With the exception of assistance dogs, animals are not usually permitted. In exceptional circumstances if the animal is vital for the product being promoted, permission may be given provided all the requirements and regulations are met. Please apply to email@example.com by Thursday, 15 July.
A full range of audio visual equipment including plasmas can be hired from the official supplier EventPro Solutions.
If you are using wireless microphones from any other source it is your responsibility to ensure they are licensed appropriately with OFCOM; please also consider:
The use of Channel 69 is no longer legal - which some older microphones will use.
Microphones which operate in the following ranges are exempt from licensing a) UHF: 863.100-864.900MHz (hand-held transmissions of 10mW and body-worn transmitters of 50mW, b) VHF: 173.700 - 175.10MHz, c) Audio equipment below 10mW: 2.400-2.4835GHz.
License exemption does not provide users with any form of protection from other users and there may be heavy sharing of certain locations. The ability of equipment to withstand interference may depend on its design, quality and robustness.
Further information on wireless equipment licensing can be obtained from Ofcom at PMSE@ofcom.org.uk / +44 (0)207 981 3803.
Balloons, Airships & Blimps
Balloons may not be distributed to the public from your stand owing to the potential damages to the air handling units in the hall. The use of small balloons to dress stands is not permitted while large balloons and blimps above stands (with top height of no more than 6m from the floor) are classified as a sponsorship opportunity with the associated cost of £1,000 – apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, 15 July. They must be tethered, at all times, to a secure weight that is placed so as not to cause a hazard.
Airships are not permitted owing to the amount of rigging in the hall.
Banners / Rigged Structures
Rigged items such as truss, canopies and lighting grids will be permitted provided designs are submitted with the stand plans and comply with all relevant regulations. Standalone banners which are not linked to the stand design may be permitted but only with prior approval - please submit concepts to email@example.com for consideration if your proposed banner falls into this category.
Canvassing / Aisle Congestion
To help prevent aisle congestion, exhibitors may only conduct business and distribute literature from their own stand space; activities may not spill into gangways. This ruling also applies to the use of roaming comic-style characters which are classed as a sponsored item and only allowed with written permission from the Organisers. Contact Richard Macey at firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone +44 (0)20 7042 4284 for further information.
Carpet & Flooring
Shell Scheme Stands:
All shell scheme stands are carpeted in grey cord carpet. Exhibitors may change this colour at additional cost by contacting Creative Event Spaces direct. Colours and ranges are detailed on the floor coverings order form.
Space Only Stands:
Space only stands are not carpeted and it is your responsibility to provide suitable carpet or flooring to your stand space – it is not permitted to use the bare NEC floor. You can book with the official contractor, Creative Event Spaces, or use your own carpeting and flooring contractor. Only NEC approved tapes may be used to secure your carpet to the hall floor and they must be removed during breakdown or charges will be levied. For further details, please refer to the Space Only Stands section of this manual.
Catering & Alcohol
All stand catering must be ordered through the NEC Catering Department – exhibitors are not usually permitted to bring in their own food or drink.
Occasionally exhibitors may be given permission to bring in their own food and drink for sampling purposes if it relates directly to their core business or is representative of their country of origin. Permission must be obtained in writing in advance from the NEC and all relevant legislation must be complied with. Please apply by emailing full details to email@example.com by Friday 29 July.
During the open period, alcohol may be served on stands only if it has been ordered from the NEC Catering Department. Alcohol is not permitted in the hall during build-up and breakdown.
Children under 16 are not permitted in the hall for any reason during build-up, breakdown or out of show public hours during the open period. They are not allowed on your stand before the show opens each morning or after it closes each evening.
You are also reminded that UK legislation exists for children who are under 16 and working on your stand in any capacity. You must apply for a permissions letter from the child’s Local Education Authority and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, 31 August together with a summary of how the child will be working and what arrangements are being made for their welfare.
Should any children become separated from their guardians during the event, please either alert a member of the Organising team, the NEC Security team or accompany them to the Organiser's Office. Do not offer them any food or drink.
During build-up and breakdown all stand-fitting materials MUST be removed from the hall – only standard household style waste that can fit into a black plastic bag will be removed by the venue cleaners. During the open period, bags of acceptable rubbish should be left in the gangways for removal by the cleaners and stands will be vacuumed each evening. At all times you are responsible for removing the following items and charges will be levied for non-compliance:
Excess literature and promotional products
Excess stand fitting materials
Carpet (unless supplied by the shell scheme contractor), carpet tape, flooring and platform floors.
Hazardous waste including light bulbs and fluorescents (unless supplied by the electrical contractor), all paints and their containers, cooking oils and their containers, aerosols (full or empty), oils and lubricants, oily rags and all venue use approved chemicals
Please note that the top level of double decker stands will not be cleaned - if you have this requirement please call 0844 3388 338 or +44 (0)121 767 2357 (international callers) for a quote.
Credit Card Terminals
Wireless Terminal Solutions are the appointed show supplier for wireless and fixed phone line credit card / pdq machines.
Wireless GPRS terminals connect via an in-build SIM card and do not require a phone line or power supply to operate them and cost £70 per terminal plus £21 collection and delivery charge, plus VAT.
Bluetooth terminals connect via a phone line which must be ordered from the NEC and cost £80 per terminal plus £21 collection and delivery charge, plus VAT.
Download the NEC Product & Services Order Form for phone lines here
In order to minimise frustrations and loss of business by your pdq machines not being able to connect with the busy mobile networks at the NEC please consider the following:
- If you are bringing your own wireless terminals or ordering them from other suppliers, they may encounter network connection / configuration difficulties if they are more than a couple of years old as software may not have been updated
- The use of a Bluetooth terminal with a fixed phone line will eliminate possible network issues. You may wish to consider hiring one fixed line terminal from WTS as a back-up
- Please ensure any terminal you order or bring to the event is a phone line compatible terminal if you intend to link to phone line(s) you have ordered
Please refer to the Deliveries & Parking page for full information. However, if you are shipping goods into and out of the UK from Europe please also note the information below.
From 1st January 2021, as part of the UK's departure from the EU, new rules on the movement of goods into the UK were introduced. Customs clearance is now needed to import and export goods and exhibitors and contractors are required to produce shipping documentation. This may include commercial invoices containing product descriptions, tariff numbers and terms of shipping. Due to the special requirements for clearing exhibition goods, it is recommended that you contact our official logistics contractor, Agility, for further shipping information and guidelines. Failure to comply with the new requirements and shipping time frames may result in significant delays to your goods.
Exhibitors must advise the Organisers of any demonstrations they are carrying out on their stand via submission of the Health & Safety Declaration, and should ensure that:
Demonstrations do not constitute a fire or safety hazard
The activity is contained within your stand space and does not protrude into the gangways
Any viewing areas must also be factored into your stand design and space
All working machinery must have appropriate guarding, controls must be out of the public reach and the machinery may only be used by trained operatives
A sign must be prominently displayed to avoid people becoming accidentally injured
Any products being demonstrated must conform to the appropriate British Standards and have "CE" Marking
An appropriate hygiene regime has been put in place
Any social distancing requirements are factored into viewing and demonstration areas
In some cases, additional control measures will be required dependent upon the nature of the demonstration and you may be required to use tensator barriers to create a suitable queuing area.
You are not permitted to fix to any part of the NEC building (walls, pillars, etc.). You may not bolt to the NEC floor without permission from the NEC. Charges will apply for all damages, including knocks to walls and pillars, paint spillages and for removal of abandoned carpet tape.
Shell scheme exhibitors are also reminded they are responsible for all shell scheme panels on their stand, may not paint their panels and will be charged for any damages through inappropriate fixings.
Space only exhibitors / contractors are requested to report to the Organiser's Office before leaving site during breakdown so that a Floor Manager can check that their stand space is clear of all waste and free of damages.
Disability / Equality
The Equality Act aims to ensure that everyone is treated equally and to the same standards and levels of service as each other, regardless of their ability / disability. You have an obligation to consider this act and the former Disability Discrimination Act when designing your stand. Access for disabled people is not only about physical access to your stand but includes written information for people with visual impairments and access to the same standards of service for all.
Disabled Facilities at the NEC
Please click here for information on access and parking, toilets, hearing assistance and mobility equipment hire.
The use of drones is only permitted with the Organiser’s prior approval and the following procedures must be followed:
Applications for permission to use drones at the show must be submitted to the Organisers in writing together with a risk assessment by Friday, 29 July 2022
Operators must comply with The Air Navigation Order, including requirements for "Small Unmanned Aircraft" and remain in visual contact and within radio range of the drone at all times
Drones must not be flown above any persons in the venue and their demonstration must be carried out within a specific agreed area. Additional safety measures may be required by the venue
Exit signs and fire detection beams must not be obscured at any time
A suitable take-off and landing / demonstration area must be planned into your stand layout as appropriate
Proof of pilot competency is required
The following must be considered when carrying out a risk assessment:
The use of gas or batteries
Obstacles within the exhibition, including drop wires, cables, truss, stands and signage
The possibility of items falling from the equipment
Competency of the operators
Creative Event Spaces (C.E.S.) are the official electrical contractor for the show.
Shell Scheme exhibitors:
Lighting and power are not provided as part of the shell scheme stand and can be ordered via the Shell Scheme Electrics Order Form. For advice when ordering stand power, please refer to the relevant section on the Shell Scheme Information tab and please remember to complete the Electrical Order Layout Plan if you require your electrical fittings to be fitted in a specific location on your stand..
Space Only exhibitors:
Please pay careful attention to the NEC’s Emergency Procedures and circulate to all staff working on your stand during the open period - including hired hostesses, translators etc. Download the NEC Emergency Procedures here
Fire extinguishers will be distributed around the halls and may NOT be removed. If you have activities which increase the risk of fire, you must order additional extinguishers for your stand. Contact the NEC on 0844 88 338 or +44 (0)121 767 2357 (international callers) to discuss.
Please ensure all stand staff are aware of the venue’s Emergency Procedures and the location of all fire exits and alarm points.
Fire exits must be kept clear at all times and no exhibits or packaging materials may be stored behind stands.
All materials used in stand construction / dressing must be fire retardant to the relevant standards – please refer to the Space Only Section for further information.
No naked flames, including tea lights and candles, or LPG will be permitted without prior written approval.
All hot works are subject to the issue of a hot work permit by the venue.
If First Aid is required, please contact the Organiser's Office. In the event of a serious accident, do not call the emergency services direct - please inform the Organiser's Office so that First Aid staff can attend and the venue can direct the ambulance to a suitable location and ensure a swift path of access across the venue site.
Freight Forwarding, Lifting & Handling
DSV (formally Agility) is the official freight and lifting contractor and offer transportation (UK and overseas), unloading and reloading and forklift hire. Please contact them for advice on importing goods from abroad, including Europe.
Furniture can be hired from our official contractor, Creative Hire or you may bring in your own. To avoid confusion, please note that Creative Hire is a different company to the shell and electrics contractor, Creative Event Services. You are recommended to order as early as possible to avoid non-availability of stock.
Mains gas can be ordered from the NEC but the use of compressed gases is not normally permitted and is strictly controlled. Email email@example.com with full details if you wish to apply to use it.
Hotels, Restaurants & Travel
This year, our hotel booking partner is Meet Birmingham. Some great rates for exhibitors with local hotels have been and restaurant and travel packages are also available.
You can book hotel rooms here
Health & Safety
Please ensure you:
Read the Health & Safety Information section of this manual which covers your health and safety obligations, the emergency procedures and gives advice on risk assessments and method statements
Read the COVID-19 - additional information section of this manual for guidance on additional planning measures you may need to take and refer back to it regularly in case government advice changes
Understand your duties under CDM - information is given in the Health & Safety section
Ensure all staff working on your stand during the construction phases of build-up and breakdown have been inducted with The Photography Show's Site Rules
You are also reminded that you are responsible for effecting insurance cover for:
Public liability to a level of at least £5,000,000 and Third Party Risk (compulsory)
Exhibits and stand contents
Expenses incurred due to the abandonment or postponement of the exhibition
Although every precaution is taken to protect exhibitors and their property during the event, the Organisers expressly decline responsibility for any loss or damage which may befall the person or property of the exhibitor or his agent from any cause whatsoever.
The Financial Services Authority regulations do not permit us to advise you on any insurance matter. However, we wish to draw your attention to insurance for Exhibitors offered by InEvexco. You are under no obligation to purchase such insurance and you may choose to seek insurance from other providers.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Internet, Data & Telephony
A variety of internet, data and telephony services are available from the NEC. Free WiFi is also available at the NEC – to use, follow the instructions on the NEC landing page. Please note, this is a service for general use and its reliability will depend on demand – if you require a dedicated business connection, you are strongly recommended to order a hard-wired connection.
Lead Capture - Visitors
Barcode lead recording mobile Apps are available to hire at the event to help you capture information on visitors to your stand.
The mobile App allows you to access your data throughout the day, categorise your visitors, make notes as you go and take photographs and voice memos.
Scanners should be ordered by 3 September and cost £200 + Vat for the license and £65 + Vat for each additional license which can be ordered at any point.
Please also note this important information regarding the scanners/apps:
Visitors – the majority of visitors will not be wearing a badge. Visitors must have a valid ticket to get into the event which they should retain at all times. This ticket can be scanned but you may need to ask the visitor to retrieve their tickets from their bag or on the phone
Consumer contact information is only taken from the main booker. This means that if ten tickets are booked by the same person, you will only receive the lead booker’s data
No contact details are taken from consumer visitors who purchase their tickets on the door
Contact details will be taken from trade visitors who register on-site and their badges can be scanned
If your company does choose to order an App from us, we will assume you have read and understood the information above, and no refunds will be offered on this basis
Models - Guidance
The Photography Show & The Video Show would like to provide a welcoming environment for all visitors and we would like exhibitors to bear this in mind when choosing and briefing models taking part in their stand activity. Feedback from our audience (both visitors and exhibitors), has highlighted discomfort with stands that encourage ‘ogling’. When choosing models for your stand, please use these guidelines:
Use a mix of women and men
Brief your model agency to include a diverse selection of models for you to choose from - don't assume they will as a matter of course
Consider model costumes that are appropriate for a wide audience
Imaginative costume and make-up design can also create real interest; consider doing something out of the ordinary
Be open minded when casting models - it's important we put our best foot forward as an industry
Music, Sound & Performing Rights
The use of public address systems, microphones hi-fi, radio, video, and sound amplification on any stand will be strictly controlled to ensure noise levels do not cause a disturbance to neighbouring visitors. Noise levels may also not exceed 80 decibels and stands will be monitored to enforce this level.
Any exhibitor playing music or video on their stand is required by law to obtain the appropriate licenses in advance of the exhibition:
Music: PRS is required by any exhibitor playing music on their stand, either by DVD, CD, tape, record or video for royalties to the publisher and composer of the music. PPL is required by any exhibitor playing music on their stand by DVD, CD, tape or record, but not via video; the license covers royalties for the artist and the record company. PRS and PPL have now joined forces so that only one license is now required - visit www.pplprs.co.uk for further information and fees
VPL: required by any exhibitor playing music on their stand by means of video or DVD. It covers royalties for the artist and the video company. To obtain your license, call VPL direct on +44 (0)20 7534 1400
Film Bank Distribution Ltd: any exhibitor playing a feature film or clip requires a license from this body. Please call the Film Bank Distribution Ltd direct on +44 (0)20 7984 5958.
Passes (Exhibitor / Contractor)
Please refer to the Exhibitor & Contractor Passes page for full information. Please note that all contractors must pre-register for a pass this year.
Please contact the NEC Rigging Department with any orders or queries you have for rigging, or complete and return the Rigging Enquiry Form. Rigging charges can be found here. Please also note that any rigged stand fitting must be approved and signed off by the Organiser's structural engineer at a cost of £210-£270 per single storey stand and £290-£330 for double deckers. You will also be required to complete a Third Party Rigging Form before the structure is flown.
Please note however that it is NOT permitted to rig standalone banners over your stand which are not part of the stand design without prior approval from the Organisers. If in doubt as to whether your banner falls into this category, please submit a visual to email@example.com for consideration.
Scanners (data capture)
You can hire scanners to capture leads from visitor badges and tickets. Order here
The NEC now offers Exhibitor CCTV for those exhibitors looking for extra security on their stands - full details and options are listed on the NEC Products & Services Order Form.
Although every reasonable precaution is taken and the hall is patrolled day and night, exhibition halls are vulnerable places owing to the many different contractors and exhibitors working within an event and the Organisers can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage which may occur to your staff or property from any cause.
Please consider these security tips when planning your stand:
Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover all items taken to the event
Make contact with the event security company for advice on how to secure your vulnerable / valuable items
Consider a lockable area or cabinet to store your personal possessions and ensure you have unique locks and keys
Do not leave your items unattended at any time during build-up, the open period or breakdown
Do not leave the venue until all visitors have gone each evening
Think about how you position desirable items when considering your stand design, especially where you may not be able to keep an eye on them
Always secure desirable and vulnerable items. Typically these are plasma screens, lap tops, mobile phones, handbags, cash boxes
Ensure you have enough staff so that your area is not vulnerable to thieves and do not ask anyone else to watch over your property while you go for a break. They may become busy and not be able to keep an eye on it
Remove all portable items of value each evening where possible, especially on the show close evening. Do not leave them until the following day for collection
Arrive in time for the show opening each day. Ensure your stand is staffed at least 15 minutes before show open but remember the halls open each day at 08:00 for maintenance and re-stocking
Use a night sheet
Hire an alarm from your area if you have valuable or portable items
Don’t look after items belonging to other people
Consider intellectual property theft – can photographs be taken of sensitive information, machinery parts etc.
If you are a victim of theft, please report the matter immediately to the Organiser's Office.
Shell Scheme Exhibitors
If you have a Shell Scheme stand please refer to the Shell Scheme Information tab for full details of what is provided and advice relevant to you.
Simulators & Rides
If you intend to exhibit simulators or rides you are required to inform the Organisers at least 35 days before the event via the Health & Safety Declaration. You will be required to comply with the Amusement Devices Inspection Procedures Scheme (ADIPS) and submit a valid Declaration of Operational Compliance (DOC), copies of annual inspection certificates and a full risk assessment. On-site, the equipment must be under the control of a competent and experienced person and tested daily by a competent person to ensure it is safe for public use, prior to the event opening.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Space Only Exhibitors
If you have booked a space only stand you are responsible for the entire build of your stand. For full information, please refer to the Space Only Information.If you are looking for a contractor to manage your stand build, please contact our preferred supplier Solutions 2 via email at email@example.com of by phone on +44 (0)121 351 1100.
If you intend to demonstrate any special effects, including lasers, smoke machines, strobe lighting, real flames, ultraviolet lights, high power scenic projectors, dry ice machines, firearms and pyrotechnics (including fire work displays you are required to inform the Organisers at least 35 days before the event via the Health & Safety Declaration. If permission is given by the NEC, the relevant requirements and regulations will be advised to you and you will be required to submit the following as a minimum:
A schedule of when the equipment is to be used
The length of time the effects are likely to remain at the event
A risk assessment and method statement covering the effects
Certificates of competency of operators and installers
Certificates of serviceability of equipment
A COSHH assessment and safety data sheets for any chemicals used to produce the effects.
You are also required to display warning signs according to the type of effects to be used which must be placed in a position visible to visitors.For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you intend to carry out treatments on the public, you are required to inform the Organisers at least 35 days before the event via the Health & Safety Declaration so that you can be informed of what licenses will be required and the relevant documentation you will need to provide. There are three different categories of treatments:
Non-invasive hands on treatments including (but not limited to) Indian head massage, massage, reflexology, manicures and pedicures
Invasive treatments including (but not limited to) skin piercing, acupuncture, tattooing, electrolysis, cosmetic piercing, micro pigmentation, dermal fillers and Botox
Hands-off treatments (non-licensable) such as Reiki
The official freight contractor can store empty packing cases and boxes which are required at the end of the event to re-pack your products and displays. Please refer to the Exhibition Handling & Freight Order Form for further details.If you require storage space off your stand for excess products, literature, giveaways etc. please email email@example.com with your requirements, including meterage required /number of pallets, nature of product and approximate value. Store areas can be built but charges will apply. All items left in such areas are also left at your own risk and the Organisers take no responsibility for any stolen or damaged items. You are also responsible for removing all pallets at the end of the event.
Vehicles / Petrol Engine Machinery
All petrol-fuelled motor vehicles or other petrol equipment fitted with a petrol tank must comply with the following:
They may not be exhibited without the prior written consent of the Organisers
The fuel tanks of motor vehicles manufactured prior to 1984 must contain only sufficient fuel to move the vehicle in and out of the hall, due to the absence of safety features which prevent leakage. Fuel tanks of vehicles manufactured after 1984 may contain fuel
Fuel tanks on all other petrol engine equipment must be empty
The fuel tank must be sealed, wherever possible with a lockable cap
Vehicles may require a drip tray and must be positioned within the boundaries of the stand so that any protrusions, doors, tail lifts etc do not infringe into the gangways
The running of engines during the event is strictly prohibited
Filling and emptying tanks during the event is not permitted
Waste is not just a cleaning issue… why not try and recycle as much of your unwanted stand materials and literature as possible?
During the build-up, open period and breakdown periods, the venue cleaners will remove normal waste from the gangways. The definition of normal waste is packaging and small items such as those that would fit into a standard black bin bag. You and your contractor are responsible for removing all other waste, including:
Carpet – except scraps
Crates and pallets
Building waste, such as bricks, sand and stand-fitting materials
Heavy / large items that need to be removed by mechanical means
Hazardous waste – e.g. paints, solvents, chemicals, clinical waste aerosols, oils or cooking oils
Strip lights (fluorescent tubes and light bulbs)
Material produced by working demonstrations of exhibits
Charges will apply for the removal of any such items left abandoned in the hall.Quotes for skips can be obtained from the NEC Cleaning Dept. on +44 (0)844 3388 338 or you can download the NEC Skip Order Form here.
Water & Waste / Plumbing
Water and waste can be ordered from the NEC - if you are ordering this service please ensure that adequate water and waste facilities are ordered; mains water will not be connected unless an approved method for the disposal of the water is in place. Food and other noxious substances such as paint, oil, spirits, chemicals, and milk shall not be discharged into the drainage system.
Please also note that in certain cases the provision of a platform floor will be required to cover the service pipes. Please liaise with the NEC when ordering water and waste as the location of these pipes may affect your stand design.
Any exhibitor utilising a water feature (such as operating showers, spa baths, garden ornaments, fountains, washing equipment, pools, etc) on their stand must inform the Organisers via the Health & Safety Declaration. Suitable arrangements for filling and emptying the features must be arranged – under no circumstances may water be discharged onto the hall floor or into the ducts and fire hoses may not be used for filling. All equipment and / or exhibits are required to conform to HSE approved code of practice L8 “The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems” and requirements must be followed.
Free WiFi is available at the NEC – to use, follow the instructions on the NEC landing page. Please note however this is a service for general use and its reliability will depend on demand – if you require a dedicated business connection, you are strongly recommended to order a hard wired connection. Please refer to the NEC Products & Services Order Form for options and prices or book online here.
Working at Height
A person is working at height if there is a possibility of their being injured from falling. Exhibitors and contractors are responsible for ensuring:
No work is done at height if it is safe and reasonably practicable to do it other than at height
The risk from falling objects is properly controlled
Where ladders are used, these are industrial and not domestic quality
Ladders must be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions
Suitable access equipment is used and built in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
Further advice and regulations concerning working at height are available upon request.