The NEC has secured a three-year contract with the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) for its Summer and Outdoor Living Exhibition (SOLEX).
The July 2013 show will move from its former home of five years, the Telford International Centre.
Manufacturers of garden furniture, gazebos, parasols, outdoor lighting and play equipment will exhibit at the show, from 8 to 10 July.
“While we’ve been happy in Telford, we are committed to growing our exhibition and need additional capacity to accommodate expansion,” said LOFA secretary Phil Gibbs. “The space and flexibility offered by the NEC, combined with its central location and great transport links are perfect for our needs and we look forward to growing the show with them over the next three years.”
The exhibition will use outside space to showcase barbeque equipment.
“It’s fantastic to welcome another trade association show to the NEC, demonstrating our ability to cater for multiple audiences, under one roof,” said NEC business development director Chris Hartley.
Meanwhile, the NEC has announced major improvement works at a cost of more than £2m, including revamping its car parking offer to introduce new pre-booked parking options.
The improvement works are part of a £40m investment over a seven-year programme. The new parking products include guaranteed ‘NEC Express’ parking close to the event and designated ‘Exhibitor Advantage’ parking for exhibitors, which will allow them to book a space for the duration of the open period at the show, at a cost of £50 per day. Exiting the show each day will also be easier.
However, these new overall measures will see the cost of standard parking rise from £8 to £10.
NEC managing director Kathryn James said the price rises will focus on enhancing customers’ experience.
“We acknowledge that it is difficult for visitors to accept price rises, especially during these difficult economic times, but these changes are needed in order to make these investments to ensure our venue offers our customers a great experience that will set the NEC apart from the rest,” she said.
“It’s also about offering customers more choice, with a variety of parking offers now available – visitors can opt for the new pre-booked option or choose from the thousands of standard parking spaces provided on site thanks to our unrivalled flexibility as a venue.”
From September, the venue will also introduce contactless payment in its car parks.
A new show focused on the UK pool and spa sector will launch at The NEC next January.
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