabled access)

  • the type of venue that will best suit your event (do you need a conference venue with accommodation, an auditorium, golf course, meeting rooms, etc.?)

  • the style of venue that will best suit your event (do you need a modern conference venue in London, a large conference venue to accommodate a big crowd, an office meeting room for a business function or a quirky conference venue that will generate valuable word-of-mouth marketing in the lead up to your event?)

  • your event date (aim to book your conference venue ASAP – this means a year or more in advance for large or more complex events)

  • the facilities you require (computers, internet access, teleconferencing capabilities, mics, projectors, flipcharts, outside space, kitchen facilities, etc.)

  • whether you need someone available on the day for technical support

  • the time of your event (day, evening, weekend)

  • the number of attendees you anticipate (choosing a venue that will just accommodate the number of people you expect will help give your conference a lively atmosphere)

  • the lighting (decide whether you want to spotlight guest speakers or facilitate two-way communication by ensuring both the stage and audience are well lit)

  • how long you’ll have access to the venue before your conference is scheduled to start

  • how quickly you need to be packed up and out of the venue at the end of the conference

  • your catering needs and whether the venue is able to cater to special dietary requirements

  • any cancellation policies

 

While this seems like a lot to consider, the more answers you can get from the venue manager, the better prepared you’ll be. Covering all your bases by having a solid plan for the day will help ensure your conference is a successful and enjoyable one that attendees remember long after the last PowerPoint slide.

 

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Organising a conference is no mean feat – getting it right requires a great deal of forethought and data gathering. Whether you’re planning an annual conference, symposium or trade seminar, our list of the best conference venues in the capital will make planning your next event a breeze. From dedicated seminar rooms, business conference venues and hotel conference centres to private clubs and modern event spaces, #tagvenue is sure to have a London conference venue that suits your particular needs. When planning a conference, remember to keep in mind the size of your guest list, time of your event, your A/V needs (mics, projectors) and catering requirements. What are you hosting and when? It's easy, see how fast it is to book a professional London conference venue today.