• James M Bowler

ExCeL London & NEC Birmingham to reopen 1st October 2020

Updated: Jul 29

Two of the UK’s biggest exhibition venues and home to two of the largest Nightingale Hospitals that were installed will reopen on 1st October.


Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London: “We are delighted that the government has confirmed the timetable for when business events and conferences can

resume. Having played a full role

in supporting the NHS, providing all of our facilities for the Nightingale Hospital,

we are now looking forward to playing an equally active role in the nation’s


economic recovery. The vast majority of the venue (90%) has been restored to its original state, with the remaining space secured as equipment storage for NHS Nightingale. This ongoing support will not impact the normal operation of our venue and we look forward to hosting safe, secure, and successful business events and conferences from 1st October onwards.”


ExCeL has been working with the AEV (Association of Event Venues) and other key stakeholders to develop the All Secure Standard, an industry wide benchmark to enable the safe return of organised events.


In addition, the venue has developed its own set of safety principles to help guide customers through the event planning process, including new social distancing measures, cleaning regimes, F&B protocols and training, as detailed here: https://www.excel.london/reopening



The NEC has confirmed that the NHS Nightingale currently occupying the venue is being decommissioned and will reopen for events on 1st October.


In a letter to its clients, the Birmingham venue noted that the field hospital has been in hibernation since May and did not receive a single patient.


However, the venue says it will continue to support the NHS with the creation of a small non-Covid standby facility until March 2021, and add that won’t affect the re-opening for event business.


“As I’m sure you will have seen, the Government has announced that conferences and exhibitions will be permitted in England from 1sOctober 2020,” the letter read.

“After an immensely challenging period, this is the news we’ve all been waiting for and I believe it’s the first step for our industry on the path towards recovery. Clearly there will be challenges ahead and we are certainly not out of the woods just yet, but the fact that we can all start to plan with a clear go live date is great news.


“It means the NEC will be open for business on 1 October and we couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of once again being able to look after you and your events.

“[Regarding] the announcement from the Government regarding the future of the Nightingale Hospital facilities. As said previously, the Nightingale facility at the NEC went into hibernation in May without having received a single patient and I’m pleased to say the decommissioning of this facility is now well underway. We expect to continue our support of the NHS with the creation of a small non-Covid standby facility until March 2021 at the NEC but it won’t affect our re-opening for event business on 1 October.


“We know there’s work to be done to rebuild customer confidence in live events and we’ll be doing everything we possibly can to help you stage successful and safe events. The message from me is that the NEC is open for business from 1 October, so let’s work together and get back to doing what our industry does best – staging great live events.”

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