ICC at London ExCel
Our World | On 05, Jul 2010
ICC at London ExCel, what a venue! Thank goodness we have finally created a venue that we can all be proud of and more importantly allows us to compete on a global stage for large events.
Personally I felt that the venue was shown off well at the exclusive opening ceremony. The new facilities were dramatically and creatively displayed during the networking and the drinks reception allowed everyone a chance to absorb the size and scale of the facility.
Mayor Boris Johnson addressed the crowd in his usual dry style and expressed his delight with the £165 million expansion programme. Boris said he was pleased that the “14,600 delegate-strong World Convention of Gastroenterologists would now have somewhere big enough to host their gala dinner”. He also stated that “until today we did not have a great ICC, London is 16th behind Paris, Berlin and Vienna (in ICCA rankings). I think this fantastic new facility makes great sense for our country. It is now one of the greatest convention centres in the world – if not the greatest – in the greatest city in the world”.
I have to say that with its stunning fast- developing waterfront location, ExCeL London actually has a lot of style as well as substance. P&MM will be one of the first to utilise this amazingly versatile space for a major Pan – European Exhibition and Conference over a 10 day period early next year. The numbers speak for themselves, 5000 seat auditorium, banqueting for up to 3000 guests and meeting space for up to 2500 with a central room for up to 2500 plus up to 17 meeting rooms. Combine all this with easy access to the Jubilee Line, London City Airport, and parking for 2600 cars, 5 on-site hotels and numerous on-site bars and restaurants and ExCel London helps the city go head to head with Europe’s largest offerings.
Obviously the rail networks have yet to be really put through their paces and to be honest have to be the main concern for the site. If you can’t access a venue then it doesn’t matter how good it is, people just won’t come. In my opinion some of the best venues around the world are let down by access issues. Hopefully the London site can banish these concerns and deliver on their promises of a smooth and well managed transport network. Time will tell!
I think what sold ICC ExCel London to me, apart from the amazing flexibility, was the can-do attitude and hands-on management from the sales team at Excel. I dare to have the confidence!
Susan Sexton, Events Team