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Conference facilities at SAMS



Scottish Marine Institute aerialThe SAMS hosts numerous conferences, workshops, training events and meetings every month. These often involve our own scientists but we also make our facilities available to external organisations who are looking for a conference venue.

Our facilities best suit conferences of up to around 100 delegates. If hosting larger events - like the Challenger Conference with over 350 delegates - we include the use of external facilities to accommodate the event.



Conference facilities at SAMS

SAMS' Scottish Marine Institute is spread across two large buildings: The John Murray Building (built 2004) is our research laboratory while the Sheina Marshall Building (built 2010) is designed for education activities. For conferences, meetings, workshops or field visits we can provide

  • three lecture theatres for 60-120 delegates
  • ten meeting rooms of various sizes
  • two computer rooms
  • four laboratories for 12 to 60 users


Lecture Theatres

William Speirs Bruce Conference Room (John Murray Building)

Named after Scotland's great polar explorer, this room accommodates up to 120 delegates and is equipped with:

  • Temperature and humidity control
; Scene lighting control
; Automatic projection screen
; Digital projector
; High resolution digital slide projector
; DVD player
; Network connected PC with wireless keyboard and mouse, TV card, and running Windows XP, Acrobat and Office Suite; Audio amplification equipment
; Input connections for PC, S video, LAN
; Lectern with light and podium monitor
; Induction loop amplifier

The room can be laid out in the arrangement that best serves the purpose for the event. It is used for lectures, workshops, examinations, meetings, panel interviews, and even fitness classes. 

William Speirs Bruce Conference Room  WSB Conf Rm for meeting


A.P. Orr Lecture Room - with Annex (Sheina Marshall Building)

On the ground floor, adjacent to the Scottish Ocean Explorer Centre, are two lecture rooms:

  • The A.P. Orr Lecture Room for 60 delegates is equipped with projector, sympodium and pen and has video-conferencing facilities (image on left)
  • The A.P. Orr Annex for 20 delegates is also equipped with projector, sympodium and VC capabilities

The two adjacent rooms are divided by a movable partition and can be converted into a single lecture room for up to 100 delegates.

A.P.Orr lecture theatre  AP Orr Annex Lecture Room


Linnhe Suite (Sheina Marshall Building)

The Linnhe Suite is for audiences of up to 40 delegates and is serviced by a 92'' smart board and smaller smart boards for group work.


Meeting Rooms

The Scottish Marine Institute has six meeting rooms in the John Murray Building, and four in the Sheina Marshall Building. Powerpoint projectors, white boards, flip charts, IT network sockets and telephones are available in all rooms and some are additionally equipped with video conferencing facilities. Our transportable VC kit can be booked for other rooms.

SAMS meeting room 1Meeting rooms 1 and 2 (John Murray Building)

These two room, located adjacent to our reception area, accommodate up to 12 people separately, but may be joined together and seat up to 40.

Both rooms includes a video conference suite.



Meeting Room 3Meeting room 3 (John Murray Building)

Our former conference room can easily accommodate up to 30 people. It is a very flexible facility with a small en-suite kitchen. It also includes a large screen tv-dvd unit.

This room can be used as a catering venue and can accommodate up to 60 people in this function. It can also serve for poster exhibitions. It is located next to the William Speirs Bruce Conference Room.

Meeting room 4 (John Murray Building)

This is a very small meeting room for up to four people.

Meeting Room 5Meeting room 5 (John Murray Building)

This quiet room at the back of the building has lovely views over the Dunstaffnage marina and accommodates up to 10 delegates.

It includes a small 'en-suite' kitchen.



SAMS Board RoomBoard room (John Murray Building)

This is a formal room in the directorate for events for up to 26 participants and includes a video conference suite.

It has access to a balcony with stunning views over a marina towards Connel Bridge and Ben Cruachan.

Tea and coffee can be served in the Directorate area just outside the room, which can also be laid out for buffet lunches.

Creran seminar roomCreran Seminar Room (Sheina Marshall Building)

This first floor room, named after our local Loch Creran, can accommodate 12 users for meetings or 9 for a lecture style arrangement.

It is equipped with a 50'' LCD smart board with sympodium.



Etive seminar roomEtive Seminar Room (Sheina Marshall Building)

This first floor room for up to 12 users. It is equipped with a 50'' LCD smart board with sympodium.

It is named after local Loch Etive, where we conduct much research.



Leven seminar roomLeven Seminar Room (Sheina Marshall Building)

This first floor room, named after Loch Leven, accommodates up to 12 users.

I is equipped with a 50'' LCD smart board with sympodium and is located opposite the Camus Cafe.



Computer rooms

Computer suite 2On the first floor of the Sheina Marshall Building are two computer rooms:

  • Computer Suite 1 for up to 20 users with a 63" LCD smart board with sympodium and pen
  • Computer Suite 2 for up to 30 users with a 63" smart board with sympodium and pen

The rooms are connected by a door and can be used together for large classes.



John Gage laboratoryThe Sheina Marshall Building has four teaching laboratories that are supported by the latest audiovisual technology including smart boards. Large preparation facilities are also available:

  • The John Gage Laboratory can support up 60 students (left)
  • The James Gemmill Laboratory accommodates up to 24 students (below)
  • The Clifford Mortimer Laboratory is for up to 24 students (3rd down)
  • The Hugh Robert Mill Laboratory suits groups of up to 12 students (bottom)

James Gemmill LaboratoryAll rooms include fume cupboards and sinks, and are serviced with distilled water and gas.

Our lab store is stocked with standard lab equipment such as:

different types of microscopes

camera attachments for microscopes

Clifford Mortimer Laboratorylaboratory glassware


pH meters


lab dancers

Hugh Robert Mill Laboratorydrying ovens

water baths


a large 3D globe

a large ripple tank


  • Cafe CamusWe can support conference organisers with arranging catering, bus transport and accommodation.
  • Specialised IT and other communication support can be booked. We can also record your event for webstreaming or other purposes.
  • We have a small supply of poster boards available for rent and can assist with procuring larger numbers.
  • SAMS can also print A0 posters for customers.
  • Tours of the premises can be arranged for visitors who would like to find out more about our work.


Please discuss any of these services with our Conference Manager when making booking arrangements.

How to book

How to book conference facilities and services

If you would like to find out more about our various conference and meeting facilities and options - including obtaining a quote - please contact:

Claire Smalley


T: +44 (0) 1631 559 445

F: +44 (0) 1631 559 001

Our contact details

Conference Manager
SAMS, Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
T: +44 (0) 1631 559 000
F: +44 (0) 1631 559 001

Contact us
Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA
T: 01631 559000
F: 01631 559001