However, it’s difficult to overlook the benefits of face-to-face meetings. Meeting up in person is often the best way to get things done.
A day out of the office – or a day away from working at home can help boost employee morale and productivity. It’s an opportunity to brainstorm new concepts or get involved in some much-needed team building activities. Meeting rooms and event spaces also provide professional spaces in which to conduct interviews or catch up with important clients.
And with many venues opening up again, now could be a good time to reserve your ideal venue before it’s fully booked.
What Are Meeting Rooms?
A meeting room is a space set aside for employees to get together, whether informally or formally – to discuss issues, set priorities, and make decisions. Since space may be limited at a company’s premises, organisations often have to look externally for a meeting room. If you’re located in London, particularly, space is at a premium so you won’t have your own conference room.
That may well lead you to wonder “are there any meeting rooms near me?”. The chances are that there are. Especially if you’re within travelling distance of major railway stations like London Bridge or Marylebone. But they’ll be more on that a bit later.
Essential Meeting Room Facilities
When you’re deciding on the right venue for your next meeting make sure your meeting room has all the necessary facilities. For example, it must be equipped with the latest technology so you can maximise your in-person time.
One of the most common FAQs about affordable meeting venues is if they have all the facilities you need. You may want to check that your chosen meeting room has the following amenities:
- Wireless presentation solutions – so you don’t have to waste time plugging and unplugging equipment.
- Robust video conferencing capabilities so that people can call into the meeting from wherever they are in the world.
- An interactive whiteboard so you can communicate with members both in and out of the meeting.
- Whiteboard and markers or a flipchart – essential for those brainstorming sessions.
- The right project management solutions.
- Sufficient power outlets.
- Sufficient bandwidth and Wi-Fi to meet your needs.
- Comfortable chairs
- Peripherals for laptops and computers
Think about whether you’ll require catering facilities, too. Whether you require simply tea or coffee or a three-course meal, most venues will offer a variety of options. If the venue itself doesn’t have caterers they will probably allow you to bring in your own – but it pays to check this out pre-booking.
You’ll also need to make sure your meeting room is well connected to public transport and within a reasonable travelling distance for participants. London is the perfect place to host a meeting. Not only is it a major European business hub, but it has excellent transport links.
Given that, let’s look at some of London’s best meeting rooms.
Best Meeting Rooms in London
1. Lumiere Underwood.
For a peaceful yet cosy venue, you can’t do much better than the Lumiere Underwood. This new meeting room is located in a Victorian loft with space for up to 200 standing people or 70 boardroom guests. Located close to Old Street tube station (Northern Line, National Rail), the completely refurbished meeting space is a whopping 5850 sq ft and features a breakout area or coworking space that’s 2433 sq ft.
Along with its many period features, the Lumiere Underwood is equipped with all the latest IT including a Smart TV, sound system, microphone, and flipcharts. Perfect for corporate events and product launches, the warehouse loft space is also the ideal place to host workshops and seminars.
The former photo studio also provides the perfect backdrop if you’re looking to record your speaker sessions or take pictures of delegates networking.
External catering is allowed and the venue can also supply you with a list of recommended caterers.
2. Ish Venues.
Situated close to Hyde Park and Great Portland Street/Regent Street tube stations, the Ish Venues are suitable for a variety of corporate events. From board meetings and training sessions to seminars and team-building activities. The licensed venue features full AV equipment, air conditioning, an LCD projector, a built-in screen, flipchart, and free Wi-Fi.
There’s also the option to create a hybrid event with live video streaming.
Hosts can opt for an all-inclusive package that comes with a dedicated pre-event and on-site coordinator to make sure things run smoothly. Up to 300 guests can be accommodated if all rooms are booked together.
Ish Venues meeting rooms have abundant natural light from large windows and overlook Park Crescent Gardens, a beautiful green space near central London. The rooms can be rearranged to accommodate various setups, plus full catering facilities are available. They range from sandwiches and tea and coffee to a gourmet working lunch menu.
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3. Smith’s of Smithfield.
Centrally located in the city of London, Smith’s of Smithfield is an ideal conference venue and is also perfect for business meetings, dinners, and award ceremonies. The open plan meeting rooms at the venue are flexible enough to accommodate a variety of arrangements and can fit up to 500 guests if booked exclusively.
Facilities include Wi Fi, all office essentials, and a dedicated team on hand to make sure the meeting runs as planned.
There’s a professional kitchen onsite, as well as a restaurant on the third floor, and the venue is fully licensed. Smith’s of Smithfield also features a rooftop terrace on the top floor offering views over iconic London landmarks, such as the Shard.
4. Thirty-Eight Grosvenor Square.
Previously the headquarters of the Indonesian Embassy, the meeting rooms at Thirty-Eight has a quiet grandeur, making this the ideal place to host a stylish meeting for either a full or half-day. The fully licensed Mayfair-situated venue can fit up to 300 standing guests, while rooms can be booked separately for breakout sessions or more intimate meetings.
The newly renovated, spacious, and elegant London venue features floor to ceiling windows to provide natural daylight. It’s also graded II listed with a private courtyard at the back of the house. The nearest tube station is Bond Street, which is a five-minute walk from the premises. A list of recommended caterers can be supplied on request.
5. Events@No 6.
Events@No 6 offers a full range of meeting room hire options, with the capacity to host a conference for up to 105, or small meeting spaces for team building activities, presentations, or exams. The Elizabeth Room is located on the first floor and is the largest meeting area at 195 square metres. The adjoining small group breakout area is ideal for registration and catering.
Facilities include fully integrated audiovisual equipment, AV support, Wi-Fi, and blackout blinds, while an event coordinator is on hand to provide assistance. There are two open-air terraces on the sixth floor along with a terrace room that can accommodate 80 delegates.
The venue features a professional kitchen and hosts can select from a list of recommended caterers. Alternatively, you can call on the services of the venue’s own Head Chef.
The newly built venue is also the premises of The Royal College of Pathologists and is located in the heart of the city, just a short walk to Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations.
6. Trafalgar St James.
Located close to Charing Cross tube station, Trafalgar St James features a selection of meeting rooms including a house living room (Biblio) which can accommodate 60 people seated or 100 standing. It’s the ideal space for an intimate business meeting, team away day, or conference – and there’s also the option to fit 20 in a boardroom setting.
The meeting rooms are adjoined by a professional kitchen while a recommended catering list can be provided upon request. The Trafalgar St James is renowned for its rooftop terrace which can accommodate 80 seated and 180 standing. The terrace is the perfect place to stage an impressive corporate event while affording attendees spectacular city skyline views.
Hosts can select from various alternatives including a full delegate package which includes refreshments, a buffet lunch, and tea and coffee. Meeting facilities include a 60-inch LCD TV screen, video conferencing amenities, stationery, and flipcharts.
7. London Stadium.
Formerly the Olympic Stadium, this Stratford-based meeting venue offers a variety of distinguished conference and office spaces in which to host a meeting or event. It’s the ideal place to host a team training day or executive board meeting with its convenient transport links and various delegate packages available.
There’s a comprehensive array of meeting facilities including Wi-Fi, LCD screen, and flexible furniture arrangements. The London stadium can fit up to 270 for a buffet or there’s also the option to host a conference for up to 300 people.
The venue is flooded with natural light and attendees can take advantage of stunning pitch-facing or city skyline views. For a breakout event with a difference, you also have the option to treat delegates to a guided multimedia tour of the stadium.
8. Ironmongers’ Hall.
Located in the heart of the city in the Barbican, the Ironmongers’ Banqueting Hall is ideal for conferences, meetings, and seminars. The Hall can fit up to 180 delegates in a variety of venue hire configurations, with an optional stage and full AV equipment available in each of the four main rooms upon request.
The Ironmongers’ Hall is easily accessible by rail and tube being just a few minutes’ walks from Barbican underground station. From working breakfasts and lunches, to board meetings and seminars, hosts benefit from the support of an experienced team to help with catering and technical setup. The fully licenced venue is air-conditioned and offers Wi-Fi.
9. One Birdcage Walk.
Featuring Edwardian oak panelled walls and ornate plaster ceilings, the Council Room at One Birdcage Walk is an impressive meeting room that’s sure to impress guests. The venue offers flexible workspaces that can be rearranged in various ways to accommodate meetings, lectures, workshops, and receptions.
Located close to Westminster tube station, which is easily connected to mainline stations like Kings Cross and Liverpool Street, One Birdcage Walk offers Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and catering facilities.
The venue was previously the home of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is located just minutes from the Houses of Parliament.
The lecture theatre can accommodate up to 210 delegates while up to 60 guests can be accommodated in the smaller rooms. The Marble Hall and adjoining Gallery are located on the ground floor and are set aside for registration and catering.
There’s a technician onsite during booked hours with AV equipment including a data projector, lectern, six tabletop microphones, conference phones, two handheld radio microphones, and four tie clip radio microphones.
Offering stunning views over St James Park, the ‘Manufacturing Room’ is a light, flexible meeting space with a full range of AV equipment on hire. Hosts can book day catering packages, refreshments, afternoon tea, and evening catering.
10. 1 Wimpole Street.
1 Wimpole Street is extensively equipped with technology, including state-of-the-art AV with an HD projector, wireless LED lighting, remote cameras, and surround sound. There’s also the option of reviewing meetings later with recording equipment available to hire. Flipcharts, markers, and complimentary Wi-Fi are also included.
The venue can hold up to 300 people and is ideal for conferences, meetings, and lectures. 1 Wimpole Street features a large auditorium and catering space, as well as nine meetings and board rooms which can comfortably fit ten to 60 people. There’s also a large exhibition space and a glass-roofed atrium capable of hosting events for up to 200 people.
The award-winning in-house AV team is on hand to provide technical support while the catering team can provide conference buffet lunches and refreshments.
The conference and events venue is located minutes from Oxford Circus and Bond Street underground station and is connected to all major railway stations in London.
With so many great London meeting venues to choose from, there’s sure to be one that suits your event type and budget. Before you book your meeting room make sure you do your homework and find one that’s equipped with the latest technology – e.g. video conferencing facilities – and offers you the option of refreshments or a full catering package.
Most venues are easy to book online. There’s usually a set delegate rate so all you need to do is fill in a form outlining your requirements. If you’re planning a larger more complex meeting or conference, you’ll need to discuss things beforehand with the events co-ordinator. Before you go ahead, make sure you’ve accounted for all expenses from catering to AV hire so you don’t go over budget.