Will's Week

Staging a Conference in an Unusual or Unique Venue

Event delegates are increasingly demanding and difficult to please, let alone amaze, mesmerize and enthrall! These days it’s not so much about taking your delegates to a functional venue, rather you need to transport your delegates to another world to really free their minds and get them truly engaged. As the market matures, effective, outstanding events have to be nothing less than highly memorable experiences offering rather more than a standard London venue, some soggy canapés and a couple of stilt walkers!

As a result, though, the current transient status of the event world offers a unique opportunity. An opportunity to break with tradition and do something completely different!

An unusual, out of context venue (or at least a creative use of your existing venue) can enhance the experience dramatically. Even the classic conference venues (many of which have made a huge effort to reinvent themselves in recent years) can be utilised in an original way to create an unexpected environment. It’s all about delegate engagement and this can be achieved by an inspiring environment, interactive content, technology and a dash of unexpected enlightenment. 

What’s more, there are some excellent conference venues that aren’t actually traditional conference venues at all, yet they have all the attributes (and a whole lot more)!

My involvement with Crowdfinders has given me a different perspective altogether.  I now use Londonlaunch.com as a corporate customer, searching for unique conference venues on a monthly basis and coming at it from an entirely objective perspective.  I need venues with traditional logistical attributes yet with a distinctively vibrant twist.  Take Covent Garden’s Ice Tank, for example.  It’s effectively a highly stylish blank canvas photographic studio, with a glass frontage, whitewashed walls and an almost out of context classical fireplace at one end.  If your numbers are less than a hundred, it’s the perfect conference venue because it’s so inspiring and well equipped, especially from an audio-visual perspective.

On a slightly larger scale, The Matcham Room Theatre in the Hippodrome Casino is a sensational conference venue for up to 200 delegates (if you use the circle upstairs) even though it was specifically designed as a musical theatre. It’s a brilliantly equipped multi-faceted entertainment venue with a prominent stage and enough sound and lighting to accommodate some of the world’s greatest rock stars from Prince to Dire Straits, who have both played there. It’s perfect for corporate presentations and conferences and demands an entertainment interlude!

The RI, on the other hand, proves that you can go ‘traditional’ whilst still being original. Mayfair’s home of Science provides one the the world’s most wonderful conference ‘rotundas’ as well as a fascinating array of eclectically mixed traditional and modern spaces. At our last Crowdfinders event, we embraced the scientific theme (even calling it ‘The Science of Crowdfunding’) and used their in-house scientists to produce spectacular live experiments to (almost literally) blow the minds of our unsuspecting delegates. Needless to say, everybody loved it!

There are now hundreds of unique London venues that are well suited to traditional style events so you no longer have to find a disused warehouse and start from scratch (which is expensive and often misses the mark anyway!). In any event, you’ll probably discover that many of those ‘disused’ warehouses are already configured for conferences anyway – there are plenty of them if you know where to look! Check out the Unique Venues section on Londonlaunch.com to discover our favourites!  

 

Will Broome, Founder Londonlaunch.com