This time last year Rich wrote a blog on his top picks for venue spaces in London. One year later, a whole host of further events under our belt, and objections to the quality of sequels aside* I think it’s time to share the follow-up.
Whether venue hunting on a budget is getting you down, or you’re sat in another perfectly adequate – but entirely uninspiring – hotel conference room for an event, this is the blog for you.
Why do we care? We think a million and one details go into creating a good event, and your environment certainly makes the list. People feel more energised and are more likely to participate in your event if they’re in a venue that encourages that - it’s one of our core principles for event success.
Without further ado, here’s my top five:
5. The Old Operating Theatre. Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre got a mention in Rich’s previous blog, and it’s certainly a top pick for me. We ran Writing the Future: Live here and we couldn’t have asked for a more atmospheric space. Nestled at the top of a spiral staircase (don’t worry, there’s now a lift), the space includes the hemicycle operating theatre and the Herb Garrett packed full of medical memorabilia.
Location: London Bridge
Good for: Live readings, award ceremonies, drinks reception
4.House of Illustration. Go here even if you don’t have an event to run. From great exhibitions, to book signings, to the all-important gift shop – the House of Illustration is worth a visit. We’ve run a number of Melting Pot Lunches in the bright and cheerful Clore Studio, and the team who look after events are one of the nicest I’ve come across.
Location: King’s Cross
Good for: Meetings, workshops or focus groups (10-15 people)
3.Green Rooms. As a social enterprise we were of course keen to learn about the UK’s first non-profit hotel and the Green Rooms didn’t disappoint – great ethos, a selection of spaces to hire, and a pop-up style restaurant providing on-site catering. The Green Room’s gallery is beautiful and light, and the residents lounge is good for smaller meetings. There’s also a lovely café in case you’ve got time for a coffee.
Location: Wood Green
Good for: Workshops (30-40 people), focus groups, on-site accommodation
2.Handel & Hendrix. A hidden gem, this museum gets its name from – you guessed it – two rather famous musical stars. Handel lived in the building for 36 years, and 200 years later Jimmy Hendrix moved in. Actually, he accidentally moved into the flat next door (blame an ambiguously placed plaque) but the museum has since knocked through to create one space. Tucked into the museum is a meeting room perfect for 10-15 people.
Good for: Meetings
1. Crypt on the Green. Vaulted brick ceiling, large windows and tucked off a quiet street near Farringdon, the Crypt on the Green is a great spot for a workshop. It wins top spot because of its reasonable price tag, relaxed feeling and all-round lovely room.
Good for: Workshops (we ran a workshop for 30 here, but capacity could stretch to 100 in theatre style).
I hope you enjoyed checking out my top picks for London venues. The support of effective, interactive and inspiring events, both face-to-face and digital, sits at the heart of what Kaleidoscope does. Think we can be of help? Visit our event services page or – even better – get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Empire strikes back really IS the best Star Wars film, people.