Published: 28 Jul 2020

NEC prepares for the return of events

The UK’s largest venue is now looking forward to the return of event activity following the Government’s recent announcement that business events, conferences and event venues are permitted to reopen from 1st October 2020.

The return of event activity at the NEC will be under rigorous health and safety measures, developed in partnership by the venue, event organisers and industry Associations. NEC Venue Protect is a raft of dedicated safety measures which will help ensure events can take place in a safe and controlled environment. This sits alongside All Secure Standard; a best practice guide published by the Events Industry Alliance and endorsed by UK Government as the framework for the safe delivery of trade shows and exhibitions.

Ian Taylor, Acting Managing Director of NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions, said: “We are pleased that the Government has announced an open date for our industry. This is the news we’ve all been waiting for and is the first step on the path towards recovery. The NEC will be open for business on 1st October and we look forward to once again hosting great live events at our venue.

“We’ve been working closely with our industry associations and customers throughout this challenging period and we welcome the release of the All Secure Standard guidance. The protection and safety of our visitors and staff will always be our primary focus and we will ensure all appropriate measures are in place, ready for the return to event activity. We know that it’s vital to build confidence in live events in the months ahead and these safety measures will provide great reassurance for all of our customers."

One of the first events to take place at the NEC following the reopening of the events industry will be the Farm Business Innovation Show with its co-located Holiday Park Innovation Show and associated events in November. Tom Borthen, Group Managing Director of Prysm Events, the show organiser, commented: “We are extremely excited to be hosting events again at the NEC, there is pent up appetite from buyers and suppliers to meet face to face. Businesses desperately need to get back on their feet to save jobs and kickstart our economy and there is no better format than an exhibition to do this. We are working closely with the NEC to ensure that we can bring everybody together in a safe environment and guarantee that the event thrives in its usual manner.”

Also within the November schedule is a host of shows with event organiser ROAR B2B, including RWM, Flood Expo and Contamination Expo. Bradley Maule-ffinch, Group Managing Director of ROAR B2B, said: “Everyone at ROAR B2B is absolutely delighted to get back to hosting live trade shows at the NEC shows once again. Our customers, visitors and partners have all given us a strong endorsement to bring buyers, suppliers and communities back together in a safe and secure environment. We have been working very closely with everyone at the NEC and their support has been instrumental in helping the events industry get going again. We are a crucial part of the UK economy and we are all ready to do our part – let’s get Britain going again!”

The NEC played its part in supporting the country’s fight against COVID-19 by providing its facilities for the creation of an NHS Nightingale facility. The facility has currently been placed into hibernation in common with the other Nightingale facilities across the UK and the NEC is continuing to support the NHS by enabling the creation of a smaller standby facility until March 2021.