London: The Greatest Events Destination in the World?

6 September 2016

It's not news to anyone that London is one of the greatest cities on the planet. It topped the 2008 Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index and the 2013 Tokyo Institute for Urban Strategies Global Power City Index, in part due to its position as the world's greatest foreign exchange market (around half of the daily global turnover takes place in London). It's that huge economic pulling power that has made the city the obvious choice as a European base for many global organisations, including sales, IT, finance and Telecoms giants.

The city also boasts some of Europe's most exciting and dynamic neighbourhoods, districts where some of the world's brightest and best companies gather to create uniquely vital hotbeds for the development and progression of their industry - see the start-ups coming out of Old Street's Tech City or the financial centres around the City of London and Canary Wharf.

The 2012 Olympics reminded even the most jaded business leaders that London still has the power to thrill a global audience. Combined with world-class infrastructure, an impossible selection of top-flight events venues and a unique history that lives alongside the pulse and pace of the modern city, we've got a feeling that London might just be the greatest events destination in the world. We're never ones to just go with a hunch though, so let's take a closer look...


Depending on your location, the nuts and bolts of getting to the Big Smoke may be a major factor in the viability of a London event. The good news is that London may be the best-connected city in the world. It boasts 6 airports, providing connections to nearly 350 destinations worldwide. The largest three - Heathrow (the busiest airport in Europe), Gatwick and Stansted - take the bulk of the international traffic for business travellers to the city.

London is accessible by rail and road from mainland Europe, with direct motorway links from all European ferries and the Eurotunnel, as well as Eurostar rail services offering a step-on/step-off service from St Pancras International to Brussels or Paris in a little over two hours.

Once attendees are in London, getting around couldn't be easier. Following extensive infrastructure investment for the 2012 Olympic Games, London’s public transport offering is better than ever, and there is very little of the city that can't be quickly and easily accessed via the efficient, reliable London Underground and Overground network, the Docklands Light Railway, London Riverboats or the city's famous red buses and black cabs.

From next year London will benefit from the completion of the Crossrail rail network. This ambitious project - the largest construction project in Europe - will offer even faster connections across the city and the surrounding suburbs, filling the few gaps in London's public transport network.


Since London 2012, the city has been better-equipped than ever for events of all sizes, scales and shapes. Massive investment in infrastructure, greener and more efficient transport links, and better, more accessible accommodation across the capital (the city now boasts over 125,000 hotel rooms) has also ushered in a slew of new venues, bars, restaurants and attractions.

The city's best hotels are truly world-class establishments, and include legendary names like the Ritz, the Savoy, the Dorchester and the Langham. There are hotels here for all budgets, with many boasting a range of events spaces on site.

For large-scale events clients may look to the city's purpose-built conference centres, including the 100 acre ExCeL London centre and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre near Westminster and the House of Parliament. Smaller venues include the Mermaid, a custom-built theatre and events space next to Blackfriars Bridge, and the Business Design Centre in Islington.

If impact and innovation are top of your agenda, think about taking advantage of London's more exotic venue possibilities. Events can be hosted in a number of high-profile locations including the Tower of London, London Sealife Centre, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Opera House, any of the great South Kensington museums and many, many more.


Thanks to its huge economic influence, London offers unrivalled commercial opportunity, and so an unrivalled roster of global organisations and an workforce like no other on the planet. Over 840,000 private sector businesses are based in the capital, and major players including Reuters, Barclays, CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Ernst and Young and the BBC have significant presences here.

London's talent pool - over four million people speaking 230 languages - includes many of the world's most advanced scientists, tech specialists and academics, and the city also offers global organisations the opportunity to work with industry-leading professional services partners.

Along with direct access to some of the best academics and keynote speakers out there (thanks in part to London's 45 universities and colleges including world-leading research and teaching institutions like UCL, Imperial, LSE and King's College), London's people are a huge resource for event planners from the largest global brands to vital, cutting-edge start ups.

For many global organisations the city's accessibility, breadth of offering and more are supplementary benefits to the fact that many of their people are already in the city. This can save travel budgets, minimise disruption to workflows and more.

Heritage & History

London's 2000+ years of history have created a rich and fascinating heritage that begs to be explored. Delegates enjoying downtime, precious days off or evenings after long hours in conference can immerse themselves in the city's world-class museums (many of them are free), art galleries, royal palaces and parks. The history isn't confined to stuffy halls and fortresses though - it's everywhere.

The sheer breadth of London's offering to planners makes it the perfect events destination. Budgets can be tightly monitored and managed thanks to the prevalence of accommodation, venues and experiences to suit every pocket. Flights, similarly, can be chosen to suit budgets. First and business class flights are available from most major cities globally, and London is the hub of Europe's budget flights industry.

London is a breathtaking, ever-changing city that attracts the world's best workers, best organisations and best events. There simply isn't another city that comes close to the breadth and standard of its hospitality, transport and heritage offering.

If you agree with us we would love to talk to you about how we can help plan your event in the Big Smoke. If you don't agree, we would love to talk to you about where you would rather hold that event. Get in touch now via the Contact page.