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Location, location, location

Sonya Cox
Senior Account Manager, The NEC, Birmingham

Finding the right venue for an exhibition is an obvious must for any organiser, but there’s more to harmonising event and location than just sticking a pin in a map. The synergy between the two needs to be felt on both sides. A great event needs a great host venue and vice versa.

When InstallerSHOW moved to the NEC in 2022, it felt like the perfect fit for all parties – a show with ambitious growth plans married to a venue with the infrastructure, scope and amenities to ensure that year-on-year growth could be achieved seamlessly.

Almost half a century on from its opening, the NEC epitomises the concept of a destination, providing everything a visitor may need for the duration of their stay. The show experience itself sits at the heart of it, of course, but the opportunity to enjoy everything that the venue has to offer will enhance that experience.

From the minute you book your stand, you have access to support through the NEC’s exhibitor store. Take a look at helpful stand services – everything you’d need from on-stand hospitality to electricity and internet, you can book it all from the NEC’s website or by calling the friendly team.

Did you know that over 70% of the UK is within a 3-hour drive of the NEC? This makes it the perfect location to reach as many of your customers as possible. And from arrival to departure, every aspect of the customer experience matters. No matter how you get to the NEC, whether by road, rail or air, InstallerSHOW is accessible within just a few hundred metres – and parking is free for all visitors throughout the three days.

There are plenty of options available to keep you fed and watered with the venue, including from the newest outlet opening – The Bagel Factory. In the middle of the Piazza, located just round the corner from the InstallerSHOW halls, you can now also buy a fresh, lunchtime bagel; ideal for a quick bite as you’re on the go.

The wider NEC Campus offers a multitude of choices for unwinding or entertaining outside of show hours too. With Resorts World Birmingham located just over the road from the NEC, you have access to numerous restaurants, bars, a multi-screen cinema, spa and other leisure facilities. If you’re staying overnight, there’s a wealth of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, with over 9,000 hotel rooms inside a five-mile radius.

The partnership between venue and show goes beyond the nuts and bolts, of course – particularly for an event like InstallerSHOW which has a laser focus on sustainability, efficiency and decarbonisation. The NEC recognises that the sustainability of events is more important than ever, and that we all have a responsibility to reduce the impact we have on the environment, support people and give back to local communities. Its all-encompassing environmental sustainability programme is constantly evolving as it continues to look for ways to make positive change and prevent wastage.

This alignment of values and drive to effect positive change is not always a visible part of the relationship between the NEC and InstallerSHOW but is nonetheless a cornerstone for 2024 and beyond.

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