A: 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY

Welcome to Conferences
at 8 Northumberland Avenue

With an enviable track record in delivering successful high-end events for corporate clients, we are trusted by some of the biggest names in the business to deliver memorable events, time and again.

We’ve decided to pull together some of our best insights from our conference team so you can learn how to better engage and wow your delegates.

Read on and discover some invaluable resources from our 30 year career delivering conferences to remember.

Why a conference?

Conferences give people vital time away from the constant distractions of the office and allow for focused learning. Networking allows us to make important contacts, and for the often happenstance coming together of old colleagues, suppliers you didn’t know you needed, not to mention the good old-fashioned need we have as humans to be with other people and share experiences. 

Put simply, in a workplace where teams have never been more fragmented, conferences have never been more important.

What makes a good conference?

Like a good recipe, it’s the coming together of a lot of separate components, all carefully crafted, considered, specified and delivered in a way so as to complement each other. But that said, we’ll try and break down what we feel from our many years of experience.

The conference venue. 

The venue is absolutely key. A unique, interesting, historic, beautiful or otherwise iconic building is vital to a successful conference. So how do you go about choosing your conference venue in London?

Not only should it be somewhere of interest outside of its association to the conference, but it might offer delegates a fascinating opportunity to see inside a building of importance or of particular beauty or historical significance.

A unique and historic venue also has a halo effect down onto the conference itself as it immediately associates the importance, venerability, opulence or interest of the building down onto the event itself, instantly conveying a sense that this is a similarly significant and important event – one not to miss.

At 8 Northumberland Avenue we blend historic Victorian elegance with cutting-edge technology for experiences that really wow your guests – a potent mix that we feel makes us one of the most creative and unique conference venues London has to offer.

The history of the venue dates back to 1887. The Northumberland Avenue Hotel Company wanted to build a 500-room hotel that would exceed the expectations of discerning Victorian travellers. A huge Billiards Room in the basement was fully equipped with lavish amenities designed to appeal to the businessmen who frequented hotels on their travels. One aspect they didn’t have quite right was having only 4 bathrooms for a 500-bed hotel.

It swiftly established a lucrative reputation as a banqueting facility. Dinner contracts were drawn up with groups like the Institute of Civil Engineers and the 9th Norfolk Regiment. 

It was also in demand as a ‘showcase’ space, with prestigious companies like Cadbury’s and the UK Tea Company wanting to display their wares to guests. The coffee room (now Boyds restaurant) was created in 1914, after the remodelling of the grand entrance. 

Today we are one of the best conference venues for hire in London with a track record of delighted customers.

But back to your conference. 

The flexibility of the venue to suit your conference or event is crucial also. Clearly you want a venue which can accommodate your numbers, but you also need an event space that understands that each event is unique and an event team that helps you deliver your conference vision regardless of how singular that might be.

From inspiring sessions in unique spaces to engaging breaks that foster networking opportunities, your conference experience should be crafted with the utmost care to provide an environment where delegates actively engage with conference content and enjoy the social side during breaks, fostering connections and enriching the overall event experience. 

At 8 Northumberland Avenue our approach goes beyond conventional offerings. Our commitment lies in tailoring an experience that caters to your distinct needs, ensuring your event with us is not just memorable but also authentically bespoke. From catering, production and customer service, we redefine the concept of conference, ensuring that every aspect adds a touch of sophistication and enjoyment to your corporate event.

Often, what makes a good conference venue is how it enhances the ‘flow’ of an event – does the venue give you the flexibility to create different areas at the conference so people can move from space to space – from a breakout or networking area, to a catering or refreshment station, and then back to a small theatre setup or a conference room. A range of spaces within a venue makes for a dynamic event which keeps delegates engaged, encourages interaction and keeps energy levels up.

A variety of rooms, both large and small help to provide not only primary conference spaces such as lecture theatres, networking areas or areas for stands, but also smaller areas for refreshments, break out areas or even one to one spaces for meetings or calls.

Our smaller spaces such as the Salon, Victoria, and even our smaller meeting room spaces have capacities ranging from 100 down to 15 for reception style, or even 40 (Salon) and 50 (Victoria) for dinner.

The conference venue location

Where to host a conference in London? The importance of location really can’t be understated. As any experience conference planner knows, the pressure is always high to ensure you achieve great delegate registration numbers, and to keep those registrants engaged in the run up to the event to ensure high attendance on the day, mitigating the issue of last minute drop-outs.

A conference venue in central London with great travel links is vital in ensuring good attendance, and good attendance numbers means a great event, as it is the people that really make for a vibrant and memorable event.

Excellent, fast and varied transport links mean delegates can access a wide variety of travel options, whether it be airports, train, underground, bus, car, bike and taxi.

8 Northumberland Avenue is proud to be London’s most central venue with peerless transport links – all sure to help deliver your highest event turn out. We’re a 3 minute walk from Trafalgar Square and minutes from Charing Cross, Waterloo and Embankment for overground and underground services. Whether you’re looking for a space in the West End, or for a conference venue in the City of London, we feel our the transport links at 8 Northumberland Avenue are second to none.

Great event management

To say there are a lot of spinning plates at a successful conference is an understatement. Whether it’s food, registration, speakers, music, deliveries, refreshments, tech and AV, everything needs marshalling to a tight schedule in order for the conference to be a success. Great event managers make this look effortless by being simultaneously everywhere at once, but remaining calm and composed. Event managers are your dedicated consultants, ensuring a flawless experience from logistics to execution.

Quite apart from the activation of the event, great event managers are there to act as your creative consultants, realising your conference vision, no matter how singular or unique that happens to be. Whether you’re organising a conference for education, fintech, banking, pharma, marketing or non-profit, our team of skilled event handlers provide comprehensive planning services handling all logistics and co-ordination with suppliers, ensuring a hassle-free experience. We know that hosting a successful conference is a lot of work and responsibility so let the experienced event managers at 8 Northumberland Avenue take this responsibility from you, freeing you up to do what you need to do, which is enjoy the conference. Access to great event managers gives you valuable insights based on their vast industry experience, and on the day of the event they will be  your primary contact to ensure everything is activated as per your requirements.

Quite apart from the activation of the event, great event managers are there to act as your creative consultants, realising your conference vision, no matter how singular or unique that happens to be. Whether you’re organising a conference for education, fintech, banking, pharma, marketing or non-profit, our team of skilled event handlers provide comprehensive planning services handling all logistics and co-ordination with suppliers, ensuring a hassle-free experience. We know that hosting a successful conference is a lot of work and responsibility so let the experienced event managers at 8 Northumberland Avenue take this responsibility from you, freeing you up to do what you need to do, which is enjoy the conference. Access to great event managers gives you valuable insights based on their vast industry experience, and on the day of the event they will be  your primary contact to ensure everything is activated as per your requirements.

Whatever your requirements, make sure you truly leverage the wealth of experience that conference event managers hold. The chances are they have tackled your particular concern at least once before, and have anticipated and put in place contingency plans before concerns have even been voiced. 

With an amazing gold win at the Eventex global awards, our incredible events team make 8 Northumberland Avenue an award-winning conference venue once again.

With over 30 years of conference experience, 8 Northumberland Avenue is set to guarantee your event success. 

Conferences at 8 Northumberland Avenue

At 8 Northumberland Avenue we accommodate conferences for 100 - 500 delegates, with a range of flexible spaces utilising the cutting-edge event technology, to maximise the impact of your event.

Described by English Heritage as 'the grandest example of a Victorian ballroom in existence', The Ballroom at 8 Northumberland Avenue is the jewel of the venue. The high ceilings, impressive chandeliers, grand columns, stained glass windows and ornate detailing all ensures that your event will not be forgotten. Hidden behind its classic looks the Ballroom also boasts cutting edge intelligent lighting and 3D holographics ensuring you never have to compromise. With a capacity for 700 for a reception and 440 for dinner, it’s little wonder we are considered a top London conference venue and one our clients come back to time and time again.

The Old Billiard Room and Annex are the most adaptable of our central London venue spaces. The combination of white walls, mirror details and subtle architectural touches create the perfect blank canvas spaces. The two spaces work together to lend themselves to all conference types facilitating breakout sessions and receptions flawlessly. Both spaces are also fitted with our state of the art intelligent lighting that is scientifically proven to increase guest engagement. Combined, The Old Billiard Room and Annexe offer a capacity of 725 for receptions and 360 for dinner. With numbers like that you can see why we are one of the most beautiful large conference venues London has to offer.

Key to the success and enjoyment of any great conference is the ability to seamlessly transition your guests from space to space during the conference, and this is perfectly achieved with our two level venue, The Ballroom and The Old Billiard Room and Annex.

This distinctive setup allows for your conference to take place in one space while breaks unfold in the other. 

With reduced set-up time, each space is perfectly tailored, ensuring an efficient flow. The uninterrupted networking opportunities during breaks further enrich the collaborative spirit of a truly successful conference.

Event Catering

Catering excellence is a cornerstone of successful conferences, playing a pivotal role in enhancing the overall experience for attendees. The importance of quality catering at conferences extends beyond merely feeding people; it reflects on the organiser’s attention to detail and commitment to creating a welcoming, comfortable, thoughtful and creative environment. At its core, great catering is an essential component that can significantly influence attendee satisfaction, networking opportunities, and the overall perception of the event.

Conferences often span several hours or even multiple days, requiring attendees to remain focused and engaged for extended periods. Well-planned catering ensures that participants are well-nourished and hydrated, helping to maintain their energy levels and concentration throughout the event. Offering a variety of nutritious and delicious options can prevent fatigue and keep attendees active and engaged, thus enhancing their overall experience.

Moreover, the quality of catering can facilitate networking and social interaction, which are key elements of any successful conference. Mealtimes provide natural breaks in the schedule, allowing attendees to relax and converse in a more informal setting. A diverse and appealing menu can act as a conversation starter and a shared experience that brings people together, fostering connections and collaborations that may not have occurred in a more formal session. This social aspect is critical, as the networking opportunities at conferences often lead to important professional relationships and future collaborations.

In addition, good catering can significantly boost the image and reputation of the event and its organisers. Attention to dietary restrictions and preferences demonstrates inclusivity and consideration, making all attendees feel valued and respected. High-quality food presentation and service reflect the overall professionalism and excellence of the conference, leaving a lasting positive impression.

Investing in good catering is, therefore, an investment in the conference's overall impact and reputation. Not all venues for conferences in London have their own, on-site event-caterer meaning everything is prepared elsewhere and brought to site. Not so with 8 Northumberland Avenue. 

At 8 Northumberland Avenue, our exclusive partner, event caterer AlchemyLive is headed up by Executive Chef & Director Nate Brewster. Nate’s obsession for great food means he is always at the vanguard of the latest food trends – whether it’s using techniques such using dry ice and nitrogen, to creating an enchanted woodland themed dinner, Nate and his team at AlchemyLive can be relied upon to create truly memorable and unique conference catering.

Amazing Conference AV and Technology

Another key benefit of a great conference venue is finding somewhere which already has all of the AV technology in place, saving you the cost and inconvenience of having to hire it in. Conference venue hire in central London is challenging enough without the worry of whether the technology is there to achieve your desired effect. At 8 Northumberland Avenue we are proud to offer AV solutions second to none.

We believe technology should enhance guests experiences not complicate them. With a long list of London's first from Intelligent lighting systems and Virtual Reality to Holographic 3D projection, technological innovation is always at the forefront of developments at 8 Northumberland Avenue making us one of the most advanced conference facilities central London has to offer.

High-quality AV solutions are essential for effective communication, engagement, and the overall success of the event. From the clarity of presentations to the seamless execution of live demonstrations, the right AV setup ensures that all aspects of the conference run smoothly and leave a lasting impression on attendees.

One of the key recommendations from our event managers is that AV be in the hands of dedicated technicians who can advise on exactly how you utilise cutting edge technology to create a bespoke experience that is immersive, seamless, and helps to enhance the overall conference experience. Great event technology should be omnipresent, complementary, and almost invisible. Conference venue rental with 8 Northumberland means we are able to offer our clients the services of our dedicated in-house AV experts, Opal Fusion.

Powered by Encore - Blue Hut productions offer a combination of global production capabilities and personalised customer service. This collaboration offers the best of both worlds, providing a global experience with a personal touch. With on-site support, our production team works closely with our event managers to ensure a seamless experience, resulting in smoother planning and execution of your event.

High-definition projectors and large LED screens are vitally important for large conference experiences, ensuring that visuals are sharp and visible from all parts of the room. Additionally, video walls can be used for dynamic displays, providing an immersive experience for attendees.

Delegate engagement is an area where technology can really help – whether it’s smart phone driven tech where delegates can ask and upvote questions, or whether it’s the ability to respond live to polls and questions, great technology really engages the audience and makes them part of the presentation. QR codes can make available digital goodie bags and guests can access post event surveys and speaker decks via follow up emails.

With the ongoing flood of conference technology services, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and know which ones are best suited to your particular event.Thankfully we’ve reviewed some of the digital services currently available and are sharing our top picks from an event technology company based in London.  From a conference planners’ perspective, the tools and technologies detailed below are an invaluable resource in making conferences more interactive, effective and appealing, not just for our clients but also for your guests too. So here we go…

Mobile event apps allow you to engage with your attendees at a greater and more meaningful level. They can deliver real-time event information and guests can share content, utilise networking features and interact with other delegates during the event. Additionally, they can also provide a means of delivering feedback and remain on users homescreens (hopefully) until the next conference. Organisers are saying that mobile event apps are one of the conference technology services that can revolutionise the industry.  

Recommended features of event apps are:

  • Full client / conference branding
  • Creation and distribution of personalised schedules
  • Instant messaging features that alerts attendees to upcoming seminars, demonstrations, and other event highlights
  • Social media links to sponsor, exhibitor, and/or organiser platforms
  • Attendees can submit questions from the audience and have them answered in real-time
  • Drinks tokens that can be redeemed at the bar 

As wearable technology continues to become more popular, event technology services are turning standard events badges into wearable tech that deliver a richer event experience and offer in-depth data on attendee preferences and behaviour. For example, exhibitors are alerted when potential prospects enter a booth based on an analysis of the attendee’s profile. Conference organisers receive in-depth analytical details on the actions and interactions of each attendee. Conference attendees can also receive an event ‘journey report’ that indicates who they met with, what booths and sessions they checked out, and when they made important contacts. Smart conference badges enable event organisers to say goodbye to outdated sponsor and exhibitor barcode scanners and reach the next event technology services level with lead scanning. ‘Swipe Points’ scan and receive the information that smart badges have to offer - these devices consist of small lead capture tablets that use RFID (radio-frequency identification) to allow attendees to share their contact details with a simple badge swipe.  Conference exhibitors can add notes and priority tags to the leads they capture and send documents, photos, and other digital assets to attendees instantly and easily.

Live polling and voting features make it easier for attendees to engage at your next event. Using a branded mobile app that each person downloads onto their own device, people cast their votes with the results being displayed in real-time during sessions.  

At our conferences we recommend using Glisser's live polls to get your audience's thoughts and feedback simply and quickly. The anonymous voting system encourages both honest insights and great audience engagement. Some apps even create a post-event report of all polls so that the information can be used later.  As event technology services continue to evolve, we will soon see more advanced versions of these virtual assets. Accordingly attendees’ habits and expectations will change and the technology will evolve to meet new demands. If you're planning a conference and want to maximise its potential with the latest technology, the team at 8 Northumberland Avenue can help devise a strategy to integrate apps, social media and the latest technology into your event. 

Lighting is another critical aspect of AV at conferences. Effective conference lighting is vital in setting the mood and atmosphere of the event. Stage lighting, spotlights, and ambient lighting can be used to highlight key moments and create a professional environment.

Beyond these basics, modern conferences often incorporate advanced AV technologies such as live streaming, video conferencing, and interactive displays. Live streaming allows the event to reach a wider audience who cannot attend in person, while video conferencing enables remote participation from speakers or panellists. Interactive displays and touchscreens can be used for engaging demonstrations and audience interaction, making the event more interactive and memorable.

Six Secrets to Successful Conference AV

Our tech-savvy Event Manager, Kerrie, stars in our next instalment of ‘In The Know’. Kerrie’s experience at our event production company lends her to offering her knowledge on this tricky subject. Simplified and fool proof, you can’t go wrong with these secrets to faultless conference AV. 

1. Make an impact with led screens

For a modern, high tech and impressive AV setup, look no further than using LED screens.  Enhanced sense of depth mimicking 3D technology, improved contrast due to light focusing directly into viewers eyes and wider viewing angles in near perfect colour – this technology is the crème de la crème of conference technology.  The average cost of this impressive piece of kit can be higher than the typical projector screens, however, the sleekness of its design can allow you to have more space. The additional room can be used to increase the capacity of the event, consequently generating more money which can pay for the upgrade.  Alternatively, the additional room can be used to create a catering and networking space enhancing your guest's experience.  Our latest installation of LED walls at 8 Northumberland Avenue, in both the Ballroom and Old Billiard Room, have been a huge hit and compliment any event. Their contemporary look seamlessly fits into our philosophy of combing the latest technology with a historic central London conference venue.  

2. Wow the audience with intelligent lighting

Another unique feature of the lighting at 8 Northumberland Avenue venue is the AMBX conference lighting system. One of the few venues to have this technology to such a high spec, we can easily improve any event by patching into our AMBX programme.  A colour wash of the room and ‘stings’ for the introduction of people as well as reacting to light and sound, we have an array of options to compliment your event.  For the biggest impact try a stage wash; this will illuminate the speaker without disrupting the look of the set. 

3. Think about your conference speakers

As in life, there are many different personalities who vary in confidence, speaking style and behavioural traits.  Nail-biters or those who perhaps like the sound of their voice a little too much; every conference speaker will be unique and require different technical support. Research their speaking style and provide the correct microphone accordingly.Headsets offer complete freedom for movement and pick up all sounds, whereas lectern microphones provide a fixed position with the same sound quality. For a middle of the road option, both lapel and handheld microphones offer movement whilst picking up most sounds. 

4. Choose the right P.A system for the room

The most common (and easily avoided) issue with AV is bad quality sound. By picking the correct PA system this issue will be resolved.  Sound is absorbed and reverberated so the furniture, amount of people, flooring and ceiling height will all need to be considered to find the correct PA system for the job. Each technician will specialise and have experience in a certain area be it concerts, theatre, conferences or awards dinners. To avoid these issues completely, pick the right engineer for the job that best fits your events requirements. 

5. Make time for rehearsals 

Linking to the above, sound checks and rehearsals are imperative. Unless you are very fortunate, the majority of your conference presenters will not be professional public speakers. With that in mind it’s always advisable to make time for your speakers to rehearse and get to know the set.  It will give you a chance to test the acoustics of the room, ensure that your speakers have the correct equipment and allow them to map out their speech alongside the presentation. This way they will know where to walk so no information is blocked. Use the requirements that we lay out at our conference production company to guarantee event-ready speakers. We ask that all speakers introduce themselves to the tech team with any files on arrival. This should be at least 30 minutes before their session commences.  

6. Short and sweet for presentations 

An overloaded presentation full of useless information, clashing colours and distracting imagery will lose an audience’s concentration and distract from the speaker. Keep it simple, aesthetic and easy to read.  Guy Kawasaki’s rule is a definite winner. According to his theory PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. Follow this rule and your audience will be engaged for the entire conference.

It's hard to overstate the seismic impact virtual reality has had on the conference business of late. Even prior to Covid, virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology was disrupting the industry and helping to forge the new and exciting world of virtual and in-person conferences that we see today.

Virtual conferences have helped to massively enhance online attendance to events, delivering in-person conferences online to a global audience. Mixed reality and augmented reality have similarly raised the bar for engagement, extending the possibilities of in-person event engagement as well as giving conferences a life online long after the date has passed.

Needless to say we’re extremely experienced in the VR/AR/MR opportunities available for conferences and are continually advising clients on how to get the best return on investment and most meaningful results from this technology at their conference. 

In conclusion, the right AV setup is vital for the success of a conference. It ensures clear communication, enhances engagement, and creates a professional and immersive experience for attendees. By investing in high-quality AV solutions, conference organizers can significantly improve the impact and effectiveness of their events.

How to maximise attendance at your conference

We’re all busy, and a day out of the office isn’t an easy thing to achieve. But you’ve got great attendance levels for the morning session and the coffee is flowing. So how do you ensure you keep attendance levels high throughout the day and don’t risk an exodus come lunchtime as mounting emails and messages lure your guests back to their places of work?

Well, as you might expect, our experienced conference managers have some great advice as to how you might keep delegates engaged and (vitally) on-site. 

The inconvenient truth is that early departures are often a sign that attendees have lost interest and believe their time is better spent elsewhere.

One great tip for avoiding this is ensure you don’t hold the highlights too early.  Scheduling is vitally important, especially when you’re running a longer event like a road show or trade show. The best way to keep attendees focused and engaged is to order the highlights and attractions properly. An entertaining and memorable opener is a key part of getting the audience enthusiastic, but you should also make sure that there are quality attractions throughout the entire event. Spread things out, especially if the show lasts all day. Although it can be tempting to shorten a day, especially if the event started early in the morning, cutting things short is tantamount to missed opportunities. Arrange for a grand finale that includes exciting giveaways, speakers, and entertainment that they can’t bear to miss. 

One common (and successful) strategy is to provide a complimentary video recording of all conference workshops, presentations, and speakers for guests who stay until the end.

Although the main attraction of any event should always be the content, the little things also matter to attendees; little things like free stuff! We’ve put together a recommended list of gifts we know to be useful and enjoy a long life. 

Mobile device chargers are always popular giveaway at events where most of us are fairly constantly attached to our phone. Look around at any event and you’ll see that everyone is constantly on their phone, texting, posting to social media and checking their emails. By lunchtime, almost all phones will be at 50% battery life so a free charger that allows gets you back to 100% will be appreciated and mean you are likely to stay longer. 

Another way to make your swag bags memorable and ensure delegates maximise time on-site is to fill it with unique seasonable items. If you’re hosting a summer conference, miniature sunscreen and sunglasses would be welcomed as giveaways. Reusable water bottles are always popular items that make it easy for attendees to stay hydrated, and send the message that sustainability is important to the event organisers. Be extra environmentally friendly by choosing glass bottles rather than plastic. Good quality notebooks are a perennial favourite, with a warning not to overdo the branding so guests are more likely to use them in the office and in meetings. 

Smart scheduling and strategic giveaways can mean the difference between attendees heading out the door after intermission or sticking around to get the full networking benefit that your conference represents. When they finally leave feeling that they have gotten maximum value from the conference, it makes all of the extra effort worth it.

All tailored to your needs

So, as we said earlier, there’s a lot of moving parts in any successful conference. With each strand perfectly tailored and personalised to your event, you end up with a compelling conference, none of which could be considered generic or bland.

In order to keep delegates motivated, engaged and energised by your event, all of the above should be tailored to your unique requirements, to your brand, and made as much as possible bespoke to your audience. 

All of this sets you on a path to conference success.

What next?

We understand that finding the right conference venue in London can be a challenge. If you have a conference in mind and would like to speak to one of our experience event managers then get in touch today. With over 30 years of experience, our team will deliver your event’s objectives, not just with good hospitality, but as your complete event partner 

We are more than just a venue.


T: 020 3263 1011 London's Most Central Venue

8 Northumberland Avenue

8 Northumberland Avenue is one of the finest and grandest venues in London. Our team are dedicated to making every event a success. For the best venue hire London has, look no further. Are you looking for the most technologically advanced conference venue London has to offer?

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