With such a vast array of options to keep visitors occupied and entertained, it’s no surprise that many delegates like to stay on in Birmingham once they have seen all there is to see at Showcase.
This year’s event is a little later in the year than usual, so in mid-November many visitors
are likely to have Christmas shopping on their minds…
Heralded as the ‘glamorous heart to Birmingham’, the Bullring shopping centre is the place to go if you want to make serious inroads into those long Christmas-shopping lists.
It has more than 160 stores, including Selfridges and Debenhams, and 25 restaurants for you to enjoy and rest your feet. Opening times are: Mon-Fri 9.30am-8.00pm; Saturday 9.00am-8.00pm; Sunday 11.00am-5.00pm. Call 0121 632 1500 for further details or visit www.bullring.co.uk.
For those looking for that extra special gift, Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter is the place to visit.
Since the 18th century, the area has been home to some of the most highly skilled
goldsmiths and jewellery makers in the world.
With hundreds of jewellers’ shops, highly skilled craftsmen and trade companies in one
location, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Because the jewellery is minted, hallmarked and manufactured right there, you can expect the highest standards in quality and service.
While you’re at the NEC
The timing of this year’s Dental Showcase is perfect for those visitors that have a passion for cars. The Classic Motor Show will be running from 13-15 November at the NEC. The show celebrates all eras and models including the veteran, the vintage, the classic and the future classic cars.
Visit www.necclassicmotorshow.com for more information.
The NEC itself is the busiest exhibition centre in Europe, staging around 160 trade shows each year, ranging from world-famous public events such as Crufts Dog Show and Clothes Show Live to
international trade exhibitions like IPEX and Spring Fair.
More than four million people visit the centre each year. With 21 halls totalling 200,000 square metres of exhibition space on a 650-acre site, it is also the biggest exhibition centre in Britain. The NEC is renowned for large-scale international trade fairs, but also has an active interest in helping smaller specialist shows develop, providing advice, support and essential services to organisers.
There are two Visitor & Business Centres, located in the Piazza by Hall 5 and in the Atrium by Hall 9, opposite Concourse Suites 1 and 2.
You can access the NEC’s wireless internet (WiFi) network using a laptop computer in the public circulation areas outside of the hall entrances in the Piazza and the Atrium. To use the network you will need to purchase a log-in code from one of the Visitor & Business Centres or the Atrium Information Point by Hall 19. The time allocated is for continuous use.
There are manned cloakrooms adjacent to halls when shows are on. Visitors can store bags, coats and luggage for £1 per item per day.
Cash machines are located opposite the entrance to Hall 8 and by Hall 4.
With the city centre only a short train or bus journey away from the NEC, there are many places nearby to have a meal out. There are different varieties to choose from such as Chinese buffets, stylish bistros, European cuisine and Birmingham’s most famous culinary claim, the ‘City of the Balti’. A trip to the Birmingham Balti Mile, situated in Sparkbrook, Sparkhill and Balsall Heath, is a must for curry lovers. Here you will find over 50 restaurants, each with a different twist on the city’s signature dish.
Visit www.birminghamplus.com for further details.
Here are a few specific examples:
The Wok’s Hall (0121 7427111)
Nuthurst Grange Country House Hotel and Restaurant (01564 783972)
Zorba’s Greek restaurant (0121 6667727)
Maharaja Restaurant (0121 6222641)
The Orange Tree (01564 785364)
La Tasca (0121 643 9888)
The Thai Village (01564 771595)
There is also Brindley Place, part of the award-winning
waterfront development, set in the heart of the canal system just off Broad Street, that is bursting with restaurants, bars and cafés.
Birmingham city centre has a thriving nightlife with more than 100 pubs, bars and clubs to choose from. But if you’re looking for relaxing entertainment, you could try the Symphony Hall (www.thsh.co.uk), which is considered to be one of the finest concert halls in the world, or if you’re wanting to go and see a show, The Hippodrome and Alexandra Theatre stage leading productions from the West End. Birmingham also has a number of multi-screen cinemas. In the city centre there are four including the Odeon (0871 224 4007). Further out of the centre you can find The Electric, the oldest working cinema in the UK. Built in 1909, it has gone through many incarnations and name changes over the years but still remains the only independent cinema in Birmingham.
With leather sofas and waiter service, visitors to The Electric (0121 643 7879) will be able to enjoy a unique cinema-going experience in sumptuous surroundings. For further information visit: www.visitbirmingham.co.uk/nightlife/.
• Don’t forget the Bridge2Aid Charity Ball taking place on the Friday evening of Showcase at the Hilton Metropole. To book tickets visit www.dentistry.co.uk/charityball.
There are many notable attractions to go and visit while you’re in Birmingham.
With Showcase being held in November this year and the weather usually favouring indoor activities, the city’s galleries, including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, may provide the ideal undercover venues. The Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses are great for an afternoon stroll but you may need your waterproof clothing!
If none of the above takes your fancy, maybe a trip to the National Sea Life Centre or to Cadbury World in Bourneville could be just what you’re looking for. You could also venture out
of Birmingham to the historic town of Warwick or nearby Kenilworth and Stratford-upon-Avon.
To find out more, visit www.visitbirmingham.com.