6 big-name cultural venues that double as conference centres

6 big-name cultural venues that double as conference centres

Updated on 17 January 2018 • Written By Gavin Haines

6 big-name cultural venues that double as conference centres
Hosting your event in one of London’s iconic cultural venues is a good way to inject some creative magic into proceedings. Here are some of our favourite institutions in which to host an off-siter
Institute of Contemporary Arts - venue hire
USP Contemporary class
Largest Space 150 delegates
Enviably located on The Mall – a few doors down from Liz and Phil – the ICA occupies a stunning Regency building near Trafalgar Square. Behind the historic façade is a thoroughly modern venue, which includes two cinemas, a theatre, two Regency reception rooms and a studio, all of which riff off the institute’s contemporary ethos. 

Southbank Centre venue hire
USP City views 
Largest room 2,500 delegates 
The Southbank Centre’s stunning centrepiece is The Royal Festival Hall, a 1950s auditorium that can host anything from pop concerts to conferences. We also like the two lofty roof pavilions, which offer impressive views across the city. The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery will reopen this year after refurbishments.

3. Barbican, EC2Y
Barbican Conference Centre - conservatory
USP Its versatility
Largest space 2,000 delegates
Europe’s largest arts and conference venue is always one of our favourites – and why wouldn’t it? The Barbican has an enviable selection of spaces, which run the gamut from tiered auditoria to a conservatory filled with tropical vegetation. As well as impressive rooms, this sprawling centre boasts world-class conference facilities, exceptional acoustics and a dedicated events team. 

Odeon BFI IMAX - guide 2016 bond 007
USP Largest cinema screen in Britain
Largest space 500 delegates
The BFI lays claim to the largest cinema screen in Britain, which isn’t bad for a building located in the middle of a roundabout. The main events space is the lavish Auditorium, which has state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and offers high-rise stadium seating; it will comfortably swallow 500 delegates. The two foyers are neat spots for a soirée. 

National Theatre - venue hire
USP The charitable ethos
Largest space 400 delegates 
One of Britain’s leading playhouses, many famous names have crept the boards here; Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans and Sophie Okonedo are amongst the big names in 2018. When it’s not putting on productions, the charity makes its spaces available for conferences, galas and even summer parties, which are held on the rooftop terrace. Profits help fund the NT’s artistic endeavours. 

Science Museum Making the Modern World venue hire
USP Fascinating exhibits 
Largest room 750 delegates 
It’s easy to see why the Science Museum is one of London’s most-popular leftfield venues: where else can you network beneath the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic? There are various spaces to choose from, though we’re particularly fond of the Exploring Space gallery, which allows visitors to mingle amidst rockets and satellites.  
Not found quite what you’re looking for? Check out these other tip-top cultural venues that double as conference centres