All About Conferences

Almost 1.3 million conferences took place in the UK last year, with the industry generating around 18 billion pounds annually. If you're employed, you have probably attended at least one conference.

What Is a Conference?

A conference can be defined as a group of employees meeting to discuss work related issues, such as performance, productivity, a new product launch or anything else work related. However, a conference can also bring together political party members, or those belonging to a social or sports club. It's an easy and effective way to get the same message across to a large group of people at the same time, and communicating in person is often more beneficial and achieves more positive results than emails or an internal memo.

What To Expect From a Conference

A conference may be a dozen employees sitting around a table, or it may be hundreds of people attending a series of talks in a large venue. Many conferences have guest speakers, and you may be expected to take part in workshops or group activities. Meals at conferences are popular, and catering for conference and meeting facilities is an industry in itself. You may be there for a couple of hours, or the conference may last for several days. Regardless, it's a good opportunity to learn something new, discuss important issues and also meet other employees or members that you don't normally interact with. Studies show that more people get more out of meeting in person than having to read an email. Many conferences bring together different departments, often from all over the UK or even from different countries. Any time of year can be conference time, although many companies like to meet between January and March to plan ahead for the new year.

Where Are Conferences Held?

Conference and meeting facilities can be found all over the UK, and vary in size and the facilities and amenities offered.

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If you are planning a conference, look for a venue that's the right size; you don't want to pay for a larger facility than you need, nor do you want a shortage of space. Location is an important factor too, and if participants are coming from different areas of the country, your venue should be easy to get to. London has always been a popular choice of location, and Birmingham has also established itself as a leading UK conference destination, because of its central location.