The NEC occupies a 610 acre site in the borough of Solihull, just eight miles from Birmingham City Centre and offers unrivalled flexibility across more than 186,000 square metres of covered exhibition space through 20 interconnecting halls, around 167 acres of hard standing and 75 acres of woodland.
The venue welcomes around 2.1m visitors each year, to around 140 diverse trade and consumer events, including long standing shows like BBC Gardeners’ World, BBC Good Food Show and Spring Fair; it also hosts specialist exhibitions like the Clothes Show Live, Warley National Model Rail Exhibition and Festival of Quilts.
This £2.6m project was to provide an integrated IP CCTV (350+ cameras), IP Access Control (400+ doors), ANPR (40+ lanes), Car Park Counting (80 zones), Video Analytics and the associated infrastructure. To support the solutions Vindex Systems provided all civils and electrical works with approved sub-contractors working for Vindex Systems as the Principal Contractor. At its peak we had an onsite labour force of over 20 staff.
The project implementation had several challenges not least the fact that the site continued business as usual with over 4 million visitors to the site during the installation period and the planning necessary to coordinate the works with the event and traffic teams.
Due to the lack of infrastructure throughout the site a point to multi-point wireless network was provided to stretch the solution beyond the buildings to all areas of the 650-acre estate. At the heart of the solution was a new Venue Operations Centre to manage the security and traffic operations for the site.