The Photography Show is a huge event held at the NEC (Birmingham) every year. They have hundreds of exhibitors showcasing all the latest photography products and technology. There’s live stages, demonstrations and talks from world renowned photographers on the super stage. Over the 4 days there are tonnes of show deals and discounts to be found.
The Photography Show has just celebrated its fourth year after taking over from Focus on Imaging. Since then it has included more galleries, including the People’s Gallery which gives all visitors the opportunity to showcase their work.
Every year the show attracts thousands of visitors. Our guide will tell you everything you need to know to make the most of your experience.
Top Tip – Follow The Photography Show on social media for extra competitions and discounts
Before the show
First of all, get your tickets! Trade tickets are free and public tickets are around £14. All tickets are purchased through The Photography Show website and posted out a few weeks before your chosen date.
Top Tip – Trade visitors are usually given a lanyard for their pass, but public visitors need to bring their own.
Whether you’re planning on getting the train or driving to theNEC, check how long it will take. If you’re driving make sure to factor in the car park charges for the day. Book tickets for public transport in advance to get a better deal.
Look at the exhibitors and talks you’d like to see. Information of speakers can be found on The Photography Show website. If there are talks or demonstrations you’d like to see plan your journey to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start. Make a note of exhibitors you’d like to see, along with their stand numbers so you don’t miss anyone on the day.
Top Tip – Keep up to date with the Super Stage announcements. You need an extra ticket for these talks and they sell out quickly.
On the morning of the show make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes. The exhibition can become very warm, so I recommend layering your clothes so you can take some off. Comfy shoes are an absolute must. There are hundreds of stands to walk around and the last thing you’ll need is blisters.
What to take
You’ll need to remember your badge, your list of talks/exhibitors for the day and any Super Stage tickets you might have. The NEC food prices are quite high so I’d recommend bringing your own lunch and a drink.
Top Tip – Take two bags, a ‘keep’ and a ‘throw’. You’ll be given a lot of leaflets, so organise them into the bags as you go around rather than when you get home.
If you’re arriving to the NEC by car, follow the signs to the correct car park and hop on a shuttle bus to the exhibition door. By train, follow the signs from the platform to the NEC. When you get into the NEC itself pick up the signs for The Photography Show.
At the entrance your badge will be scanned and you’ll find yourself in the registration area. This is the largest open area of the show; it’s a great place to organise your bags, take off your coats and grab your schedule for the day.
Top Tip – An official show guide can be purchased from the registration area. Trade visitors get a token for a free guide.
Inside the show
Take your time! There’s tonnes to look at, so don’t rush through. Tick off exhibitors as you’ve seen them, and talk to the stallholders. They are experts on their product and can tell you much more than a leaflet can.
When it’s time for your live talks, make sure you arrive early. With the exception of the Super Stage there is no guarantee of a seat, so queuing is worth is. The Super Stage tickets aren’t numbered, so although you’ll definitely be sitting you may not be with your party if you’re at the back of the line.
Top Tip – Take a pen and paper for notes during demonstrations and talks. There’s so much to take in.
After the show
At home go through all the information you’ve been given and organise it. There’s no point in having all those leaflets if you never look at them! Make sure you recycle any leaflets you don’t want to keep.
Make sure you check your email address and junk mail to see if you’ve won any competitions during the day.
Top Tip – Keep you official show guide. It lists all the exhibitors in categories so you can refer back to it later in the year if you need to.