8 quirky London venues
Eppie Shepherd, senior marketing executive at Banks Sadler, explores London's more avant-garde venues.
It’s not enough to put on a 'good' conference event anymore.
If you want to create an occasion that inspires your attendees, engages them in your event and sells them on what you have to offer, you need to think beyond the traditional. Modern London audiences want to be wowed; they want to be impressed. To create a memorable event, you need outside-the-box thinking.
You can do this in many ways, from having exciting speakers to unique experiences at your event. However, one of the simplest yet most effective ways of building a noteworthy conference is to hold your event at a venue that catches the eye and fuels the imagination. Creative and unusual spaces are a hugely influential part of current business events. Classic, dry-but-functional venues just don’t cut it anymore.
You need to be thinking about finding venues with an edge; with an X factor.
To help support your goals of building a truly impactful and memorable event experience, we’ve put together a list of eight exciting London conference venues that provide something above and beyond the traditional.
1. Village Underground
Village Underground is the very modern brainchild of a company looking to bring fresh ideas to old London spaces. Initially designed to provide affordable creative studios to small, upstart companies, Village Underground now offers a range of opportunities for all kinds of businesses, with room for up to 700 stand guests, or 250 seated. Featuring a large underground event area with classic industrial era brickwork, your company can use their integrated technology to bring this unique space alive with lighting, videos and other visuals.
2. The London Film Museum
The film industry is utterly fascinating and the opportunity to walk amongst the props used in some of your favourite movie scenes is guaranteed to grab the attention of attendees. The London Film Museum, a staple of Covent Garden has for years been home to items from media properties such as James Bond, Star Wars and Doctor Who. It also allows businesses to hire out the floor space for exclusive use. The London Film Museum is an excellent place for media industry gatherings, or just a venue to get the conversation flowing, with space for 400 attendees. This venue really does have something you won’t find anywhere else.
3. The Ivory Vaults
If you want an event space that screams culture and sophistication, then the historic Ivory Vaults are exactly what you are looking for. Set beneath the bustling London cityscape and situated between Tower Bridge and The Tower of London, this one-of-a-kind venue offers you the chance to host your event in 200-year-old cellars that look and feel like a true piece of history. Stone columns and arched ceilings give the impression of a bygone bank vault or crypt. The Ivory Vaults is an intimate venue that can help to create an immersive atmosphere for anywhere between 100 and 400 guests.
If your event is looking to inspire and engage modern and trendy audiences — think Millennials, tech startups and innovative brands — then Printworks in London has to be on your list of venues to consider. A popular music venue constantly featuring exciting new artists, this sellout location is also available for your business conference needs. An old printing factory, industrial metal aesthetics give the space an old-but-new vibe. The versatility of the large event areas essentially means Printworks becomes a blank canvas for you to do whatever you like with. With space for up to 6000 attendees, it also ensures room for all.
5. Factory 45
Given that so many of the more quirky and unusual London conference venues are in historical or industrial settings, you’d be forgiven for thinking Factory 45 was another that fit into this list. But you’d be wrong. Self-described as an experimental studio, Factory 45 is all about new-age design and vibrant architecture. Well known for hosting trendy fashion events, this is a space that has contemporary written all over it. A lively and eye-catching venue for your business events, Factory 45 is well worth considering when looking to capture audiences working on the cusp of modern industries.
6. Electric Brixton
If Electric Brixton could be described using one word, it would be eccentric. A venue space where colours truly pop from the walls, this repurposed movie theatre brings life to business conferences through its dynamic visual elements. It also includes a fully-functional stage area for presentations and announcements. Wondrous as well as entirely practical for big events, Electric Brixton has all you need to engage audiences — audiences that can range in size anywhere from 180 for sit-down meals to 1700 for standing receptions.
7. The Postal Museum
The second museum to appear on this list, The Postal Museum near King’s Cross in London may not have the glitz and glamour of The London Film Museum. But that doesn’t mean it can’t offer you an interesting and unique conference venue. Marketed as a distinctive subterranean blank canvas event space, the Postal Museum boasts a large underground bunker-esque facility, converted from an old train network that enjoys a 275-person capacity. An architecturally fascinating location, utilising exposed brickwork and vast curved, vaulted ceilings, the right set up in here promises to captivate a crowd.
8. Kensington Palace
Could you find a more extravagant and exciting event space than the place the future King of England calls home? Kensington Palace, the residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is also available for the most decadent of London conferences. While you won’t be offering presentations in the royal’s living room, there a plenty of spaces around the grounds of this impressive estate available for business hire. Treat an exclusive list of up to 500 guests as high-society, getting them to interact with your event like true Lords and Ladies. They’ll leave feeling as if they’ve been a part of something very special indeed.