London Venue Expo: Show Guide - Gerry Acher, chairman, London ICC Commission

"I love London for its vibrancy, that buzz you get from the people you pass and the skyline around you when you're strolling down the street.

The walk from St Paul's Cathedral over the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern is a personal favourite. I love the contrast between buildings like the Gherkin and the older areas. That blend of the traditional and the new is very important.

I found the week of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations incredible.

It was wonderful to be part of the crowds on The Mall on the Tuesday afternoon, with half a million people waving flags. That will stay with me for a long time.

The cross-section of different food is something else that really stands out for me. You can get hold of whatever you might fancy, night or day."


I14 Alexandra Palace can be hired for major exhibitions, conferences, music concerts and corporate events. It offers four main halls and a range of other function rooms, accommodating anything from 10 to 7,250 guests.

The north London venue also offers free on-site parking for 2,000.


J82 All in Poker Events specialises in providing a one-stop-shop service for poker events. The company's scope stretches from organising large 20-table tournaments for 200 players to running private poker evenings from clients' homes. Events can be based on any of the 400-plus variations of the game.


I51 Apex City of London Hotel is a contemporary four-star property, recently opened in the city centre. The 130-room hotel offers conference and events facilities, as well as a gym, sauna and steam room. On-site eatery Addendum Restaurant & Bar provides quality European cuisine and an extensive wine list.


Demo Area. Arena Seating has more than 30 years experience of designing, supplying and installing tiered seating for events. It can provide demountable seating systems for different sizes of conferences and exhibitions, as well as major entertainment and sporting occasions. It offers a comprehensive range of options for hire or purchase.


J46 The Artesian Well is a bar/nightclub in south west London, priding itself on a quirkily ornate interior. It opens until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and has rooms available for hire. Sister venue The Cross Keys is based on the river in Chelsea, comprising a bar, restaurant and two private rooms for parties.


J40 Ascot Racecourse reopened in June following a £200m redevelopment.

The new complex doubles as a business, events and entertainment venue with over 300 meeting rooms, including 265 boxes, with capacities varying from 10 to 3,000. The racecourse also has an on-site galleria offering 4,000sqm of exhibition space.


K64 The Atrium is owned by Simpsons of Cornhill, London restaurateurs for more than 20 years. It is located close to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster and offers a varied menu. The restaurant can be used for everything from business lunches and private dinners to bespoke events, product launches and receptions.


H56 Aztec Exhibition Services provides a range of presentation equipment, including projectors, audio systems, plasma screens, LCD flat screens, laptops/computers, WiFi devices and Internet kiosks. It will be using the show to promote the latest in seamless plasma wall technology, as well as its own CyberPod Internet kiosk.


G6 Baglioni Hotel is a five-star property located close to Kensington Park and Palace. It has 68 rooms, including 50 suites. Its Kensington Suite can also be used as a private events venue for up to 70 guests.

Also on site is the Brunello Bar and Restaurant, as well as the Caroli Health Club & Spa.


J28 The Barbican is Europe's largest arts and conference centre, offering meeting facilities for groups of 20 to 2,000 people, as well as two trade exhibition halls and a tropical conservatory. The centre is situated in the original City of London and has more than 450 parking spaces on site.


K76 Barcelona Tapas is part of Europa Leisure, an independent Spanish company established in December 1991. The business runs a number of outlets around the city, and focuses on providing good service at affordable prices.

This year will be the company's 15th year of trading and various events are planned to celebrate.


J76 Benares is an Indian restaurant located on Berkeley Square in the centre of town. It can be hired for exclusive use, with capacity for 100 seated or 350 standing. It also specialises in outside catering, and head chef Atul Kochhar can design bespoke menus for different events.


J20 The British Film Institute's London Imax Cinema is equipped with the technology to host product launches, private meetings and presentations.

Its main 470-seat auditorium hosts the UK's largest cinema screen, as well as an advanced digital stereo system. The complex also has space for entertaining.


J44 The Bingham Hotel is a converted Georgian townhouse overlooking the Thames. The boutique property, located in Richmond, can be used for a wide variety of events, including private dining, civil wedding ceremonies, receptions and business conferences. It is 30 minutes from central London by train and has a restaurant and lounge bar on site.


J54 Blue Elephant International incorporates two London restaurants - Blue Elephant in Fulham Broadway and La Porte des Indes off Oxford Street.

The group specialises in both Thai and Indian cuisine. The two venues can be hired for events, with a focus on themed cocktail and canape parties.


K56 Bluebird is a multi-purpose restaurant venue, opened in 1997 after Terence Conran converted the Bluebird garage. The building houses a cafe with a courtyard, members' bar and two restaurants. Outside catering company Bluebird Events has just been relaunched, catering for home dinner parties and receptions to gala marquee events.


J64 The Boardroom Bar & Grill is an independent a la carte restaurant and wine bar, close to Liverpool Street Station. It has several areas for private hire and can accommodate up to 175 guests. It offers a traditional grill menu and a lengthy wine list.


H10 The Britannia Hotel is a Docklands property boasting one of the largest conference facilities available in Canary Wharf. Its biggest space can accommodate more than 500 delegates, while a further 14 syndicate rooms can host between five and 100 delegates. The property itself offers a total of 442 guest rooms.


J90 A new exhibitor at London Venue Expo, Business Baubles produces personalised baubles and snow globes that can be used as promotional gifts, decoration, corporate theming tools or event invitations. Any image or text can be applied to the product.

All visitors to the company's stand will receive their own London Venue Expo & Exhibiting Show bauble.


I20 Cabot Hall and East Winter-garden are Canary Wharf's two large-scale event venues. Cabot Hall is a purpose-built complex that is suitable for corporate meetings, conferences and exhibitions. It provides a large main hall and four syndicate rooms.

East Wintergarden is available for functions such as exhibitions, parties, launches and receptions and can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.


H20 City Golf & Health Clubs is a new and exclusive private members' club located opposite the Bank of England. The venue can be used for client entertainment and corporate events for up to 250 guests. It offers a golf academy and executive gym, and can lay on cocktail mixology classes.


I12 The City Presentation Centre is a conference venue located near Liverpool Street Station. Its largest space is the Theatre, a tiered space with three main projection screens capable of holding groups of between 40 and 130. The City Presentation Centre provides a wide range of event technology and catering options.


L10 City University, situated in central London, offers a variety of function venues and value en-suite accommodation. It provides a flexible environment for events aiming to educate, find solutions or create ideas.

On-site catering, full AV support and a dedicated event management team are on offer.


L44 Conference Blue & Green is a sourcing directory for UK conference and events organisers. It provides a database of more than 7,600 venues, listed in book, CD-Rom and web formats. It is distributed free to 22,500 professional conference organisers. Visitors to the Conference Blue & Green stand at the show can collect a complimentary CD-Rom version of the directory.


K34 The Conference Centre at Church House is a Grade II-listed building located close to Westminster Abbey in central London. Its Assembly Hall provides space for conferences, exhibitions, awards, receptions and private dining, and can accommodate up to 664 people theatre style or 370 for banqueting. The centre offers a total of 19 rooms.


Venue Speed Dating. is an online business tool designed for executive PAs and secretaries, providing resources and information to enable its users to save time and costs. Launched in the UK in August 2000, the website now has more than 500,000 monthly visitors and also offers guidance on event management.


L10 Dorich House is an academic arts venue forming part of Kingston University.

It is available to be used for a range of events, including seminars, product launches, meetings, conferences and fashion shows. As well as a number of different function rooms inside, it also boasts outdoor space for receptions.


I25 Drapers' Hall is a historical venue located on Throgmorton Street.

If offers a number of rooms suitable for private events and meetings, including the Livery Hall, which can accommodate up to 400 for cocktail parties, and the smaller Court Room, which can host banquets for up to 72.


H10 The Energy Clinic is a contemporary London venue designed according to the principles of feng shui. It provides five contrasting rooms, or 'energy zones', and lays on a variety of activities and health treatments. It provides a unique setting for meetings, conferences and group events.


I21 etc.venues is a provider of meeting, conference, training and event space. It offers six London venues: Avonmouth House SE1, Bonhill House EC2, CBI Conference Centre WC1, The Hatton EC1, Park Street W1 and Prospero House SE1. The company now employs 130 staff and has an annual turnover of £9m.


F50 Event is the leading magazine for the live events and exhibitions marketplace. It boasts the highest circulation in the sector and is a must-read for active buyers. RSVP is the magazine for creative events, and is designed to guide organisers through the process of planning and booking corporate events, parties and hospitality. Leading Edge Exhibits has worked with both magazines to create their stand at London Venue Expo.

The Eastbourne-based design and build company, founded in 1995, began life working on small- to medium-sized projects across Europe and now works with exhibitors and event organisers across the globe.


F91 Exhibar provides a range of customised bars and restaurants for events. The products are bespoke and can be incorporated into private dinners, receptions, exhibitions and parties. They come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and styles, from compact coffee bars to larger locations suitable for group banqueting.


H10 Express by Holiday Inn Limehouse is a 150-room hotel located in London's Docklands. The property has four separate meeting rooms that are able to accommodate a maximum of 45 delegates. Wireless internet access is available in all rooms and public areas. Express by Holiday Inn Limehouse is close to Excel London and London City Airport.


H24 Fairfield Halls is a theatre and concert hall located in Croydon, less than 15 minutes by train from central London. Its concert hall has a capacity of 1,794, while the theatre can accommodate 750. The site also features exhibition space, breakout rooms, catering facilities and technical services.


K46 Forbes House is a large Georgian property located in Belgravia, these days providing a setting for functions and events. As well as offering rooms for parties, conferences, small meetings and private dinner parties, it can be hired for filming and photo shoots. There is parking for 40 cars on site.


F91 Fox Events is an event management service provider. It prides itself in supplying one event contact from the first enquiry through to the function itself. The company offers bespoke event packages and covers award ceremonies, parties, conferences, away days and product launches for groups of 10 to 1,000 people.


K52 Greig's is a long-established restaurant situated in Mayfair. Following recent refurbishment, it offers three oak-panelled private dining rooms with traditional menus for groups up to 40. The restaurant has a 3,000-bottle wine cellar. For corporate clients, tailor-made menus can be designed and printed on company stationery.


J26 Grim's Dyke Hotel is a country house property located in Harrow.

It has a total of 46 bedrooms and suites, and can be hired for meetings and private events. Its Music Room can accommodate 90. The property is a Grade II-listed building and is formerly the residence of Sir WS Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame.


J79 The Gun, The White Swan and The Well are a group of three London pubs. They are all available for partial or exclusive hire. Between them they offer three dining rooms, a riverside terrace and a cocktail lounge. The venues are suitable for private parties, conferences and weddings.


L26 The HBAA is an association for hotel booking agents and those representing training centres, unique venues and hotels. The association promotes best practice in the procurement of accommodation and venues for conferences and events. Members of the association have a collective annual buying power in excess of £75m.


G4 The Hesperia London Victoria is a newly refurbished four-star hotel located close to Victoria station. The property features 212 bedrooms, and conference and events space for up to 300 delegates. Leisure facilities, a restaurant and bar are also on site. Complimentary wireless internet access is provided across the hotel.


H10 The Hilton London Canary Wharf opens its doors in June 2006, and is located at South Quay. The property offers 283 bedrooms and suites.

For events and other functions, it provides eight meeting rooms as well as the Quayside Suite, which can accommodate 400 people.


H10 The Hilton London Docklands Riverside is a 365-room property situated on the south bank of the River Thames. This summer, the four-star hotel will benefit from the refurbishment of 188 of its guest rooms, as well as its terrace. The venue offers 27 meeting spaces and a business centre.


G20 The Hippo-drome is an entertainment venue situated in Leicester Square that is also available for private hire. It is suitable for product launches, fashion shows and parties, and can provide a range of aerial artistes, magicians and DJs, as well as technical support. The venue can also be themed according to taste.


L10 Imperial College London offers more than 200 meeting and seminar rooms in central London. The venue is in South Kensington and also has a range of exhibition spaces. Pricing is highly competitive and on-site catering can be provided. The venue's largest room, The Great Hall, is able to welcome 750 guests.


I13 Intercontinental Hotels Group is a global property chain incorporating Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental Hotels, all of which have a London presence. Flagship five-star hotel Intercontinental London is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment but will provide event space upon reopening. Crowne Plaza London St James is a further city centre option.


K41 Jolly Hotel St Ermin's is a four-star property in Victoria. It offers conference facilities for up to 150 people and has a total of 19 meeting rooms and 285 bedrooms, as well as two restaurants. Italian chain Jolly Hotels has 45 properties throughout Italy, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Paris and New York.


H44 Kew Gardens is a World Heritage-listed venue in south west London. It provides a variety of venues for different types and sizes of events, from receptions and parties to private dinners. Proceeds from all events help the venue with its plant conservation and research work. Its marquee site can hold up to 500.


H80 The Kis Cocktail Bar is a new innovation for parties and live events. It is a fully automated cocktail maker and can create any of 30 different cocktails at the push of a button. The machine aims to solve the problem of lengthy waiting for hand-made drinks to appear.


J94 Kommando is an experiential agency specialising in modern versions of consumer engagement. It has worked for clients such as Yahoo, Bacardi, Xbox, Volvo, Sun Microsystems and Channel 4. The company, which also works in design and print, will be using the show to promote its overhead AV screen technology.


H40 Laban is a contemporary dance centre located in south east London. Its facilities include a 300-seat theatre and 12 professional dance studios, all of which are now available for corporate hire. The foyer space can be used for receptions, while the grounds offer a possible setting for outdoor functions.


I10 The Landmark London is a five-star hotel situated in London's Marylebone district. A total of 11 different function rooms are on offer, catering for conference or banqueting groups of up to 500. The hotel has an in-house meetings and events team, and also boasts a health spa.


H33 London Ducktours organises alternative tours of London using refurbished WW2 amphibious vehicles. The tour subsequently takes place on both London's streets and its river. The company also offers a bespoke pick-up, journey and drop-off service, providing opportunities for corporate hire, hospitality events, product launches, team-building exercises and treasure hunts.


H10 London Eastside offers a collection of more than 60 venues suitable for various events. Visitors to the stand can pick up a complimentary copy of the Essential Venue Guide for London. The area is home to the Tower of London, Brick Lane, Canary Wharf and Docklands.


I13 London Marriott West India Quay is a leisure and business hotel situated in the Canary Wharf district of the city. Over 12 floors the venue offers 279 rooms, 22 suites and 47 apartments. The hotel also provides 14 meeting rooms and more than 557sqm of event space. There is also wireless internet access available throughout the property.


LondonMICE is a not-for-profit organisation that was founded in 2004 by the London Development Agency to assist and promote MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) businesses in the London area. It features an online events industry directory for London, which targets meeting planners as well as private events.


H36 The London Stock Exchange is located close to St Paul's Cathedral in the centre of the capital and can be put to use as an event space.

The venue offers modern presentation technology and has four live television studios that are available for hire. Aimed at blue-chip companies and other organisations, it can be used for press conferences, launches and receptions.


J34 The London Wetland Centre is a wildlife reserve 25 minutes south west of central London. It has function spaces overlooking the lakes and reserve and can cater for private events and large corporate gatherings. ts largest room holds 140 guests theatre style or 100 for dinners and receptions.


H43 London Zoo is set in 36 acres of gardens in Regent's Park. It has a range of spaces available for events, including conferences, team-building activities, dinner dances, Christmas parties and product launches. The zoo is a registered charity, which means that events held there contribute to ongoing conservation work. Its on-site car park holds up to 250 cars.


J80 is a website aimed at helping event organisers source their requirements. The service is free and provides direct access to a diverse range of venues and suppliers. The site is interactive and covers a variety of categories, including catering, audio-visual, entertainment, transport, decor and special effects.


I26 London's Racecourses comprises Kempton Park, Sandown Park and Epsom Downs, all of which are accessible from central London and host events throughout the year. The venues provide opportunities for conferences, exhibitions, banqueting and team building, as well as hospitality on race days. Sandown Park, in Esher, has recently completed a major refurbishment.


K44 Lord's, widely considered the home of cricket, is located in St John's Wood. It provides a number of options for meetings and events. The Nursery Pavilion has a total floor area of 1125sqm and can accommodate up to 900 guests for receptions and buffets. Its Natwest Media Centre houses a 50-cover restaurant.


H10 The Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant is situated in London's Docklands.

The venue provides a range of themed events over its two decks and can cater for corporate groups as well as private parties. It offers four different main menus and can accommodate a maximum of 500 guests.


J92 The Main Event is a magazine for event organisers across the UK. The publication is aimed at those working in the sector who run entertainment events, concerts, conferences, shows and exhibitions, both indoors and out. It covers a wide range of events of all sizes, from small, one-day occasions to large-scale festivals.


H42 Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site is a historical London venue that offers organisers a range of possibilities for events. It incorporates seven different spaces, including the 1,000-capacity National Maritime Museum, the residential conference centre at Devonport House and the deck of The Cutty Sark, a London landmark that can host 180 people for receptions.


J52 Masala World is a group consisting of six Indian restaurants, including Chutney Mary in Chelsea, Veeraswamy on Regent Street and Amaya in Belgravia. These locations all offer a variety of private-hire facilities. The company also owns three Masala Zone restaurants, which offer traditional Indian street food in more casual surroundings.


F27 Mash Media is a publisher of magazines and directories for the exhibition, event and conference industry. The London-based company currently publishes a total of seven different magazines for the sector, as well as a number of handbooks and directories covering different areas of the industry.


I98 Masquerade Events is an event management company that specialises in planning parties and unique occasions. The company can devise themes, create itineraries and arrange catering, among other things. It also focuses on conferences, meetings, incentives and team-building activities, as well as providing specialist audio-visual and overseas divisions.


H10 The Meridian Business Centre is a purpose-built conference and meeting venue located in London City Airport. It offers a number of soundproofed and air-conditioned rooms for meeting, conference and training purposes. Spaces available include boardrooms, conference suites, training rooms and private offices. Presentations for up to 140 guests can be arranged.


I24 The Mermaid Conference & Events Centre is situated next to Blackfriars Station on the north bank of the Thames. It has recently invested £1.5m in upgrading its conference and event facilities. The venue now provides a total of 12 different function and meeting spaces, including a raked auditorium with a capacity of 600.


K10MIA is a professional organisation for the meetings industry in the UK and Ireland. The association brand promotes quality and professionalism and encourages high standards across the sector. Visitors to the show are able to pick up a copy of the latest buyers' guide at the stand.


L10 The MIC Hotel and Conference Centre is based in Euston in central London. Its hotel floor was rebuilt in 2004 and now offers 28 rooms. There are 14 separate conference and seminar spaces on site, the largest of which is able to host up to 150 guests. Private dining facilities are also provided.


J72 The Montcalm Hotel Nikko is a four-star property located close to Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Oxford Street. It has a total of 120 guest rooms and suites, all of which feature high-speed internet access and all modern facilities. The hotel has a restaurant on site and meeting facilities for up to 80 people.


K36 Moran Hotels is an Irish hospitality group with a number of four-star properties, including two in London. Crown Moran Hotel is located in the north west of the city and can host events and conferences for 120. The new Chiswick Moran Hotel is located 20 minutes from the city centre in the direction of Heathrow.


L52 Meeting Professionals International is the educational and networking association for meeting and event planners and suppliers in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. It has more than 20,000 members in 64 countries. Its website offers the latest news and information concerning educational programmes and member benefits.


J60 Nakhon Thai runs two Thai restaurants in London. The company also provides a marquee facility at its Docklands venue to cater for approximately 400 people, offering a direct view onto Excel London. Corporate accounts and discount schemes are in operation. Bespoke menus can be provided for all functions and meetings.


H10 The National Maritime Museum is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. It provides three different venues that can be used for private functions and special events. At its Royal Observatory guests can visit the home of time, stand on 0deg longitude, and enjoy telescope viewings before or after dinner.


J88 Nexus Collections is a company specialising in the production of conference bags, briefcases and portfolios. It offers a wide range of classic and contemporary styles and an in-house graphics services. All products can be branded with company logos. The company has more than ten years' experience in the business.


J42 Novotel London West is part of the Accor Hotels Group. The 629-room hotel can cater for receptions for up to 3,000 people. Other Accor properties represented at the show include Novotel London Euston, whose Shaw Theatre is suitable for product launches, and Ibis London Earls Court, which can host events for up to 1,200 guests.


H26 Odeon Event Venues is promoting its cinema complexes as locations for conferences and events. These spaces can cater for anything from small meetings for 50 people to large-scale functions accommodating more than 1,650. Its main London venue is the Odeon Leicester Square, which hosts 20 film premieres a year, as well as the BAFTA Awards.


J30 The Oval Conference Centre is located at the Brit Oval in Kennington, one of the country's premier cricket grounds for hosting Test matches. It provides a wide range of facilities and can accommodate up to 500 delegates for conferences. There are also a large number of smaller suites and private hospitality boxes.


Expo partner The PA Club is an organisation that aims to bring together senior PAs in the Docklands area with local businesses that can provide them with offers, goods or services. The club is free to all senior PAs and helps them meet like-minded colleagues, as well as forge links with local organisations and businesses.


I53 Park Crescent Conference Centre is located in Regent's Park and is part of International Students House. The venue offers a total of eight different rooms, which can accommodate up to 300 delegates for conferences. Parties for up to 600 people can be arranged. Audio-visual equipment and catering can both be provided on site.


J31 Planet Hollywood, which reopened in April 2003 after a major refurbishment, is a restaurant and event venue in Leicester Square. Three themed rooms are available for hire, and up to 500 guests can be hosted for a reception. The venue offers a number of conference and meeting packages and a specialist sales team to aid event organisation.


L20 Prestige Events is a quarterly guide published for event organisers. It focuses on new venues and hotels, new destinations and new ideas, as well as reporting on existing services. The guide aims to assist those in the sector with planning and creating successful events.


J86 PSCo is a trade specialist in audio-visual hire and advanced product sales. Among its products on display will be a fog screen and bezel-less plasma panels, which can join together in any bespoke combination to carry large, virtually seamless images. The company's services are available throughout Europe and much of the world.


H10 Queen Mary University of London is an academic venue providing more than 100 teaching and meeting rooms catering for up to 800 delegates, all within two miles of either the City of London or Canary Wharf. It offers a large amount of accommodation for residential meetings.


K24 Radisson SAS Hotels has two London properties on show. The Radisson SAS Portman Hotel offers 272 bedrooms and conference facilities for up to 600 delegates. The Radisson SAS London Stansted has 500 bedrooms, meeting space for up to 400 and a spectacular wine tower.


H10 The Ramada Hotel and Executive Suites is a waterfront property situated in London's Docklands. It is the closest hotel to London City Airport and sits near to Excel London. The four-star property has two meeting rooms, the Connaught and the Victoria - they can accommodate a total of 30 and 20 delegates respectively.


H30 Really Useful Theatres own seven London theatres, including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the London Palladium and Her Majesty's. The company offers in-house catering, private rooms and theatres capable of hosting anything from 50 to 2,000 people at any one time. It also has a dedicated functions team to assist with events.


J96 Reftech Ltd specialises in producing badging systems for exhibitions and conferences. It also handles online, paper and on-site registration, automated appointment setting, pre-event badge production and dispatch, on-site badge production, lead retrieval systems and attendance reporting. It operates at exhibitions, conferences, events and seminars throughout the UK and Europe.


L16 Regent's College Conference Centre is set in Regent's Park, surrounded by lawns, formal gardens and lakes. The venue is available for conferences, meetings or outdoor events for groups of up to 1,000 people. Its largest indoor space is Tuke Hall's lecture theatre, which is capable of holding up to 370 guests or delegates. The centre is five minutes walk from Baker Street tube station.


J70 The Restaurant Partnership Group will be promoting three London restaurants at this year's London Expo. Elena's L'Etoile is located on Soho's Charlotte Street and offers French and Italian cuisine. The Gay Hussar is the country's only Hungarian restaurant and has been open on Soho's Greek Street since 1953. Simply Nico, meanwhile, is a French bistro concept providing modern menus.


J31 Rex Cinema & Bar is situated in Soho and has been open since April 2003. It provides a venue that is suitable for film previews, press launches, conferences and presentations. Its screening room has the capacity to seat 75, while the overall venue can host up to 190 people.


K10 The Royal College of Physicians is an academic venue overlooking Regent's Park. It offers a variety of auditoriums, meeting rooms, exhibition spaces and dining facilities. The Wolfson Theatre can accommodate up to 300 delegates, while the Seligman Theatre is able to welcome 140. The venue takes great pride in its catering.


I10 The recently refurbished Royal Lancaster Hotel is located on the edge of Hyde Park. It provides a range of conference and event facilities, ranging from banqueting for 1,100 to product launches for 30. The property includes 416 bedrooms, two banqueting suites, 12 contemporary meeting rooms and two restaurants.


G14 RS Hispaniola is a restaurant ship moored on the Embankment. It has a cocktail bar and offers views from St Paul's to the Houses of Parliament. Its decks and boardroom can be made available for private parties, dances and corporate entertainment functions. The main deck can accommodate up to 200 guests.


J24World-famous Sadler's Wells is a theatre complex sitting in the centre of London, in Clerkenwell. The venue encompasses a total of three theatres - all of which are available for private hire - as well as a selection of other function rooms. The main event space is the Sadler's Wells auditorium, which can accommodate groups of up to 1,150 people.


K62 Sarastro and Papageno are restaurants in Covent Garden, close to the Royal Opera House. Sarastro has been open since 1996 and offers a Mediterranean-influenced menu. The restaurant caters for private parties. Sister restaurant Papageno, meanwhile, combines Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine with theatrical decor. It offers private theatrical boxes for up to 50 people and a further function room for 300.


H32 Savoy Place is a historic building in Westminster, recently redeveloped into a modern event venue. It has a total of 19 different rooms and spaces available. The largest, the Grand Lecture Theatre, is able to seat 462 guests. The Riverside Room can play host to groups of 200 and offers views of the Thames.


J50 Silks and Spice is a chain of Thai and Malaysian restaurants across London. Its flagship venue is situated in Temple Court and provides potential for hire for private events. Groups of up to 600 can be accommodated at the on-site Temple Bar and Nightclub. Private dining can be arranged for up to 20.


K30 Sodexho Prestige is a provider of catering and support services in the UK and Ireland. It can assist in arranging a wide variety of settings for special events and receptions, ranging from British estates such as Knebworth House, Cabinet War Rooms and HMS Belfast to the likes of Bateaux London and Great Leighs racecourse.


H22 Soho Clubs & Bars owns and manages eight West End venues, all situated within the Soho square mile. The range of bars and clubs can cater for parties from seven to 750 people. All of the company's venues can be hired exclusively for private receptions and events every night of the week.


J50 Super Star Excel is a Chinese restaurant located at the Royal Victoria Docks adjacent to Excel London. It can be used as a private venue for banquets, corporate bookings, weddings and parties. The restaurant has a capacity of up to 300, while its six private function rooms can seat up to 40 people.


G26 Swissotel The Howard is a hotel located in the city centre. The 189-room property provides a broad range of meeting and event facilities, including the Fitzalan and the Arundel, its two function suites. The Winter Garden can host gala dinners for 150, as well as cocktail receptions for 300.


L50 is a free online restaurant and event booking service. It provides 360deg restaurant views, sample menus, location maps, ratings and reviews, as well as free event planning and booking. The website offers solutions for corporate events, lunches, business meetings, parties and receptions.


I54 Tower Bridge provides four different venues that are available for private hire. The North Tower Lounge can host receptions for up to 50 people, the Bridge Master's Dining Room is able to accommodate groups of 20, while the Engine Rooms can host 120. The Walkways between the north and south towers can also be booked for functions and receptions.


H58 Twangling Jack provides 'customised corporate comedy' for live events.

This can be incorporated into exhibitions, product launches and trade shows - for example, using humorous exhibits or scripted scenarios on a stand - as well as conferences, seminars and meetings. The company can also create bespoke comedy songs for different events.


K10 USI is the creator of Event Business Management Software, an integrated system for the event management sector. It is used by more than 10,000 companies in 25 countries and covers topics such as sales and marketing, booking and contracts, resource scheduling, conference and exhibition management and invoicing.


J43 Unique Venues of London is a group of unusual venues across the capital.

Its portfolio provides suitable settings for anything from a small dinner to a large-scale event. Venues range from The Cutty Sark and the British Airways London Eye to Shakespeare's Globe and the Natural History Museum.


K42 The Victory Services Club is a private members' club located next to Marble Arch. It can be hired for bespoke events and conferences, providing eight rooms for up to 260 people. It can also be used for business presentations and product launches, and has a total of 230 bedrooms.


I30 Visit London is the official visitor organisation for the UK capital. It offers a first-class convention bureau service that is targeted specifically at the business market. The body also provides free, impartial advice on sourcing an event venue. Services include introductions to suppliers, familiarisation visits and assistance with bid preparation and promotional material.


G3 Wembley Stadium is in the process of completing its rebuild project.

Once finished, it will resume its role as the national football stadium and will also provide possibilities for private events and corporate hospitality.

Its facilities will accommodate 1,000 for conferences and groups of more than 3,000 for receptions.


K42 West Ham United Football Club provides function facilities at its east London stadium for everything from small, intimate events to large corporate parties. The venue can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

There are a number of rooms available at the venue, some of which have views overlooking the famous pitch.


H10 Whitechapel Gallery is a Grade I-listed art gallery located close to the city's financial district. It offers five different spaces for conferences and events, including a 104-seat auditorium, three different galleries and a cafe/bar. The venue is located close to Aldgate East tube station.


K10 The Window is a new event venue situated in Islington. Its main function floor can take 150 guests theatre style, or 75 in a cabaret set-up. There are also a number of different breakout spaces suitable for smaller presentations and workshops. The venue also offers a range of three-course meals.

CHRIS GOTHARD, head of sales and marketing, Alexandra Palace

"My earliest memories of London stem from my father taking me to the annual Lord Mayor's Show. I used to be enthralled by all the floats, the colour and the pageantry. And I still really enjoy going to the theatre and visiting museums, particularly the British Museum.

I'm very excited about the Olympics. It's going to be a wonderful showcase for the city - locations such as the London Eye will become even more iconic.

The scale of London is still a surprise to people. It occupies a very strong position in the pecking order of world cities because there's so much here. Even people who live here their entire lives don't know every nook and cranny, those 'secret' pubs or restaurants you just stumble across one day."

MARTINE AINSWORTH-WELLS, marketing director, Visit London

"There are two statistics that always amaze me about London. The first is a good bit of trivia that hints at the size of the city: it has more than 21,000 licensed taxis.

The second is that no less than a third of the city is made up of green space.

When the weekend comes round, I love shopping.

Not just the high-street experience but the more hidden-away areas too.

I live near Richmond, which is honeycombed with little lanes and small boutiques selling really interesting, unusual things.

I also really enjoy spending time by the Thames. It's the artery that runs through the heart of the city. I still remember an evening 15 years ago when I was having a drink on the river with friends.

I looked around at the skyline and decided: I'm going to live here."

VANESSA COTTON, managing director, conferences and events, Excel London

"I've got a clear memory of the first time I got hooked on London. I was attending the very first Rock Against Racism concert in Finsbury Park.

There was a march, Madness were playing and the whole thing was a really fantastic introduction to the city for me.

These days I love taking myself out for runs along the riverbank. I live in Barnes, and the stretch around Putney, Barnes and Richmond is beautiful.

And I'm also a big fan of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for shopping.

My favourite view? It would have to be from the General Wolfe statue in Greenwich Park. The extent of what you can see from there is incredible.

It's very humbling to imagine how many others have looked out from the same point over the centuries."

DAVID SHARPE, managing director, British Airways London Eye

"The past decade has been fantastic for London. Walking from one side of the river to the other is so easy now and a real pleasure - crossing from places such as Covent Garden or the Houses of Parliament to the South Bank. It's become very much like Paris, with different pockets of riverside culture.

My parents used to bring me into town a lot as a kid. We'd go to Leicester Square to watch the latest Bond films or head to Madame Tussauds. I've got kids of my own these days, so theatre trips to shows such as Mary Poppins and The Lion King go down well.

I'm always wowed that London attracts 17m visitors every year. That's a colossal figure, absolutely extraordinary. But then it's a city apart."

CLAIRE LAWSON, general manager, The Brewery

"The thing that stands out for me about London is its diversity. I live in north London so I spend a lot of time chilling out around the boutiques and restaurants around Muswell Hill and Crouch End. The great thing is you can then decide to head into town to an art gallery or theatre for a completely different experience. I went to see The Producers recently, which was awesome.

The view that you get from Alexandra Palace is a personal highlight.

Being able to look down over Canary Wharf and see the city just spread out below you - it really hits home how vast the place is.

With an eye to the future, I think London's going to keep on improving. The new Wembley's been a long time coming but it's going to be great for the city when it does finally open."

ANNA TAYLOR, corporate events manager, Tate "I'm a huge fan of live music, so for me London is the best place in the world to be. Venues such as Brixton Academy have character but I love places like Dublin Castle to see unsigned bands. When groups get too big they're everywhere and I lose interest a bit.

One of the best things about London is it's so multi-cultural. There are so many areas where the streets and markets are full of life. Camden, Spitalfields, Portobello Road, they're all special.

I got hooked on the city the first time I ever visited the Notting Hill Carnival. I was blown away by the colours and costumes. All the effort that had gone into it was incredible, and it was really well organised.

For me, London will always be the place to be, the place where things happen."

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