UK exhibition venues offer a diverse array of spaces suitable for all kinds of events, from international trade fairs to bespoke art shows. Whether you’re an event organiser, an exhibitor, or a visitor, the UK’s vibrant exhibition scene has something for everyone.

There are around 40 exhibition venues within the UK, many of which host exhibitions as part of a portfolio of events.  Some of these venues are as small as a few hundred square meters, right through the most well-known large venues such as the ExCeL in London or the NEC in Birmingham. Wherever you choose to exhibit, choose Starlight for your exhibition display stands and you’ll make the impact you desire!

Here’s your ultimate guide to some of the most notable exhibition venues across the UK, each known for its unique features and offerings.

Exhibition venues in London

We have picked two London exhibition venues that are ideal for your brand to showcase its latest products, for your team to attend a roadshow, or for you to soak up the exciting event atmosphere.

ExCeL London

Location: Royal Victoria Dock, London

Highlights: ExCeL London is one of the UK’s largest and most versatile event spaces, hosting a variety of exhibitions, conferences, and live events throughout the year. It features a waterfront location and is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Notable events include The Pub Show, IFE International Food & Drink, MCM Comic Con, and The National Wedding Show. If you are working for a business connected to these industries, these are the events to get yourself seen! You can find out what is being hosted a the ExCeL here.

Olympia London

Location: West Kensington, London

Highlights: Known for its stunning Victorian architecture, Olympia London offers a range of versatile spaces. It’s a popular choice for everything from trade shows to consumer exhibitions. Notable events that could help your brand reach new and important audiences include The Ideal Home Show, Digital Marketing World Forum, Imbibe Live and London Tech Week. With various events being staged here, and the opportunity to go big or host intimately, you can appeal to a specifically targeted audience or open your doors to the wider public. Discover upcoming events here.

Birmingham event venues

If you are planning to be part of an exhibition in Birmingham or host your own there, it can only be the NEC!

National Exhibition Centre (NEC)

Location: Birmingham

Highlights: The NEC is one of the largest exhibition centres in Europe, boasting 20 interconnecting halls and over 500 events annually. Its location adjacent to Birmingham International Airport makes it an easily accessible venue for international visitors. BBC Good Food and Gardeners World Live take place at the NEC as do The UK Concrete Show, the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show and Megacon Live. A wide range of interests, industries and charities a regularly exhibiting at the NEC and you could be filling a space there. Browse the events listings here

Event venues in Manchester

Manchester is a hub of sport, music, culture and more. As such, Manchester Central is a great venue for you to get your face seen in the right circles when it comes to showcasing your brand.

Manchester Central

Location: Manchester

Highlights: Manchester Central is a dynamic exhibition and conference centre, housed in a historic railway station. Its combination of historic architecture and modern facilities makes it a unique venue for a wide range of events. Coming up this year are The Healthcare Job Fair, the Baby and Toddler Show, and for stationary lovers, JournalFest. Alongside championship snooker, the eclectic mix of events means that those working in industries perhaps not catered for in many places in the event space, can benefit from exhibitions in Manchester.

Exhibition venues in Harrogate

Harrogate in Yorkshire is a stunning place to visit with plenty of historic buildings, great sights and fantastic food and drink options but if you want to get your brand seen, there is only one place to be noticed! The Harrogate Convention Centre.

Harrogate Convention Centre

Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Highlights: With a picturesque location in the spa town of Harrogate, this venue is known for its charming setting and comprehensive facilities. It’s particularly popular for trade shows, exhibitions, and corporate events. Events include The Flooring Show, The Knitting and Stitching Show and The Thought Bubble Comic Convention. Complementing these events are a wide range of music events, comedy shows and talks. Find out more about what is on in the Harrogate Convention Centre here.

Exhibition venue in Liverpool

Liverpool is one of the most loved cities in the country. Passionate people, an incredible history and a wonderful array of culture make it a destination for city breaks as well as attending events.

ACC Liverpool

Location: Liverpool

Highlights: Home to both the BT Convention Centre and the M&S Bank Arena, ACC Liverpool is a waterfront complex known for hosting major national and international events, from conferences to exhibitions and sports competitions. Businesses from a huge range of industries opt to use this venue and with versatility at its core, the ACC means no matter your exhibition type, you’ll be able to host it here!  The spaces to use can be seen here.

Exhibition venue in Glasgow

Scotland is always a welcoming place and should you come to Glasgow, you might find it even more hospitable! This could bode well for your event, and if you are attending as an exhibitor or a visitor, chances are, you’ll be heading to the SEC.

Scottish Event Campus (SEC)

Location: Glasgow

Highlights: Including the SEC Centre, SEC Armadillo, and The SSE Hydro, the Scottish Event Campus hosts a wide range of events, from global conferences to live entertainment. Its location on the banks of the River Clyde offers spectacular views. Along with a varied collection of concerts and shows, you’ll find the Ideal Home Show Scotland, The Gin To My Tonic Craft Spirit Show and The Scottish Homebuilding and Renovating Show among many others. You can find out more about organising an event at the SEC here.

Tips for Visitors attending exhibitions in the UK

Plan ahead: Check event schedules and book tickets in advance.

Accommodation: Consider staying near the venue for convenience, especially for multi-day events.

Travel: Explore transportation options, including public transit, to navigate to and from the venue efficiently.

Explore: Take some time to enjoy the local area around the venue, whether it’s London’s historical sites, Manchester’s vibrant music scene, or Glasgow’s renowned art galleries.

Whether you’re attending an exhibition for business or pleasure, the UK’s diverse range of venues ensures a memorable experience. Each venue offers its own unique set of features, catering to a wide spectrum of events and audiences.

How to choose the right UK exhibition venue

When selecting an exhibition venue in the UK, consider the following factors:

Size and Capacity: Ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your anticipated number of attendees and exhibits.

Location and Accessibility: Consider how easy it is for attendees to reach the venue, including proximity to transport links like airports, train stations, and public transport.

Facilities and Services: Look for venues that offer the necessary facilities (e.g., Wi-Fi, AV equipment, catering) and professional services (e.g., event management, security) to support your event.

Reputation and Experience: Venues with a track record of successfully hosting events similar to yours can provide insights and infrastructure that cater specifically to your needs.

Cost: Budgeting is crucial. Consider the venue hire cost and additional expenses for services and facilities.

At Starlight we work both nationally and internationally at all venues small and large, creating impressive, sustainable exhibition stands and reconfigurable exhibition display stands for a wide variety of clients.  View our gallery to see some of our recent projects.

We offer a free display stand design service, so why not contact us to find out more about how we can help you have a successful show wherever it may be!