Our Head of Events Mike Goldsmith gives you a tour of our new home for FAB 2024
The NEC should need no introduction. If you've ever considered attending an exhibition or conference in the UK, it's likely you've come across the National Exhibition Centre. Our team took at a trip up to sunny Birmingham to take in all the new opportunities offered by our lovely new home.
We're in safe and experienced hands. The NEC has been hosting events since 1976. It's the UK's largest event venue with 18 halls and 32 conference suites across 186,000sqm of covered space. No wonder it puts on over 750 events a year - that's 7,000,000 people a year!
Transport access is superb - 75% of the UK is within a three-hour travel time! On the train, Birmingham International is a five minute stroll away from the NEC with a train leaving Birmingham every 37 seconds to all major cities - that's including six trains per hour to London. If you're arriving by car, the NEC is located just off Junction Six of the M42 motorway.
Once you're quickly there, there's over 16,500 parking spaces available with free shuttle bus services to deliver you safely to the main event. If you're flying in, lucky you - Birmingham Airport directly links to the NEC and flies to 150+ worldwide destinations.
Exhibitors and attendees wanting to stay on-site are well catered for, with seven on-site hotels to suit all budgets - that's over 1,950 hotel rooms! There are plenty of concessions available on campus throughout the day and night including 15 restaurants and bars. There's even a cinema, a casino and a spa! Fancy getting out and about? Birmingham city centre is just ten minutes away.
So the venue is great, with fantastic branding opportunities for sponsors plus state of the art facilities and concessions. From the all-new catering options at the rear of the hall to the Starbucks straight outside, everything is here to keep attendees and exhibitors fed, watered and happy without having to leave the venue.
There are also lots of smaller breakout suites next to the hall, enabling us to run targeted briefing and networking events for our exhibitors and partners - get in touch with our Expo Event Manager Julia Prouse if you want to know more!
The stats don't lie - the West Midlands is a great home for us, packed with accountants who love their technology. From our survey data from last year's Expo in Coventry, we know 31% of Expo 2022 attendees came from the West Midlands with a further 11% from the East Midlands.
It's unsurprising given the West Midlands is home to the UK's largest accountancy cluster outside of London and is also the UK's fastest-growing tech sector outside of London. We'll be working with our national and local partners to make everyone in the area know what we're doing this November!
In summary: The NEC is an amazing new venue for us at FAB - if you've ever attended an event there, you'll know why. Coventry and the CBS Arena was a great venue for us but we knew we needed a place we could grow in.
Improved accessibility and transport links, better branding opportunities and accommodation options… From the improved catering to an on-site spa, you'll agree the NEC offers us, our partners and the whole accounting community a great place to connect this March. Drop me a line at
Head of Events, Sift Media