Central London may be seen as the holy grail for conferences, meetings, training and events, but it should be noted there are various down sides to hosting an event in the capital city. The high expense of hiring space can be prohibitive to those wanting a top quality venue, then there’s the actual rooms on offer. Many older buildings may be using converted events space, (rather than purpose built facilities), which can see you compromise when it comes to room flexibility, comfort and AV technology. Then there’s the ever changing London landscape – you may find your meeting or event is taking place next to a building site, with all the noise and distraction that may bring.
Reliance on public transport, coupled with a lack of parking for those who dare to drive, will be a bugbear of many – especially if a strike is on, or there’s high winds disrupting services, or an unfortunate amount of leaves on the track… And if meetings and events close when it is dark, for some delegates the streets of London may not feel like the safest of places. Talking of those streets, if you are holding an exhibition, trying to get a man with a van (or a lorry for that matter) through London’s narrow and congested roads can be a nightmare too.
So maybe London isn’t quite the holy grail it is made out to be? Indeed, there is much to be gained by choosing an outer London conference venue. Eamonn Cole, Director of East London’s CEME Conference Centre, talks us through why swapping the hustle and bustle of the city centre, for the charms of Greater London can be an excellent choice for your next conference or event.
1) You can hire a better quality venue for a reduced price
This has to be top of the list of advantages when it comes to choosing an outer London venue. Eamonn said, “You get far more for your money with an outer London venue and the best thing is you don’t have to compromise on quality. In fact, it’s normally the opposite. when it comes to London, you can be paying a premium for the location only – it can have no relation to the quality of the venue, its facilities or the service it provides. Simply put, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for,’ does not always ring true.
It’s not unknown for some centrally located venues to be lacking when it comes to room comfort, natural daylight, WiFi, Audio-Visual technology and accessibility. Eamonn commented, “I think we are starting to see a backlash against older, expensive, converted venues, that don’t quite measure up. Conference delegates are more discerning than they were 10 years ago. They will expect well equipped rooms with the latest technology, along with access to free WiFi. Rooms need to offer temperature control, comfortable seating and deliver on space and flexibility. Delegates expect quality catering and clean, modern bathroom facilities. Venues need to be accessible and tick all the boxes for comfort, facilities and working environment.”
“While central London does have some truly unique and exceptional venues – it doesn’t have the monopoly on all of them. The savvy conference organiser will consider venues in outer London boroughs, where modern, high-tech, purpose-built conference and events spaces offer an enhanced delegate experience at a lower cost.“
2) You can still access excellent transport links
Moving location to a superior venue with a lower price tag is a ‘no-brainer’ to many conference organisers, but there are still those who are not comfortable moving away from their usual central London venues, especially if they think they’ll be hiring a venue no one can get to.
Eamonn continued, “While there’s no doubt that London is an accessible city when it comes to transport links and hotel accommodation, the outer London boroughs can offer this and more. Moving to a location outside of central London opens up the option to drive and gets delegates away from central London’s crowded transport system.”
“For instance, CEME Conference Centre (just like many outer London venues) has partnered with a local independent hotel to offer advantageous rates at a quality establishment, is just 10 minutes from the M25, but 15 minutes from the City and Canary Wharf; sits on its own bus route and is also close to London District Line and overground stations. With on-site parking for 600 cars (soon to be 700 in 2019) complete with electric vehicle charging points and a Hydrogen Refuelling Station for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, the travel and transport options at CEME are actually greater than central London.”
3) You can improve delegate wellbeing
Choosing a venue away from the pollution and noise of London can have an almost therapeutic effect on your delegates. Whether you are holding a conference, training session, meeting or business event, we all know that the venue makes a huge difference to productivity, engagement, learning and inspiration.
“Imagine replacing an aging venue and the stress and congestion of a dirty city with a ‘state-of-the-art’, modern conference centre, based on an innovative business and education campus, surrounded by lakes, landscaped gardens and green spaces. Where do you think is a more conducive environment for learning and free-thinking?”
So there you have three valid arguments for choosing an outer London venue. There are more of course, so keep an eye on our blogs to read on! You can find out more about what the CEME Conference Centre events team can do for your conference, meeting or event by getting in touch on +44 (0) 20 8596 5151, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting us online.< Back