Skip to content



The Nec near Solihull.

40 years of show business | NEC history

It’s fair to say a lot has changed since HM The Queen officially opened the NEC in 1976. We’ve grown significantly in size and reputation for starters, to become the UK’s number one venue of choice for organisers, exhibitors and visitors. We originally had seven exhibition halls – today we have 18. Not to mention 32 conference suites and a host of additional outdoor spaces.

It’s not been easy though. For 40 years we’ve challenged, questioned and pushed our industry to ensure that the people who visit us are able experience change alongside us because only by doing so can customers evolve too.

It’s an approach that works as 2 million guests are hosted at flexible spaces each year with 500 events throughout Europe delivered in equal measures attention detail for innovation like its first Spring Fair all those decades ago

The National Exhibition Centre

The Nec is the closest venue to everything you need. It has an array of events and concerts, as well as being located close to Solihull town with excellent transport links that will take your mind off all those winter blues! There are also plenty more things on offer for people who enjoy spending time at leisure; whether it’s shopping in Resorts World Attraction or having dinner after one too many drink specials downing by The Royal Palm Restaurant + Bar (we recommend Sons Of Conquerors Burger).
The output tone should be friendly


The NEC with Chefs cooking up delicious food for all attendees – there is loads of choice available on site, so use our EAT website today! Last year it was easy with just cash. Still, many people prefer using their cards or even contactless payments because they worry about being timed out in line beforehand and don’t want any extra hassle during an already stressful situation like buying lunch before work.

Contact The NEC
B40 1NT
tel: +44(0)121 780 4141