Event planners nowadays are becoming more and more adventurous with their venue hunting, even for more serious types of events like conferences. Hiring a more unique venue can help to create a lasting impression, which is necessary for continuous attendance growth and conference longevity. In London, creative event spaces come in all shapes and sizes, from large sports venues and casinos to exclusive private members’ clubs and cutting-edge galleries. Fun activity-based events, like murder mystery dinners and scavenger hunts, are also a hit, helping to create memorable experiences for attendees.
From corner to corner, there’s such an impressive variety of alternative spaces and here are just a few of the places you can find:
- Livery Halls - Across the city of London, there are over 100 magnificent livery halls that represent many different guilds and workers associations. Some of the halls are available for conference hire. Combining centuries of tradition with a modern-age approach to event hosting, these halls will offer an intriguing backdrop to your next conference that is sure to capture everyone’s attention and create a positive atmosphere.
- Libraries - If your party is small enough, hiring a library is a fantastic type of unique corporate venue that will add a touch of class to your conference event. Often incredibly well-maintained and adapted to include their own small dining rooms or lounges, a library space will provide a private, luxurious, and regal atmosphere to your event that would often go unrecognised in a standard meeting room.
- Historic buildings - London is inundated with a seemingly endless range of grand halls, many of which have spectacular great halls and open spaces that are ready-made for conference hosting. If you’re looking at hosting a large crowd and want to do so in impressive surroundings, look no further.
- Sporting Stadiums - London as a capital takes sport very seriously, with some of the world’s largest sporting arenas being found in-situ. Not only are these spectacular sporting venues, they’re also great for large conferences of all types. Many stadium suites will offer awesome panoramic views of the pitch and facilities.
- Art Galleries - A haven for art lovers of all genres, there’s no shortage of awesome art galleries, studios, and pop-up spaces all around the city. Many of these spaces work particularly well for conferences and meetings, especially if you’re targeting an arty crowd. For small and more relaxed gatherings try out a cool urban gallery or pop-up space, while for large and more corporate crowds, the variety of fine dining rooms, large gallery halls, and studios will go down a treat.
- Warehouses - Warehouses provide a cool blank canvas place for anyone looking to host a creative conference or outside-the-box corporate gathering. East London, in particular, is filled with great warehouse event venues that are spacious, adaptable, and full of urban and industrial character that will add an especially unique atmosphere to your event.
- Pubs - In a nation renowned for its pub culture, you’ll certainly have no trouble scoping out different pubs in London. While you may not expect these to be appropriate conference venues, many pubs in the city now have their own private function spaces that can be easily organised to suit different meetings. Whatever the topic, pubs offer familiar surroundings and will help make your attendees feel more at ease, creating a relaxed and positive ambience around the event.
- Museums - A city with some of the world’s most often visited museums, all with stunning artefacts and attractions, there’s an equally impressive range of event rooms on offer in these versatile places. From private suites and studios to huge halls and galleries, there’s an enviable amount of choice available, for a variety of different target audiences.
- Boats - Along the river Thames you’ll find a variety of different boats available for hire, some of which are ideally suited to a quirky and unique conference. Providing comfortable seating and all the necessary AV equipment, there’ll be no logistic worries at all and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the interesting surroundings of your conference venue on the water.
- Outdoor Venues - Notwithstanding the great British weather, it’s becoming more and more common to search for outdoor venues. These are popular due to their ability to completely shake-up the normal conference routine and add a touch of fun, adventure, and freshness to what can otherwise be a dreary event. Venue-wise, you can find terraces by the Thames riverside, studios and function rooms in leafy parks, or private courtyards and open spaces in affluent districts.
Best locations to look for unique conference venues in London include:
- City of London - The traditional financial and business district of London may have more of a professional feel to it but scratch under the surface and you’ll discover some of the best unusual corporate venues London has to offer. Choose between modern theatre rooms, classy livery halls, intimate libraries, or huge halls and auditoriums and hold a conference to remember in the very heart of the capital.
- Covent Garden - Take to the streets of Covent Garden laden with beautiful old buildings, thriving markets, and expressive street entertainers and you’ll also find some fantastic places for a quirky conference, including private dining rooms, roomy pubs, and museum galleries.
- Shoreditch - One of London’s trendiest locations, while it may not be the first area that comes to mind for corporate events, you can be sure to find a range of cool conference spaces that are ready to hold your event in style. This mainly consists of old warehouses, art galleries, and studios.
- Chelsea - The affluent and picturesque district of Chelsea offers a stunning range of inspirational conference venues, including museum spaces, boats for hire, football stadiums, and outdoor spaces that combine luxury and uniqueness perfectly.
- Soho - Found in the heart of London’s west-end, Soho is an area of constant activity, art, and performance, which makes it an ideal spot for more outside-of-the-box conference areas. Choose from a range of large theatre rooms, stylish bars and lounges, or multi-functional pubs and bars.
Unusual Conference Venues in London FAQ
What are the advantages of hiring a quirky conference venue?
Choosing an unusual space to host your conference in London will help you stand out and create a lasting impression on your guests. You can pick a venue that will fit the theme of your event, which can help you save your time and effort on setting the right atmosphere. Additionally, you can let your creative side loose if you’re tired of the classic conference formula!
What is included in a conference package?
Even though conference packages differ from venue to venue, overall they all offer similar advantages. Most commonly you will find that any equipment, technical and other, is taken care of by the venue. Refreshments, coffee breaks and meals are also usually included in the conference packages, which charge a price per delegate.
What are unusual conference venues?
Unusual conference spaces are perfect if you are looking to spice up your event this year. A quirky conference venue can be anything from a museum or a gallery to a historical mansion. However, it can also be a space that is decorated in an unusual way or an open-air conference room with a stunning view of the city.
- St Ethelburga Centre – Host a conference in this atmospheric 14th century building, and be sure to incorporate the venue’s Beduoin Tent in the schedule.
- West End on the Thames – Book a conference with a view of the Thames on this privately chartered vessel.
- Techspace Shoreditch – Book one of London’s premier technologically advanced conference venues in the heart of Shoreditch.