Choosing your ideal event isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, when exhibitions can be a costly business and there are a headache-inducing amount out there to select from.
If you’ve taken heed of our blog advice up to this point, you’ll probably already have a good idea of the events you need to get yourself noticed at. But what about the venues themselves, you may ask (and believe us, people often do!)
Here at Guardian Exhibition and Display, we know a thing or two about the very best places to exhibit, having spent years helping our clients maximise their messaging at venues all over the world. Frankly, we felt it would be a waste not to share our knowledge with you, which is why we’ve decided to showcase some of our favourite places and help you get to know them a little better along the way.
First off is one of our favourites, ExCeL London, a 100-acre purpose-built super centre for high-impact events to remember.
A brief history
The name ExCeL is formed from the venue’s full title, Exhibition Centre London (see what they did there?), and the grandly imposing venue is perfectly positioned in the heart of London’s Royal Docks.
Opened in November 2000 as one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects, ExCeL’s exhibition area comprises two rectangular halls of approximately 479,493 square feet each. These halls are perfectly built for exhibitions of all descriptions, both rectangular and column-free and each with a central boulevard for catering and information.
ExCeL was acquired in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, and has been constantly evolving to accommodate the needs of its vast legions of visitors, from the addition of London’s first International Convention Centre, an abundance of hotels, and even a cable car line linking the venue to the O2 Arena (yes, the same cable car line Boris Johnson got famously stuck on!)
Famous ExCeL attendees have included everybody from Barack Obama to Olly Murs, and it would probably be easier to list the prestigious events that haven’t been held there. ExCeL has played host to the London 2012 Olympics, the G20 London Summit, national awards ceremonies including BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and our personal favourite – the X Factor auditions.
Trade show-wise, ExCeL is the setting for Grand Designs Live, the BBC Good Food Show and many other renowned commercial events.
ExCeL benefits from its incredibly easy accessibility. There is a Tube station positioned at each end of the venue, while London City Airport is so close you could almost touch it. Over 3,000 parking spaces at reasonable day rates mean you’re sure to find somewhere to leave your car while you man your stand!
There isn’t much that ExCeL hasn’t got covered. You’ll find food to suit every taste in the global food hall, there are over 20 on-site restaurants and there’s even an in-house bakery. Seven versatile on-site hotels mean your exhibition can run conveniently and comfortably for days, and the venue is fully accessible by wheelchair users.
What else is available for exhibitors?
We particularly love ExCeL London because as a dedicated 21st century exhibition centre, the venue houses absolutely everything you need to help make your stand shine. Simply bring yourselves, your brand and your material, and you’ll find AV, WiFi, staging, technology, charging points and a whole host of on-site services all provided.