ExCel Centre London

ExCel Exhibition Centre, London

The ExCel Centre is a purpose built exhibition centre located in the east of London, not far from the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

The exhibition centre consists of two vast halls with a central walkway known as the Boulevard. The North and South hall can be divided down to suit the size of each exhibition or, as is often the the case, opened up to accommodate large or collocated shows.

Being purpose built, there are many hotels onsite but as one may expect these can get booked up so early booking is strongly advisable. It's worth remembering that yours may not be the only exhibition running at any one time. There are also a number of restaurants and pubs that are often a welcome option at the end of a busy day.

If you should need to unload directly into the hall you will need to go through the unloading system. There is a dedicated traffic office from which you must obtain a permit to allow you entry to the loading bay, you will not be allowed up to the hall doors without one. So go with your stand number and vehicle registration noted as you will need these to obtain your permit. Once unloaded, you will then be required to park your vehicle back in the parking area at ground level.

If you have items in a car that can be carried, then it is worth considering parking in the multi-storey car park beneath the halls. From here you can take a lift up to the main boulevard and carry your items into the hall.

The ExCel Centre is close to many transport links including City Airport and the Sky train which links directly in with the London Underground. You also have the joy of experiencing the Emirates Airline - the cable car ride over to the O2. Definitely worth a trip if you have some downtime!

How to get there

Being located in a newer part of a capital city, access by all methods of transport are excellent.

By road, the site entrance is immediately off of the A1020 at the eastern end of the North Circular Road. It is accessible from the North via the M1 or M40, M25 and M11, South West via the M3 or M4, M25 and M11, and the South East via the M25, A2 and Blackwall Tunnel. There are three car parks around the site, totalling 3,700 spaces, all of which are in walking distance, the main one being an underground car park beneath the centre. The daily rate for using these car parks is normally between £15 and £20, but some exhibitions provide free parking for a limited number of exhibitors included in their stand price.

By rail, ExCeL is served by three stations on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Royal Victoria, Custom House and Prince Regent. The DLR terminates at Stratford International, which connects via high-speed South Eastern Trains to Ashford International for Eurostar Services. The DLR also connects to all other mainline London stations via London Underground services at Tower Gateway and Bank, and London Overground services at Stratford. Royal Victoria DLR Station also connects south of the river Thames via the Emirates Cable Car to North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.

By Air, ExCeL is literally next door to London City Airport. Gatwick Airport is about an hour via the DLR and London Underground and Gatwick Express train services from Victoria. Heathrow Airport is 75 minutes via DLR and London Underground services.

By Bus, there are five local services that operate past Excel approximately every ten minutes. These originate from Ilford, Canning Town, North Woolwich and Stratford. There are also clearly-marked taxi ranks at every main entrance to the Exhibition Halls.

There are several national chain hotels on the ExCeL site, varying from Budget to 5-star accommodation, all of which are within a 15 minute walk of the Exhibition Halls.

What facilities are there?

As one would expect from such a large facility, there are numerous locations where food and drink are available within the exhibition halls themselves. The choice ranges from coffee/snack bars to table service. In addition, there are numerous bars on the site, most of which remain open after exhibition closure times. The O2 complex across the river via the cable car houses cinemas, bars restaurants, as well as being home to some of the best live music and comedy events in the country. Plus, of course, the site itself is around half an hour from the centre of London itself.

Useful things to know when setting up

For set-up and breakdown days, if you need to unload directly into the hall you will need to go through the unloading system. There is a dedicated traffic office from which you must obtain a permit to allow you entry to the loading bay, you will not be allowed up to the hall doors without one. So go with your stand number and vehicle registration noted as you will need these to obtain your permit. Once unloaded, you will then be required to park your vehicle back in the parking area at ground level. If you only have items in a car that can be carried, then it is worth considering parking in the car park beneath the halls, from where you can take a lift up to the main boulevard and carry your items into the hall.

Major National Exhibitions held at the ExCel Exhibition Centre include:

Restaurant & Bar Design Show
Safety & Health Expo
Offshore Wind Energy Show
Firex International
Food Matters Live
Helitech International
The Public Sector Show
Apps World Evolution
The Facilities Show
National Infrastructure Forum
MCM London Comic Con
Skills London

Useful Links:

What Exhibitions are staged there?

What Exhibitor Services are available?

How do I Get There by Road?

What Trains will get me there? (enter your local station in departure and ‘Royal Victoria DLR’ in destination)

Where are the nearest Hotels?

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