Location, location, locationThe NEC is strategically based in the suburbs of a major UK city, with a surprising amount of free space surrounding it, paving the way for the huge-scale expansion the venue has undergone since its opening. The infrastructure surrounding Birmingham allows for easy access to the venue from all over the UK and further afield, via Birmingham International Airport (1.5 miles), Birmingham International Railway Station (0.5 miles) and the city centre (10 miles). Based in the heart of the country, the NEC is the to go-to venue for exhibitions which pull attendees from all over the UK, whereas London is arguably better internationally connected so thrives on the international exhibitions. There’s still plenty of national exhibitions to fill the NECs 20 halls every week, though, with the venue hosting over 500 events and 6 million visitors per year.
The venue has systematically grown, piece by piece, expanding by one hall at a time. This layout perfectly suits the smaller scale national exhibitions the NEC plays host to, and allows for interconnecting halls to be used for co-located shows.