Ross Watson
02 October 2019 00:00

The best kept media secret

In our latest blog, Nic Young, group marketing director, talks about the NEC Group’s first media partnerships event in London.

I’m so proud of the team who pulled together and hosted our media event. We are well known at the NEC Group for our amazing venues and event services, but probably less so for the great media opportunities we can offer brands.

So, what better way to address this than with a live event of our own?

The team gathered together their contacts books – and invited along some new faces – to a special networking event at Morton's in Berkeley Square, London. They put together a short and sharp presentation, as well as putting on drinks and canapes, designed to give attendees a little more information on the Group’s media and sponsorship offering.

Guests were invited along to Morton's in Berkeley Square, London


So, what was presented?

One of the downsides of having a group brand name associated with one of our venues is that, when you tell someone you work for the NEC Group, they usually think you mean the National Exhibition Centre. While it is one of our venues (and it is great that it is so well known!), it just scratches the surface of what we do.

So, first up, it’s always a good chance to make sure everyone in the room understands who we are and what we do.

Ross Parker addresses the room


The NEC Group is the UK’s leading live events business operating in exhibitions, conferences, music, sports, family entertainment and hospitality. Alongside the National Exhibition Centre, we also have The International Convention Centre, The Vox Conference Centre and two fantastic arenas (Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena).

Supporting these venues are businesses such as catering specialists Amadeus, national ticketing agent The Ticket Factory and award-winning hospitality company – amplify. Alongside this are our Venue Partnerships and Media Partnerships teams, as well as the soon to open Bradford Live. Simply put, alongside being the UK’s number one exhibition centre, we do plenty more besides!

Our core focus is live events – with all teams aligned behind the message of ‘bringing live to life’, creating pioneering destinations of the future, helping customers to make every moment count. Our industry is fast-paced and dynamic - it’s a cliché but two days are never the same.

The success of our business means that we bring together more than 12 million people each year, which, from a media perspective, is a great opportunity to connect with a diverse and valuable audience.

The NEC Group has a wide variety of venues, with more than 12 million visitors


Now we know that the world of out-of-home media still revolves around impressions, and while we might not have hundreds of millions of eye balls looking at our offerings, what we do have is high dwell time with an extremely engaged audience.

From our research we know that the average NEC visitor spends around five hours on site - and for conferences at the ICC or Vox that is even longer. Even at our Arena venues, visitors spend, on average, more than four hours in our venues, so brands really do have the opportunity to connect on multiple occasions throughout the event.

Just as important as the number of visitors and the large amounts of time they spend with us is their mindset. 

In general, audiences at events have an open mindset, attending to learn, be sociable, escape from the day-to-day and try new things. This makes them responsive to advertising and sponsorship. An impressive 69% would recommend brands they have seen at events – and according to Live Nation research, 92% of live event fans believe brands can enhance the experience.

In short, the NEC Group has so many opportunities to engage audiences - and what an event to help illustrate this.

A huge shout-out must go to the team: Chris Pile, Aceel Dear, Simon Wigley, Emily Boylin, Charlotte Millichamp, Ross Parker, Laurie Perfect and Rosh Thumbadoo, who put together a memorable evening.

The excellent team that brought the event to life