The venue for Loncon 3 is the International Convention Centre at the ExCeL London exhibition centre. ExCeL is the largest exhibition centre in London, built in 2001, and the ICC is a substantial extension that opened in May 2011.
Our main facilities will be:
- The Capital Suite—17 meeting rooms which can be joined together in many different ways, with a total capacity of around 2,600, used for the main convention programme
- The Capital Hall—a 4,500 square metre exhibition hall which will be the main social centre for the convention
- The ICC Auditorium—a permanent auditorium with a a flexible layout, seating up to 5,000 people, which will host the major events such as the Masquerade and the Hugo Awards
- The North Hall—additional exhibition hall space for Exhibits, including the Art Gallery and the Dealers' Zone.
ExCeL also contains three additional suites of meeting rooms, some of which may be used for additional programming, and far more exhibit hall space than we could ever need.
The main boulevard at ExCeL is a public area, and contains a large number of food outlets, coffee shops and bars, as well as cash machines and a convenience store. It also currently offers free wifi Internet to all visitors.
As well as the main convention hotels, the ExCeL site includes around a dozen restaurants (in addition to the food outlets in the ExCeL building itself) and two supermarkets.
ExCeL is in east London, in the old Docklands area. It is built on a campus-style site around one mile/one and a half kilometres long, on the north side of the Royal Victoria Dock. It is two miles/three kilometres east of the Canary Wharf area, London's new business district, which is what most people refer to as "Docklands", and has many shops and restaurants. It's just across the river from the O2, the world's most popular live music venue, and the cross-river cable car service connecting the ExCeL site to the O2 has now opened.
Nearby tourist attractions include:
- The Thames Barrier—London's main flood defence is a barrier that can be lifted out of the river bed to stop high tides from flowing in and flooding central London. It's just to the south of the ExCeL site, although unfortunately the visitor centre is on the other side of the river and there is no river crossing nearby.
- Maritime Greenwich—including the Greenwich Meridian (which is lit up by laser at night), the Royal Observatory, the Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House.
- The Olympic Park—at the time of writing, it's about to close for refurbishment following the Paralympics, but it will have reopened by 2014.
ExCeL is on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which is an above-ground light rail system that has many connections with the London Underground and other rail services. There are in fact two stations serving ExCeL, one at each end of the building. The DLR network is a recent addition to London's transport system, and is fully wheelchair accessible. ExCeL is between 75 and 90 minutes from Heathrow and Gatwick airports by public transport, but it's less than a mile from the short-haul London City Airport.
From ExCeL to the City of London (Bank or Tower Gateway stations) is around a 20 minute journey on the DLR. To the West End (Westminster or Green Park stations) is around 35 minutes, including one change to the Underground.
The DLR offers a direct service to Stratford International station, which we hope will offer services to European cities through the Channel Tunnel by 2014, but is currently used only for high-speed domestic services to Kent. ExCeL and the on-site hotels also have plenty of car parking space for those who wish to drive to the convention.
Much more information about London and the venue can be found on the relevant websites, including: