Choosing the perfect space for a conference is no easy feat. Setting is everything: a good venue will establish the tone of the conference, compliment business identity, spark conversation, and, ultimately, set your event apart from the crowd. With so many aspects to consider – from seating to ceilings, first impressions to final take-aways – selecting a location can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, historic venues do a lot of the work for you. How? We’ve compiled the top ten reasons why a historic space is your best bet for organising a truly memorable event.
With a historic venue, you’ll always have visual impact on your side. From striking high ceilings to richly decorated interiors, antique features to breath-taking landscape views, the buildings and their surroundings are designed to awe. Our Prince Consort Rooms, for example, adjoin the estate’s stunning Georgian manor, so guests are met with all the architectural splendour of the 18th century on arrival. Historic spaces lend themselves to powerful first impressions, before the first speaker has even taken the stand.
Shaping Business Identity
The space you choose to hold a conference in says a lot about who you (or your clients) are, and how you want to be seen. A historic venue imparts real elegance, taking the ordinary and elevating it to something special, benefitting from the charm and grandeur of a building with a rich history. Better still, if it’s a well-known location, you align business identity with all the prestige that comes with it, affirming your values to contacts new and old.
These spaces are made to be photographed, making them an apt choice if you’re looking to continue reaping marketing rewards post-conference. With such an atmospheric backdrop, attendees are likely to take photos and share these pictures on social media. The event will reach a far larger audience and live on long after the conference itself. A picture and personal recommendation speak a thousand words.
A Surprisingly Budget-Savvy Choice
If you’re on a strict budget, a historic venue could save you money in the long term. Dressing an empty space from scratch is a costly endeavour, requiring a vision, a team, and all the extras that make for a well-rounded event. Historic spaces impress off the bat: their spectacular architecture and interiors (plus the natural beauty of the venue grounds) demand little alteration, leaving you free to focus on the details.
Built-in Talking Points
If you’re looking to encourage easy mingling or networking, historic venues come with conversational prompts included. Wherever your eye settles, there’ll be something to intrigue – a portrait, a story, a panorama – meaning your guests will never be short of a talking point. Amongst the 40 medals lining the walls of our Medal Room, you might spot the Victoria Cross awarded to Lieutenant Alfred Oliver Pollard. Beyond his military feats, did you know Pollard was also a prolific crime and mystery fiction writer? (Ice broken!)
A Place to Think, a Place to Talk
If a conference involves discussion, a historic venue is a fantastic environment for a free flow of ideas. Removed from the routine familiarity of modern conference rooms – displaced even from the present – these spaces provide just the right sort of change to inspire fresh thinking, creative exchanges, new angles, and greater participation.
Old and New: the Best of Both
Make no mistake: old does not mean outdated. Combining the ambiance of a historic venue with the power of modern technology makes for an experience like no other. Many venues have been enhanced with events in mind: take our Prince Consort Rooms, equipped with state-of-the-art audio and lighting systems. In merging the two, you bring together the very best of past and present.
Variety and Versatility
When it comes to versatility, historic venues are the ultimate multi-functional locations. Unlike the four walls of a standard conference facility, a historic building will often boast a selection of rooms, halls, antechambers, and outdoor areas to choose from. Each space will have its own distinct qualities and character, having served a specific purpose in its heyday, allowing you to maximise the venue to its fullest potential. You might want to organise the main event in a larger hall, incorporating several smaller rooms for breakout discussions. Or perhaps your conference concludes with a stand-out meal in a hall that has hosted diners for centuries. You also have the grounds at your disposal – courtyards, lawns, terraces – should you be looking to organise a summer event. Whatever your or your clients’ requirements, a historic venue will leave you spoilt for choice.
The Power of Atmosphere
Never underestimate the potency of ambiance. It is a difficult thing to pinpoint – and harder still to curate – but it will almost certainly play a vital role in setting the tone of a conference. Here, historic venues hold a unique advantage. These spaces have witnessed life unfold over centuries; there is something special about their timelessness. To an organiser looking to impress, they offer an atmosphere that can’t be bought.
Of all the reasons to choose a historic venue for a conference, memorability is perhaps the most compelling: your event will stand out. A corporate meeting can be transformed, by virtue of its, into an occasion, to be remembered long after its end. Selecting a historic space brings with it an unforgettable sense of spectacle and atmosphere, in ways that a modern facility can’t replicate.
Conferences at the HAC
Based just minutes from Moorgate and Old Street tube stations, the HAC’s six-acre estate is nestled in the heart of the City, perfect for businesses and out-of-down delegates. Our Prince Consort Rooms provide a modern suite purpose-built for conferences and meetings. Complete with fully customisable AV and streaming facilities, impressive entrance, courtyard and sun terrace, the space is the ideal environment to talk and think. To find out more, visit our information page here, or contact our experienced Events team on 020 7382 1533.