Visitor Venue Protect


NOTE: This information will be updated as new Government guidance is confirmed. Correct as at 31/03/2021. Please continue to check this page as you plan your event attendance. 


Welcome back to the NEC! We’ve missed you and can’t wait to safely reconnect you with the events and experiences you love. As the UK’s largest venue, we have all the space you need to meet up and enjoy your favourite events with total confidence in social distancing, venue sanitisation and test and trace.

In preparation for your return, we’ve reviewed and readjusted aspects of the event experience, developing our new Venue Protect 4-Step approach to lead the way in safety for meetings and events. Each step and new measure implemented has been thoroughly researched and tested - with your safety, well-being and experience in mind.

So now it’s time to reconnect with the people, events and experiences you enjoy so much – safely and with confidence, at the NEC.

We’re Good to Go

The NEC is accredited with the VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry charter mark. This verifies that our venue meets the Government and public health guidance on Covid-19 and that we have all the required health and safety processes in place to reopen

Before you arrive

When preparing for your next visit to the NEC, here are a few helpful things you should know before you arrive...

Upon Arrival

As the largest and best connected venue in the UK, our social distancing measures can be safely managed from the moment you arrive…

During your visit

During your time at the NEC, we have measures in place to help keep you safe whilst ensuring your event experience won’t be compromised so you can still enjoy a great day out...

you arrive

When preparing for your next visit to the NEC, here are a few helpful things you should know before you arrive...

Pre-book your event tickets

When attending an event, you will need to pre-register or pre-book any tickets in advance, with on the day bookings at the venue not available for the time being. Through pre-booking, we will know in advance the visitor numbers expected which allows our teams to safely plan for staggered entries, reduced visitor numbers to assist with social distance compliance and reduced queuing so we can continue to provide a great experience at the NEC.

To help reduce numbers within the venue and comply with social distancing, some events we host may have changed their open/ close times, extended event opening hours with allocated arrival times or introduced morning/afternoon time slots for visitors. Therefore it's important your check your ticket in advance for any changes before you leave. Requirements on printing tickets or showing on mobiles may also vary from event to event so check directly on the event website. Ticket buying at the venue on the day of the event is not currently available due to supporting the test and trace initiative.

Pre-book parking

If you're planning on arriving by car, don't forget to pre-book your car parking in advance. Not only will this save you money but pre-booking removes the need to queue and use any on-site payment machines providing a simpler, contact-free experience.

As the UK's largest venue, we have over 16,500 car parking spaces available across our site which means plenty of room to keep you safe and maintain social distancing from the moment you arrive. Remember to print off your pre-booked parking pass to display on exit.

Take your temperature

We recommend taking your temperature before travelling as if your temperature is reading is higher than 37.5°C or you have any COVID-19 symptoms, we politely request that you refrain from visiting the NEC.

Whilst we won't be checking visitors' temperatures on entrance into the venue, there may be some events where this is a condition of entry into the exhibition halls and meeting spaces. For more details, please check the terms and conditions of entry for your event on the event website directly.

Pack your face covering

Don't forget to bring your face mask or suitable covering as wearing these will be mandatory on our shuttle buses, within the public spaces of our venue and within our exhibiton halls. With plenty of catering outlets and outdoor space available, there will still be areas where face coverings can be temporarily removed.

Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for all visitors that is compliant with Government guidance. We have signage installed at all venue entrances to remind visitors to wear a face covering, with staff on hand to reinforce this. We recognise that there are circumstances preventing people from wearing a face covering and, being mindful and respectful of this, staff will not challenge or ask for evidence from visitors who advise that they cannot wear a face covering. If assistance is required for any visitors with hearing impairment, our friendly staff will be happy to remove their PPE to help assist with lipreading, ensuring a safe 2 metre distance is maintained.

Limit what you bring

Our cloakrooms will still be open across the venue but for coats only as we have introduced a no bag policy as part of our ongoing safety protocols. All cloakrooms will also now be card payment only to minimise contact at the venue.

You can still bring bags and other items into the venue but will no longer be able to store these in our cloakrooms during your stay. With this in mind, remember to plan ahead and only bring what you need and can carry before starting your journey. Any coats left in our cloakrooms will be deposited into a bag by our attendants as a further safety measure against COVID-19.


As the largest and best connected venue in the UK, our social distancing measures can be safely managed from the moment you arrive…

Safe arrivals

Our unrivalled connectivity and central location means no matter how you choose to reach us - whether by road or rail - social distancing can be easily managed from the moment you arrive. We have over 16,500 car parking spaces and an on-site train station helping reduce the need for any additional connections for a faster and safer journey to our venue.

If arriving by train, clear signage will be in place to follow and hand sanitiser stations available to use upon entering the NEC. If arriving by road, we suggest pre-booking your parking in advance, and printing your ticket at home as this removes the need to use our machines or interact with an attendant, helping reduce contact during your visit.


Our free shuttlebuses taking visitors from our car parks to the venue will still be operating but with social distancing measures in place. This will mean reduced capacities and face coverings will be mandatory following Public Transport guidance.

We expect that many visitors will take the opportunity to walk to the venue and not use our buses. Walking routes are also quick and easy, with plenty of outdoor space available for a safe and stress-free arrival to the venue entrances. Simply follow the signposts and adhere to any one-way routes in place.

Entering the Venue

As you enter, you will notice new signage in place for your safety and comfort. There will be designated entry and exit points and internal one-way routes clearly marked on the floors. Through pre-registering for event tickets, we can plan for expected arrival numbers to manage visitor flows and help minimise queuing where possible.

Team NEC will be on hand to help with directions throughout your visit and to ensure everyone's safety. You'll also find hand sanitiser stations will be available at all entry and exit points, with over 600 installed and located around our public spaces and exhibition halls.

your visit

During your time at the NEC, we have measures in place to help keep you safe whilst ensuring your event experience won’t be compromised so you can still enjoy a great day out...

Social Distancing Measures

Our venue has been reviewed to identify higher footfall areas with new signage, floor markings and a simple one-way system now in place to maintain social distancing and ensure the safe movement of our visitors. We're working closely with every event organiser to facilitate and support with initiatives such as reduced visitor numbers, staggered entry times, extended open hours and wider exhibition aisles. This helps to further support social distancing whilst still providing our visitors with the space and comfort to enjoy the same great experience.

As event enthusiasts, we want to make sure all of our visitors have the best time possible reconnecting with the events they love. We're all in this together so whilst we recognise things may feel a little different, we hope all of our visitors will be mindful of others and adhere to the new measures in place to keep themselves and others safe but still have a great day out. As always, our friendly and fully trained teams will be on hand throughout to help with any questions and will also be monitoring to make sure social distancing is being maintained. We would ask that everyone is respectful and follows the signage and the guidance given by Team NEC.

Enhanced Venue Cleaning

Enhanced cleaning measures have been introduced with an additional focus on high-frequency touch points, such as lifts, counters, toilets, doors and hand rails. With over 600 Sanitiser Stations in our public spaces and event halls, you'll always be able to keep your hands clean no matter where you are in the venue. Our Building Management System will monitor air quality and following a review of our building systems in line with CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers) guidelines, we have recommissioned our ventilation plant for the safety of all our visitors. This includes maximising fresh air rates within the spaces and where appropriate upgrading our filters to NHS hospital standards.

In addition to our high standards of venue sanisiation, our cleaning teams will complete additional training, with many already compliant with NHS standards. Hand Sanitiser Stations are located beside the cloakrooms, toilets, catering outlets, hall entrances, at each pedestrian exit doors within the halls and across all of our public spaces. Please remember to use these and wash your hands frequently during your visit.


We have introduced new menu offerings across all in-hall restaurants and catering outlets to provide a tasty range of ‘Grab & Go’ options. Hot food will be available at selected restaurants across the venue and will be served to your table. A handy pre-order service will also be available to use at selected outlets via our Q Jacker App on the day of your event to help reduce queuing so you have more time to spend enjoying your event.

The majority of our catering outlets will be running a cashless operation to help reduce contact during your time with us. The only exceptions are Wetherspoon and Cornish Bakery. For additional measures, we’ve also installed protective screens across all of our outlets and you will also be required you to submit contact details to aid Test and Trace.

Cashless Venue

To reduce contact at the NEC, we are now a cashless venue. Please remember to bring payment cards with you and pre-book any services you can prior to arrival to minimise unnecessary contact during your visit.

The venue will have payment technology installed throughout to allow for contactless purchases at our bars, restaurants and retail outlets, which are unable to accept cash payments at this time. The only exceptions are Wetherspoon and Cornish Bakery, which are not operated by the NEC and have their own payment procedures, so they accept contactless or cash payments.

Team NEC

Our friendly and fully trained staff will have smiles behind their face coverings and a warm welcome awaiting your arrival. They will be on hand for any questions and will help monitor and ensure social distancing is being maintained.

In addition to wearing the appropriate PPE, all of our dedicated teams will have completed a variety of relevant Covid-19 compliance training prior to returning to work so will be well equipped to confidently assist during your visit.

Outdoor Spaces and NEC Campus

Take a break and enjoy some fresh air during your visit by making the most of our ample outdoor spaces. We have an abundance of areas that can be found and accessed from the venue, including our pretty lakeside gardens, piazza retreat and even stunning lake and beach areas, too.


As usual, the NEC aims to be fully user-friendly for visitors with access needs. We are still providing a mobility scooter hire service as all scooters will be sanitised between use. For more information, please visit our Accessibility section or for a full guide visit the AccessAble website.

Post-Visit Feedback

Our priority is ensuring all of our visitors have a great experience of visiting the NEC so with our new measures now in place, we'd welcome your feedback to help us to continue to deliver the best possible service.

Make plans to reconnect at our

Find an Event
you’ll lve…

From old favourites to new discoveries – reconnect with events you’ll love at the NEC.

As the UK’s largest venue, we’re home to some of the most incredible events. From food and fitness to gaming and gardening, whatever your passion-we’re bound to host something you'll love.

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Visitor FAQs

Find the answers to questions frequently asked by our visitors.

All information is correct as at 31/03/21 and is subject to change in line with Government and Industry Guidelines.