Venue Name: The NEC
Venue Type: Exhibition and Conference Centre
Venue Contact Name: Gemma Piggott, Marketing Manager
Venue Website: www.thenec.co.uk
- Describe the facilities the NEC offers for both event and exhibition organisers.
The NEC can provide over 182,000 square metres of covered indoor space across 20 interconnecting halls and 34 conference suites, in addition to over 392 acres of hard-standing ground and 75 acres of woodland. It’s also a perfect fit for conferences and live events, not just exhibitions. The venue has the flexibility to host any size event from 20-5000 delegates.
- What unique selling points does the NEC have?
The NEC is the UK’s best connected venue! It is physically connected to both Birmingham International Railway Station and Birmingham Airport, and is located in the heart of the UK’s busy motorway network, in close proximity to the M6 and M42.
Resorts World Birmingham- the UK’s first integrated leisure and entertainment complex, has made the NEC site a 24/7 visitor destination. The complex allows visitors, exhibitors and organisers the opportunity to work, rest or play outside the hours of an event.
The NEC is part of the NEC Group, one of the world’s leading venue management companies, and benefits from its unique structure. The NEC Group also operates the ICC, Genting Arena, Barclaycard Arena and the Vox Conference Centre as well as national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory; hospitality brand, Amplify; and award-winning caterer, Amadeus.
- Tell us about some of the events that have taken place at the NEC.
The NEC welcomes 2.1 million visitors and 34,000 exhibiting companies to over 500 events every year.
Spring Fair is the venue’s longest standing event, having taken place at the NEC every year since the venue opened in 1976. The trade event, targeted at the retail industry, is the venue’s current biggest show in terms of floor space, covering all of the NEC’s exhibition halls.
The NEC also welcomes a national audience to popular events like Crufts, Horse of the Year Show, and Clothes Show.
In addition to large exhibitions, the NEC also hosts Conferences and Live Events, welcoming leading national and international brands such as Range Rover, Sainsbury ’s, Coca Cola and Toyota for a variety of corporate and communication events.
- Do you have contractors/suppliers that regularly service your events and if so, how have they lent their particular expertise to the development of your events?
The NEC’s in-house catering team Amadeus has been working alongside the venue for 40 years and has an extensive knowledge of the exhibitions. The team works closely with clients to advise and deliver their catering requirements.
The venue can provide organisers and exhibitors with an extensive list of trusted suppliers to help them source anything they might need to have a great event. This includes anything from promotional staff to exhibition stand and flooring providers.
- How has the NEC developed in the last 5 years?
Over the last few years, the NEC has been committed to enhancing the experience of customers to its venue. As part of this, a brand team was formed which aimed to develop and implement changes across the site that would improve the journey of its various customer groups. Work has included the creation of a beach-area outside of the venue, the development of its outdoor garden areas and the installation of a now-iconic NEC sign by the venue’s front door.
- Are there any plans to develop the NEC over the next 5 years?
The NEC is set to undertake and extensive two year venue improvement project, that aims to enhance the aesthetics of the venue in order to improve the customer experience. The work will include; external façade cladding, new internal and external lighting, in-hall pod refurbishments and more seating areas.
- What strategies does the NEC employ to support events taking place within it?
The NEC allocates a dedicated account and event managers for each event who acts as the main points of contact for organisers before, during and after an event. The teams have extensive experience in planning, advising and helping implement exhibitions and events.
The venue also has a Sales and Customer Support team which liaises with organisers and exhibitors to map out the requirements of each event. The team acts as a link to a comprehensive range of services, from internet connectivity to catering provisions for exhibition stands.
The NEC can also offer catering and ticketing solutions, through Amadeus and The Ticket Factory, as well as Marketing and Communications support through its on-site teams.