Networking is a key tool in today's competitive business world: it's often a necessary activity when trying to secure the right contacts, gain new employment or generally advance professionally. But in order to successfully rub elbows, you'll need an inspiring venue – such as one of these slick spaces.

1. Lee Valley VeloPark

Lee Valley VeloParkStratford

Lee Valley VeloPark

Few venues can claim to have been a part of the 2012 London Olympics. Lee Valley is the official velodrome at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where the public saw Team GB cycle to a deserving gold-medal victory. Now, companies can hold their networking events in the middle of the circular track – or in one of the many more intimate meeting rooms dotted around the venue. The prestigious space will, at the very least, be a great talking point for icebreaking purposes.

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2. The Royal Park Hotel

The Royal Park HotelLancaster Gate

The Royal Park Hotel

Future contacts and clients will be impressed with the grandeur of The Royal Park Hotel, named after its location just metres from Hyde Park. They'll be wowed by the elegance of The Green Room, the signature space that holds 25 people – an ideal number for cosy mingling. Adding to the warmth is the crackling open fireplace and charming antique furnishing.

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3. Salvador & Amanda

Salvador & AmandaCovent Garden

Salvador & Amanda

If you feel a restaurant is more suited to your networking event – and good food is always a welcome addition to any function – this is a superb choice. The Covent Garden eatery tantalises with classic Spanish specialities like albóndigas (meatballs) and arroz negro con calamares (black rice with squid), served in a traditional tapas style. Up to 270 networkers will fit in the atmospheric space when hired for a private event.

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4. Dalston Fish Tank

Dalston Fish TankHaggerston

Dalston Fish Tank

In anticipation of the release of Finding Dory, why not let Nemo and his tropical buddies play a colourful part in your event? This quirky East London space drowns out competitors with its numerous large fish tanks, displaying schools of scaled critters. In fact, the venue is currently running an exclusive offer for Hire Space customers: all evening receptions booked will include a lighting package, bar area, DJ equipment and surround sound – all of which are usually charged as extras.

5. The Crystal

The CrystalRoyal Victoria

The Crystal

This contemporary Docklands venue opened in 2012 and prides itself on being environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Moreover, the glass building is breath-taking, as are the views offered from inside, looking out over the Royal Victoria Docks. The expansive lobby space, The Street, is ideal for larger networking events, with its capacity for 270 professionals. The adjacent auditorium holds the same number, and is fitted with a screen and a stage for when networking needs to be complemented with a speech, movie or, though less likely, a touch of amateur improv.

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6. Kent House

Kent HouseKnightsbridge

Kent House

From futuristic to majestically traditional: Kent House in Knightsbridge is a Victorian townhouse with suitably grand spaces and an entrance hall with black-and-white marble floors. The transformable Rutland Room brings modern amenities to the historic charm, meaning mingling can take place without any hitches. Hungry hobnobbers fear not: the venue has an extensive catering list from some of the capital's best nosh procurers.

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