Most suitable area to stay in Bali if I have conference in Kuta and mode of transport

I am travelling to Bali in July for a week in which I will be attending a conference for 2 days and the rest of the days are dedicated to sightseeing. I have two questions:

1) Which area in Bali would be most suited for my stay under the above conditions?

2) Which would be the appropriate mode of transport car rentals or local cabs?