There are several types of hotels: the most convenient are so-called business hotels. Rooms and beds tend to be quite small, but they offer pretty much everything you may need. An altogether different experience is a ryokan (Japanese-style hotel) with tatami-matted rooms in which you sleep on futons on the floor. However, depending on the hotel and on room availability, they may not allow single occupancy.
Downtown Kyoto is roughly the rectangle bound by Kawaramachi street and the Kamo river in the east, by Karasuma street (with the Karasuma subway line below) in the west, by Shijo street (and the Hankyu line underground) in the south, and by Oike street with the City Hall in the north. This is where the large department stores and the shopping malls are located. Gion, the traditional entertainment district, is further east across the Kamo river. From downtown Kyoto to the conference venue, it takes about half an hour by bus and on foot.
Here are some business hotels in the area:
The following is a ryokan: