• Image of a SAMS meeting room
    Modern well-equipped facilities
    for meetings, conferences and workshops
    for group sizes 2 - 120

Conference facilities at SAMS

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. For corporate hire, download our 2023 brochure here: Conferencing, Meetings, Events & Hire Booklet 2023-24

SAMS consists of two large (and several small) buildings: The Sir John Murray Building, opened in 2004, is our research laboratory while the Sheina Marshall Building, added in 2010, is dedicated to education.

For conferences, meetings, workshops or field visits we can provide across the two sites:

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


Lecture theatres

William Speirs Bruce Conference Room (John Murray Building)

Named after Scotland's great polar explorer, this first floor room (lift access available) accommodates up to 120 delegates and is equipped with: temperature and humidity control
; scene lighting control
; automatic projection screen
; digital 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.

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

On the ground floor, adjacent to the Ocean Explorer Centre visitor and outreach facility, 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
  • >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. The room is named after Andrew Picken Orr, closest collaborator of Sheina Marshall. They were pioneering biological oceanographers who spent their entire careers at the Association.

This room is used for teaching and is thus only available for hire at weekends or during lecture-free periods.


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. This room, too, is used for teaching and only available at weekends or in the holiday period.


Meeting rooms

SAMS has four 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.

Meeting rooms 1 and 2 (John Murray Building)

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

Meeting room 3 (John Murray Building) - also known as the purple room

Our former conference room on the first floor can easily accommodate 30 people. It is a very flexible and light-flooded facility with a small en-suite kitchen. This room can be used as a catering venue and can accommodate up to 60 people in this function. It can also be used for poster displays. It is located next to the William Speirs Bruce Conference Room. This room is particularly suitable for training events with a practical component.

Board room (John Murray Building)

This is a formal and sound-proof 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 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. Only available in lecture free periods.

Etive 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. Only available in lecture free periods.

Leven Seminar Room (Sheina Marshall Building)

This first floor room, named after Loch Leven, accommodates up to 12 users. It is equipped with a 50'' LCD smart board with sympodium and is located opposite the Camus Cafe (self-catering canteen). Only available in lecture free periods.


Computer rooms

On the first floor of the Sheina Marshall Building are two computer rooms - available during lecture-free periods.

  • >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.



The 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 to 60 students
  • >The James Gemmill Laboratory accommodates up to 24 students
  • >The Clifford Mortimer Laboratory is for up to 24 students
  • >The Hugh Robert Mill Laboratory suits groups of up to 12 students

All 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; laboratory glassware; spectrophotometers; pH meters; balances; drying ovens; water baths; pipettes. We also have a large 3D globe and two large ripple tanks to demonstrate basic physical oceanography processes. All equipment must be booked in advance and prices will be provided on request.

We 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.

To discuss your needs, check availability or book, please contact Helen Britton from our conference and events team at:

E: events@sams.ac.uk

T: +44 (0) 1631 559 445