conference venue surrey

Conference Venue Surrey

Planning Your First Conference

Conferences have grown in popularity in recent years. A formal event where people with common interests can unite, they are popular with businesses, academics and religious organisations. A conference gives attendees the chance to learn, network and share ideas with their peers.

If you are planning a conference for the first time, here are a few tips to ensure it’s a success.

Plan Early

The earlier, the better. Conferences need much more organisation than a social event. Venues, catering and speakers need to be booked up months in advance. If this is your first time, keep the conference short: no more than one or two days and no more than 300 attendees. 

Your Goals

Work out exactly what you want to accomplish from the conference. Is it to persuade, teach, learn, motivate or simply network? Decide whether the conference will have a dedicated theme or a more general purpose.

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Before you start booking anything, you’ll need to establish a budget. Consider venue costs, any materials you’ll need and speaker’s fees.


Decide if you want to involve sponsors with the conference. They will certainly help with costs, but they may also want a say in how the conference is run, even down to the choice of speakers.


Most hotels and business centres have conference facilities, but if you want it to be really successful, go the extra yard and search for a unique venue that attendees will enjoy.

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Your attendees will want to be fed. You’ll need to work out what kind of catering options you want: casual, formal, a buffet, a sit down meal, a drinks reception? Refreshments also need to be available throughout the conference. You’ll also need to decide if you want entertainment and bar facilities.


You can’t organise it all by yourself. At the very least you’ll need a small committee. Hire someone for the technical side of things and find out if the venue provides an event planner. An experienced event planner will take the stress off and may even save you money in the end.


Your conference will need a detailed schedule for everything to run smoothly: from the opening address to the closing speech. Decide on whether sessions will be lectures, workshops or a combination of activities.

Ensure the closing speech has a motivational message that sums up the purpose of the conference.

Delight your attendees with one of the most stunning and unique conference venues in London. Ravens Ait Island has first class conference facilities and a dedicated and experienced events team.