Do people arrive late/leave early for big conferences? eg. 500-1000 attendees

I’m looking into venues in London for a conference I’d like to put on next year. I’m expecting between 500-1000 people to attend. I was wondering if anyone had experience with running conferences with this many people where we’ll have overlapping sessions in different rooms but we’ll also have stalls. My question is two fold!

  1. Does anyone know of a venue in London that would work for this kind of conference?
  2. Does anyone know that if you have an opening session in the morning, will I need to book a main room that can seat all 1000 people or if I book a main room that’s smaller than the total number of attendees would that be ok? For example, if I book a main room of 380 people for the opening and closing sessions, would I have people standing in the back due to lack of seats? Or will a lot of people arrive late/leave early and so that’d be ok?

Any advice from anyone with experience in this would be super appreciated!

1 Like

Hi Rebecca, great question! There is likely to be a fair number of attendees who arrive late. You’ll see from the thread below that other organisers wonder how to get them to arrive on time, but you’ll want to actively discourage this if you don’t have the space! Maybe make it clear that registration will stay open until after the opening session and that attendance is optional? Even so, I think a room with capacity for 380 will be too small if you potentially have 1,000 attendees (but ok for 500). To be safe, perhaps you could work on a figure of 20-30% being late and leaving early?

In terms of finding a suitable venue, do you have a particular part of London you’re looking at (where will the delegates be coming from)? And what is the nature of the conference?

Thanks Belinda! No particular part of London, I expect attendees to be coming from London and all across the UK so the more central and easy to get to the better.

1 Like

Perhaps a sporting venue would offer the flexibility and ease of access you need, such as Arsenal Football Club, Chelsea Football Club or Twickenham Stadium?