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UKGE 2017 About Hotels

Dear Visitors.

In the course of the next few days we will set our ticketing for entrance tickets live and then start work on getting event submissions going and listing the entertainment options like the Dark Room, Live Pandemic etc.

We expect as we roll all this out that many of you will look to book hotel rooms for your Expo trip and may then encounter difficulties, This newsletter sets the scene for where you stand accomodation-wise. We hope it helps

Quart into a pint pot

or "Why is the Rum always gone?"

Or why are the Hotels full?

Can we let you into a secret? There are quite a few of you. The days of 800 attendees only a couple of hundred of which stayed the night are way back in the past. Even the 2013 show (the first in the Hilton) only saw 3500 of you. In 2016 12500 attended and we expect more in 2017.

Now this is great news for the growth of the hobby. "Bums on seats" is what allows us to attract over 200 exhibitors and to get new game releases and special guests. Yet of course it means we have to work hard to make sure there is enough space for you all.

To this end we have reached agreements with several nearby hotels regarding gaming space in the hotels, we are expanding the trade hall by 4000sqm and adding another 5000sqm tournament and gaming hall near by (Hall 3a). We are also adding a larger 350 capacity seminar room nearby. Food facilities are being added near the lake.

All of this helps give us capacity for you to get a table to game at or somewhere to eat, But what about hotels?

Well, what about them?

Well we can't build new hotels alas and the simple fact is those in the immediate vicinity are getting very full and even if not full are only available at a high price. This is all exacerbated by the fact that Take That have announced a 4 day tour event at the Gentings Arena on our very weekend!

So do not expect to be able to get rooms in the local hotels easily or at a price any less than eye wateringly expensive, You might say (and a number of you have) "Can't Expo demand cheaper rooms!" Well, here we encounter the law of supply and demand. With thousands of you wanting rooms the hotels will naturally want to charge as high a rate as they can.

We are now in the situation that occurs in Essen during Spiel or in Indianapolis during Gencon. Hotels are booked up often more than a year before hand and certainly for months before. When we visited Essen this year we stayed about 6 U-bahn stops away. This occurring at UKGE is just a feature of our growth.

So no local rooms then?

Not many left by now - but try your luck. We had managed to secure some deals for fixed rates on rooms on the 4 closest. To find out more about those deals read this page

If the hotels say they are full, then they are full. We are not holding any rooms back that are not needed for our own volunteers or guests.

So what the heck should we do then?

Assuming you don't have Bribery or Persuasion as class skills and can't get a local room this need not ruin your Expo. There are options. With gaming going on till 11ish in the NEC as well as till late in the Hilton, Ibis and elsewhere you might consider staying a bit further away.

Up and down the Trainline

The last train from Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street is listed currently on trainline as 1.29 AM. on the Friday night and 23.49 on the Saturday night.

The last train to Coventry is around midnight on the Friday and 23.30 on the Saturday.

Both trains take around 15 to 18 minutes. So why not look at cheaper hotels in both city centers.

Solihull just 4 miles away 
Taxis and car options allow you to stay in Solihull where currently hotels are listed at much lower prices.

What about Warwick, Kenilworth or Leamington? 
These are only 20 mins away by car. Why not take an extra day or two and visit Warwick or Kenilworth Castle?

Where can I stay? 
We have listed some of these options on our alternative hotels page.

"Get on with it!!" 
What ever you do get on with it. Those who decide 5 days before the Expo to book a room and cant get one will receive the traditional UKGE punishment of Tony pointing at you and going "Ha-Ha!"

You have been warned.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015