Venue update

Please note our daytime bookings are open from June 2024. We remain open for evening and weekend event bookings. Please contact us to find out more about our availability.

What to look for when choosing a conference venue

May 2024

As every event organiser knows, there are dozens of decisions to make while planning a conference. Who will your keynote speaker be? How many breaks should you give your delegates during their schedule? Should you serve canapes and bowl food at your evening do or would a sit-down dinner be more appropriate? From Day One the choices come thick and fast, each option requiring diligent research and careful consideration. But of all the various decisions that need to be made during the planning journey, none is more important than your choice of venue.

A great venue is more than just a lovely looking space. Understanding this and knowing what other factors to take into consideration during your venue hunt will help you realise your vision and make sure you host an event your attendees will remember for years to come.

Location, location, location. It’s not a new phrase, some might even suggest it’s a little old-hat, but we can’t think of a better way of reinforcing the importance of finding a venue that’s well-connected (domestically and internationally), offers visitors loads to do in the local area and gives your attendees the chance to connect with other business contacts either side of attending your event. There can be few locations which work as well as Central London in terms of ticking these boxes and {10-11} Carlton House Terrace is perfectly situated within the capital to offer guests all the benefits the city has to offer. We’re a five-minutes’ walk from London Charing Cross stations with St James’ Park, The Mall and Buckingham Palace right on our doorstep, plus, we’re surrounded by truly iconic, national landmarks, such as Nelson’s Column and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

Another practical consideration, one which sometimes slips under the radar, is the tech your venue can offer. Things move fast in the AV world, and sometimes it’s hard to know what you want in terms of digital solutions because you don’t know what the latest, clever AV equipment can do. We’ve always been really proud of the cutting-edge AV we have here at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace and didn’t think it could get much better - that was until we began installing the xx and the xx in our new, state-of-the-art spaces. We’d advise asking the sales team of any of your short-listed venues to show off their AV to you, otherwise you might be missing a trick.

As our three new spaces are being built specifically with conferences in mind, the Lecture Room, Mall Room and Shape Room will be the most technologically advanced rooms within our historic building. This brings us nicely onto our next point which is to make sure you choose a venue that has distinct areas for each, different element of your conference. If your schedule includes talks, breakout meetings, networking sessions, a drinks reception and a dinner, it’s important that your venue has spaces specifically designed to cater for the needs of each of these very different occasions. During our redevelopment, we’ve taken the opportunity to redesign some of our spaces to make sure we can do just that. We’ve taken the decision to strip out some of the AV in the five, period rooms on the first floor so that guests attending drinks receptions and dinners can enjoy the original, delicate plasterwork, ornate chandeliers and artwork in the spaces without the interruption of speakers and modern light fittings.

Moving delegates from talks in our ultra-modern conference spaces into breakout rooms with original features and stunning views out over The Mall is also a great way to re-energise attendees. A complete change of scene can do wonders for creative juices and every organiser knows, a conference needs its invitees to be performing their best in order for the event to reach its full potential.

Choosing a venue will usually mean you are also automatically choosing your food and beverages provider, too. At {10-11} Carlton House Terrace our catering partner is Searcys, one of the most well-known and respected caterers in the country. Their menus are as versatile as our spaces, offering everything a full-day event needs including exquisite fine dining for your evening occasion, healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks to fuel imaginations and decadent desserts and treats to indulge your guests.

Meeting your guests' needs is the aim of any conference organiser which is why you and your venue need to be aligned on the importance of accessibility. Here at {10-11} Carlton House Terrace we have lift access to all floors, accessible toilets, an induction loop in some of our spaces and we welcome assistance dogs throughout the building. Our current redevelopment project has taken a deep dive into what inclusivity and accessibility means for our visitors and as a result we will be creating even more access for larger mobility vehicles and the project will see the refurbishment of a large, downstairs space which will be used as a cloakroom, buggy store and quite space for breast-feeding.

All in all, choosing a conference venue comes down to priorities – do yours match those of your venue? If you like the sound of the spaces, ethos, facilities and location of our historic building, give the sales team here a call to discuss your requirements and dates. You can reach us by calling 020 7969 5224 or emailing us via