Venue Protect FAQs from the NEC
If you have any questions relating to Venue Protect and your visit to the NEC, check out our Venue Protect FAQs below. There are more general FAQs below this but if you have any further questions, please get in touch!
Venue Protect FAQs
Is the NEC currently open?
The venue is now open for events of all sizes. Meanwhile, the NEC Piazza remains open from 9am-midnight as a public thoroughfare between Birmingham International Train Station and the NEC Campus.
An external walking route is in place between the train station and the NEC Campus for out of hours use.
Updates on the venue and the NEC Campus are available via our Home page and on our social media channels.
- Is my event still going ahead?
If I’ve purchased pre-paid parking and my event is rescheduled, what happens with my parking booking?
Visitors who have pre-paid their parking for rescheduled events will have their parking automatically transferred to the new event date and receive an email confirming this. The email will include details on how to manage the rescheduled parking booking, including what to do if they are now unable to attend and would like to request a refund.
If I’ve purchased pre-paid parking and my event is cancelled, how do I get a refund?
Visitors who have pre-paid their parking for confirmed cancelled events will automatically receive a full refund. This will be confirmed via email.
My event has been cancelled or rescheduled, what happens with my booking?
If an event is cancelled or rescheduled, you should receive communication from your point of purchase. Please contact your point of purchase directly with any transfer or refund enquiries.
Do I need to do anything different before coming to the venue?
Please refer to the Venue Protect section on our website and the event’s web page for the most up to date information. Ahead of your event, you will receive email communications containing everything you need to know.
Why are you requesting COVID certification?
The Government has strongly encouraged large venues to carry out COVID-status checks. We are therefore taking all sensible precautions to help ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, contractors and partners to reduce the risks of COVID-19. We are advising customers to check out our Venue Protect page that has the latest details on entry requirements. Our focus continues to be your safety.
Do children under 18 need to provide COVID-status certification?
Children under the age of 18 do not need to provide any form of COVID-status certification at entry points, but in the interests of creating the safest possible event environment, we’d always encourage them to take a lateral flow test, if possible, before arrival at the venue.
Can I come to a show if I haven’t been vaccinated?
Visitors who have not been vaccinated should take a lateral flow or PCR test within 72 hours prior to attending the event and be prepared to show proof of the negative test result at the entry point to the venue. We are advising customers to check our Venue Protect page that has the latest details on entry requirements.
How do I know if I am healthy enough to come to your venue?
You should not attend an event at any of our venues if you are concerned about or displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.
Please refer to the advice given by Public Health England via GOV.UK or the NHS website.
Do I require a COVID test to enter your venue?
In agreement with the wider industry, we have implemented COVID-status checks at all our venues. If you cannot show proof that you have been fully vaccinated, visitors have the option to show a negative lateral flow or PCR test taken within 72hrs of their event. However, we would encourage visitors to complete their test within 48 hours as some organisers may request the shorter timeframe.
We are advising visitors check out our Venue Protect page and the event’s webpage that has the latest details on entry requirements.
Will you be providing COVID tests to take on entry to your venue for visitors who have not been vaccinated?
We ask that individuals take personal responsibility for their health and order free tests in advance from the NHS website/ pick them up from their local pharmacy.
For those visitors who cannot provide their COVID-status, our Venue Protect team will offer the option to take a lateral flow test on-site. If the result is negative, you will be able to enter the venue. The lateral flow test costs £12 per person. This charge covers the costs of staffing the testing, the on-site arrangements and the cost of purchasing the test. The NEC does not make a profit from the test charge.
I’m travelling from outside of England, are you accepting vaccination cards?
The NEC Group venues are not accepting vaccination cards as proof of COVID-status. A valid certification document from your country of origin is required.
An EU Digital COVID Certificate, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales COVID Certificate or equivalents (digital or paper) will be accepted.
What changes will there be to the ticket check and search operation?
Wherever possible we will be operating a contactless search and ticket check. We would ask visitors to follow instructions indicated in your booking confirmation / tickets and upon arrival.
If I’m attending an event over multiple days, and I’m not vaccinated, will I need to provide multiple test results?
We kindly request that all visitors complete your COVID test within 72 hours before arriving at your event. If you are attending an event for a long period and it exceeds the 72-hour limit, then you will need to provide additional test results. Please remember to bring your lateral flow tests with you to ensure you have sufficient numbers for your stay.
I will be working on setup and breakdown for an exhibitor/event but won’t be attending the event itself, do I still have to provide COVID-status certification?
Yes, we kindly ask that you provide proof of your COVID status when arriving at the venue. Please remember that we ask that test results are from within 72 hours of arriving at the venue. You may therefore need to provide additional test results to cover your time on-site with us.
Since the wearing of face masks is no longer a mandatory requirement from government, is it a requirement whilst attending an event at your venues?
We all have a shared responsibility in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so whilst it is not mandatory, we are encouraging visitors to continue wearing face coverings in our busy venue.
What if I am unable to wear a face covering due to health conditions?
We are encouraging visitors to continue wearing face coverings in our venues but understand some will not be able to for medical reasons. All front-line staff are also encouraged to wear face coverings in line with guidance.
Have your staff undertaken extra training relating to the new guidance and measures?
Yes, all our staff have undertaken a number of new training sessions relating to new guidance and measures. These are regularly reviewed subject to government guidelines.
How are you supporting the NHS Test and Trace Programme?
At the point of ticket purchase, the ticket booker will be asked to provide their details for NHS Test and Trace purposes. They will be responsible for contacting all members of their party if required. Visitors will also be able to check-in using QR codes at the venue. Details will be kept for 21 days following the event and not used for any other purpose.
Will hand sanitiser be readily available to me?
Yes, hand sanitising stations have been installed around the arena and we encourage all visitors to wash their hands frequently.
How often do you clean the venue?
The venue is cleaned fully before and after every event including between shows on days where there are multiple performances. Certain high use areas and touchpoints will also be cleaned/sanitised during performance periods in addition to our usual live event cleaning schedule.
Can I bring a bag?
Yes, but to reduce contact points please only bring essential items with you to our venue.
Can I still buy food and drink and are you accepting cash for payments?
Yes, you can still buy food and drink but to reduce contact points, we are operating a cashless venue. This means that all food, drink and parking machines will accept contactless payments. We have also just partnered with Zapaygo so you can pre-order food and drink before you arrive. Details about how to use this can be found on event web pages.
Can I still buy parking tickets?
If you are driving to the venue, we encourage you to pre-book your parking to secure your parking space through a completely contactless experience. Should you need to pay on the day, all of our payment machines will be contactless payment only.
You can pre-book your parking here.
- Is the NEC currently open?
Got a question? We're here to help.
Due to attend an event at the NEC? If you have any questions about your upcoming visit, take a look at the frequently asked questions to help you find an answer or point you in the right direction. From cash machines and car parking to restaurants and rest rooms - whatever information you need, we've got you covered.
- How do I get to the NEC?
Is there plenty of parking on-site?
We’ve got over 16,500 spaces available, including designated parking areas for blue badge holders, so you won’t need to search for a spot when you get here. Head to our dedicated Car Parking page to find out more about our options and charges. Visit our parking page for more information and to book.
- Can I pre-book my parking?
Can I charge my electric car?
Yes. There are 22 slow charging EV points in selected car parks. This free service is available on a first come first served basis. There are 14 across our car parks, with two located in North 2, six in East 1 and a further six in South 7. We also have 8 pre-spaces in Express 1 (charges apply), for those wanting to guarantee a spot.
Normal parking fees applyBook Parking
Please note: The charge points require a type 2 connector lead and the use of the Centrica EVS App- downloadable from app stores.
- Can you recommend a taxi company?
How do I get to the train station?
The NEC is located a five-minute covered walk from Birmingham International Railway Station. Follow signage from the Piazza concourse past Hall 2 and up the escalator to the bridge link - which directly links to the railway station.NEC site map
Is there a service that takes you to the venue from the car parks?
Yes. We operate a free shuttle bus service between all car parks and the venue during exhibition open days. These usually start running one hour before the event and stop one hour after the event. You’ll find service times and alternative walking routes at all our bus shelters, located near the car parks.
How far away is the airport from the NEC?
To reach the airport on foot, follow the signs from the NEC to Birmingham International Station. Walk across the covered bridgelink and carry on until you reach the Air-Rail Link. This will take you to the airport on the first floor.
How far away is Birmingham City Centre?
It's approximately 14 miles by car or a 10 minute train ride from the NEC. Buses are also available from Birmingham International Rail station.
Are cycle racks available?
Yes, we have cycle racks available which are located by the Piazza main entrance and Atrium 1 entrance.NEC Site plan
Is coach parking available?
Yes, please follow digital signage for coach parking once on-site.
At the venue
Do you have wi-fi available?
We understand the need to stay connected during you visit, which is why we provide free visitor wi-fi across the NEC. No code required is required simply just search for our network and follow the steps on screen.
Do you have cloakroom facilities?
If you’re looking to take the load off and leave your coat or bags for the day, take advantage of our cloakroom facilities that are available next to our halls (cloakrooms are open 30 minutes prior the event opening and close when the event closes). Items are charged at £1 each. Unfortunately, we’re currently unable to offer overnight storage lockers or 24 hour cloakroom facilities.
Where’s the nearest cash point?
You’ll find portable cash dispensers (withdrawal fees apply) around the venue, while free cash machines can be found at the train station.
Where’s the nearest toilet facility?
Toilets are located in every hall plus on the Piazza and Atrium concourse.
Do you have baby changing facilities?
Of course. You’ll find baby facilities throughout the venue. See the baby change & feeding leaflet below for more info. We also offer additional services such as our complimentary Children Identification Wristbands, which can be picked up from our security officers on entry to the show.Baby change and feeding facilitiesNEC facilities
Can I bring a puschair?
You can bring pushchairs but be aware that some trade shows don’t permit children, so it's always best to check with the organisers before bringing little ones with you.
Where can I breastfeed?
You’ll find baby facilities throughout the venue. View the baby change & feeding leaflet below for more information.Baby changing and feeding facilities
If I lose something whilst visiting the NEC, what do I do?
If you’ve lost something at the NEC, head to our Security Office at either the Piazza (near hall 1) or Atrium (near hall 6) and we’ll do our best to help. Alternatively, call our Lost Property Department on 0121 767 3883.
Can I vape inside the NEC?
Sorry, smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the venue aside from our designated smoking areas. This also applies to e-cigarettes and vaping. Our designated smoking areas are outside the Piazza entrance, the Piazza garden (weather and daylight permitting) and just off the Atrium main entrances.
Where are the smoking areas outside the venue?
Smoking areas are located outside the Piazza main entrance, in the Piazza gardens and outside the Atrium main entrance.
Is there a shop or newsagents on-site?
Yes. Martin's newsagents offers a variety of everyday essentials with two across the venue, one located in the Piazza and the other in the Atrium. Alternatively, there's a Spar at the airport which is accessible from the NEC via a walk and 90 second mono rail link.
Do you have phone charging facilities?
Yes. We have a number of charging points and lockers across the venue for you to recharge your phone during your visit.More information
There is a charging station by the green piano in the Piazza and chargers opposite Hall 8 in the Atrium.
Is medical assistance available at the venue?
We always have trained first aid staff available in the event of an accident or incident. Just ask the nearest member of staff for immediate assistance.
Is there somewhere I can pray during my visit?
Yes. Visitors from every faith have always been warmly welcomed at the NEC. We have a chaplain available for consultation and support, and also a popular multi-faith prayer room, available on the Piazza by Hall 3. Inside the room you’ll find prayer mats and holy books, many of which have been generously donated by representatives of local faiths. In addition, there is a men's Wudu room adjacent to the prayer room and a ladies' Wudu facility within hall 2 ladies' public toilets.
We’re also happy to put you in touch with local faith leaders and places of worship, just call our chaplain on 0121 767 2911.
Can I bring my dog to the venue?
Sorry, but only assistance dogs are permitted on our premises. The only exception being those lucky enough to be taking part in Crufts, of course.
Can I change my foreign currency?
No problem. You’ll find a Bureau de Change kiosk at Birmingham International Railway Station, which is linked to the venue and just a short undercover walk away.
Will I be filmed at the NEC?
You may be as filming does take place at the venue throughout the year at different events. It's worth checking the organiser's website before you visit.
Can I film at an event?
It's always best to check with the organiser directly before visiting as you may need permission.
Can I bring my camera with me?
For most shows it's fine to bring your camera but always best to check the organiser website directly before you visit.
Do you offer additional business services?
We have two Visitor and Business Centres, which are information points. They also offer a number of business services and stationery. For further information, call us on 0121 780 4141 or email [email protected] In addition, the venue also has vending zone areas within the Piazza and Atrium where printing facilities are available.
- Do you have wi-fi available?
Hotels and NEC Campus
- Do you have hotels on-site?
- What hotels are available in the area?
- Where is Resorts World Arena?
Where is The Bear Grylls Adventure?
The Bear Grylls Adventure is located on the NEC campus between Hall 1 and Resorts World Arena. Refer to signage around site.NEC Site plan
What local attractions are available?
The Bear Grylls Adventure, Resorts World Birmingham and Resorts World Arena are all on located on the NEC Campus. Resorts World Birmingham is home to a broad range of places to eat and drink, from favourites like Miller & Carter and Zizzi to somewhere a little more special like Sky by the Water.Resorts World BirminghamThe Bear Grylls AdventureResorts World Arena
Food and drink
What food and drink options are available at the venue?
Whether you're looking for a healthy snack on the go, a posh sit down Italian or a burger, we've got you covered. Visit our food and drink page for more tantalizing details.NEC Food and Drink
Where’s the best place to get a coffee?
There's food and drink outlets located around the concourse areas near to where your event is taking place. For coffee in particular, this includes Starbucks which is located in the Piazza by Hall 5 and one in the Atrium opposite Hall 7.
Can I bring my own food and drink?
You can bring in food and drink, but no alcohol.
Are there restaurants on-site?
Yes, we have restaurants available across the venue, within your event halls and across the NEC campus for a range of food options to suit your budget. Whatever you fancy, the campus has a range of delights from Sky By The Water to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen to TGI Fridays or Nandos. Whether it’s food on the go or fine dining, there is something for everyone.Food and Drink at the NECFood and Drink at Resorts World
- What food and drink options are available at the venue?
Where do I buy tickets for events?
Check out the What's on section of the website to see what's on and to buy tickets. You can also head to our kiosks open during the events to buy or pick up your tickets. These are located around the venue near to the main entrance of the halls.What's On
What are Booking Fees?
The Service Fee covers our running costs; our people, our software and everything else that we need in order to sell tickets (like keeping the lights on). The Admin Fee is charged per order rather than per ticket. This goes towards the processing both physical and digital tickets, letting the venue know you’re coming and maintenance of our hardware.
How can I book tickets?
You can book tickets online - check out the What's on section of the website for more details on the events we host and how to book for each exhibition.What's On
Can I transfer tickets?
You will need to contact the ticket agent you purchased your tickets from who will be able to advise accordingly.
- Where do I buy tickets for events?
What are your current security measures?
At the NEC we are constantly reviewing our measures to ensure that they remain effective and proportionate. West Midlands Police and Counter Terrorist Security Advisors work in partnership with us at the venue, often deploying a variety of resources to work alongside those of our team. These include a number of overt and covert security measures, so whilst you may not see all operational security activity, you should be assured that it is on-going, often behind the scenes to prevent crime and keep you safe whilst you enjoy your visit.
Will I be searched when I enter the venue?
You may be searched, as we do carry out random bag searches. Security arches are also in operation at the venue.
What items are not permitted?
Alcohol is not permitted, as we are a licenced premises. Also other items which may be classed as a security issue should not be brought into the venue.
What do I do if I see something that doesn’t look right?
Our security teams work hard to keep you safe, please help them by co-operating with their requests. You have an important role to play in helping us by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example any unattended items or someone acting suspiciously. You can report anything suspicious to any of our security officers or the Police.
Where is lost property located?
If you’ve lost something at the NEC, head to our Security Office at either the Piazza (near hall 1) or Atrium (near hall 6) and we’ll do our best to help. Alternatively, call our Lost Property Department on 0121 767 3883.
- What are your current security measures?
- Is the NEC accessible for disabled visitors?
- Do you have disabled toilets and changing facilities?
Can I hire mobility scooters and wheelchairs?
We have a fleet of mobility equipment available to hire on a first come, first serve basis. We therefore recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.
Unfortunately due to the current circumstances, we are unable to facilitate telephone bookings at this time. However, you can email your enquiry to [email protected], and a member of our team will contact you within three working days.
Wheelchairs are available free of charge for blue badge holders and £5 for all other visitors. The number of wheelchairs we have available is limited, so if you’ve got your own, please bring it with you.
Scooters are available for £15 per hire for all visitors.
All pre-bookings will be held until 1100hrs on the day they've been booked for, unless otherwise advised.
For any visitors who have not pre-booked equipment and arrive on the day, any remaining stock will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. As collection location varies from show to show, please check the collection point when making a booking.
Please note: Mobility equipment hire is only available during show open times and we only accept payment by card for any equipment hired.
Can I bring my assistance dog?
Yes, assistance dogs are permitted on our premises.
Where are the lifts?
Lifts are located and signposted on the Atrium and Piazza concourses and by all the escalators.
- Is there disabled parking available at the venue?
Do you have hearing assistance available on-site?
Yes. Induction loop audio systems are fitted in various locations around the venue.
Feedback or enquiries
- How can I leave feedback?
- How do I make a complaint?
Do you have a direct phone number?
Yes. You can call 0121 780 4141 and select option 2 for the NEC.
I have a ticket enquiry, what do I do?
If you bought your tickets via The Ticket Factory:
tel: 0844 338 8000 Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge. Lines are open from 9am to 7pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am to 5pm (Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays)