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Virgin Trains become exclusive rail partner for the NEC Group

The NEC Group and Virgin Trains have today announced an exciting new partnership that will see the national train operator become the exclusive rail partner for the world class Venue Management Company. The three year deal, which will offer NEC Group customers a 25% discount on Virgin Trains’ Advance fares, marks the first time that Virgin Trains has agreed such a partnership with a live events organisation.

As part of the deal, customers that visit any of the NEC Group’s venues including the NEC, the ICC, the LG Arena and the NIA, will be entitled to a 25% discount on all Virgin Trains’ Advance fares to the Group’s venues along Virgin’s West Coast Main Line.

The discount will also be available to customers that purchase a show or event ticket to any venue based along the West Coast Main Line through The Ticket Factory (TTF) - the NEC Group’s official ticketing agent. This includes venues in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Paul Thandi, CEO of the NEC Group said, “The NEC Group is all about ‘bringing live to life’ and creating unforgettable experiences for its visitors, be it at an exhibition, conference or other live event. We are continuously looking for new ways to enhance the customer experience and our partnership with Virgin Trains is just another way in which we have been able to do this.”

The NEC Group is located in the heart of the country with all four of its venues in close proximity to a train station along the West Coast Main Line. Birmingham International is on the doorstep of the NEC and the LG Arena, whilst Birmingham New Street is just a short walk from the ICC and the NIA.

Thandi added, “Our venues are renowned for great transport links and connectivity. It takes just over an hour to get to the NEC site from London and an hour and half from Manchester on the train, so not only is travelling by rail a fantastic way to get here quickly, it is now even greater value for money.”

Adrian Varma, Partnership and Regions Manager at Virgin Trains said, “We share the NEC Group’s vision, working hard to create memorable experiences for our customers. We aspire to be more than simply the best choice for people looking for the fastest way of getting from A to B. We work hard to ensure the experience on board is just as memorable as the reason for it which is why we are proud to partner with NEC Group, their venues and The Ticket Factory”.

Customers that purchase event tickets through The Ticket Factory will receive a link through to the dedicated Virgin Trains’ website with their confirmation email. Customers will need their event ticket purchased through The Ticket Factory when prompted by the Train Manager on board to validate the travel discount, whilst trade and conference visitors will need to show their event registration along with train ticket in order for the discount to be valid.

Varma added, “With the exclusive discount and by booking in advance, arriving at a concert, business event or comedy performance by Virgin Trains is the fastest, cheapest and most comfortable way of enjoying what the NEC Group does so well”.

“We are continuously striving to be the venue of choice for our organisers, exhibitors and visitors, so we are always looking at ways to improve and to add further value to our customer offer, focusing on the things that make people want to do business with us and visit us again,” said Kathryn James, NEC Managing Director. “The new three-year deal with Virgin Trains does exactly that, enabling all of our customers to get the most out of their experience. The NEC is renowned for its accessibility and connectivity, situated right at the heart of the motorway network and physically connected to Birmingham International railway station. With confirmation of 25% discount on all advanced-fare rail travel, our great location has just got even better.”  

Nick Waight, Managing Director for the ICC says: “Our exclusive rail partnership with Virgin Trains enables us to offer our clients and their delegates an additional benefit when choosing the ICC for their event – they will be entitled to a 25% discount on all advanced-fare rail travel to the ICC along Virgin’s West Coast Mainline. Getting the train to the ICC is really straight forward – the train station is just a short walk from our venue, and now it’s more cost effective too. We are always looking for new ways to support our clients to achieve their event objectives, and with many of them already seeing an increase in attendance when at the ICC, this new offer could help them to attract even more delegates.”

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