The SilverDoor guide to exhibition centres around the world

Written by on 11th October 2016
Category: Business Travel

One of the objectives for people travelling on work is to attend meetings, exhibitions and conferences. Whether for an overnight stay, or a 6 month fixed-term contract, it’s possible that a business traveller will be called upon to visit a convention venue.

SilverDoor Apartments provide corporate accommodation in touching distance of many of these – and at rates far more cost effective than hotels. To demonstrate this point, we’ve drawn up a list of the world’s top conference centres, with details of the serviced apartments nearby. Also included in the list are the must-see shows/events for business travellers to keep on their radar:


The finance capital of Europe is home to ten major convention and exhibition centres, including Alexandra Palace and One Great George Street. With strong transport links and a number of company headquarters, it’s no surprise the city continues to draw an international following of vendors and sponsors.

Exhbition Centre: ExCel London

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An international convention centre located on Victoria Dock, providing 100,000m² of multi-purpose event space. The exhibition building itself is broken up into various rectangular, sub-dividable halls, with an additional three sets of function rooms, used for presentations, seminars and small-scale meetings. The site also features six hotels and over 30 bars and restaurants. Major events have included the British International Motor Show, Grand Designs Live and The MCM Expo.

Where to stay:

Oakwood Lanterns Court, Canary Wharf, London

Nearby Canary Wharf is only 12 minutes from ExCel London by train, and has upwards of 52 recommended serviced apartments.

Lanterns Court provides serviced accommodation within a three minute walk of Canary Wharf tube station, and Heathrow Airport can be reached in less than an hour by car.

These one and two bedroom apartments come with wireless broadband and a digital TV. Each fully equipped kitchen includes a washer dryer and dishwasher.


Germany’s fifth largest city is a global hub for culture, commerce and tourism. Many of the world’s leading banks have HQs there, including the European Central Bank, and KFW.  It also has one of the busiest airports in the world by passenger traffic.

Exhibition centre: Messe Frankfurt

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Frankfurt’s premier convention centre is one of the largest in the world, and a go-to venue for big events. Its ten exhibition halls, and adjoining congress centres cover an impressive 592,127m².  What’s more the venue is only 15 minutes from Frankfurt International Airport by car. Its vast array of trade shows cover automotive, computing, technology and engineering industries.

Where to stay:

Mercure Frankfurt Messe Apartments, Messe, Frankfurt

These serviced apartments are just a minute’s walk from the Frankfurt Messe Exhibition Grounds, the Congress Centre and the city centre. On-site parking is available at an additional charge.

On-site facilities include a fitness area with a sauna and whirlpool, four meeting rooms, a restaurant and a garden terrace.


Capital of the Lombardy region in Italy, Milan is a densely populated metropolitan area with an estimated population of roughly 1.3 million. It boasts art, culture, entertainment and is world renowned for its fashion.  Among its major landmarks are the Milan Cathedral, and Sforza Castle – where you’ll find Da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper.

Exhibition centre: Fiera Milano

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Italy’s most important trade fair organiser hosts an average of seventy shows annually, which attract as many as 30,000 visitors. Fieramilanocity and MiCo are two of its two of its main convention centres, and the Fieramilano fairground is one of the largest in the world. Prominent events include Salone del Mobile, BIMEC and the International Tourism Exchange.

Where to stay:

Cherubini Apartment, Wagner, Milan

Cherubini Apartment provides serviced accommodation just a one minute walk from the nearest Metro station, and 10 minutes by train to the Fieramilano fairground.

The property includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry facilities and a fully equipped kitchen.


Shanghai is one of four direct-controlled municipalities in China, and contains the world’s busiest container port. Currently ranked 16th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index, it’s an important commercial hub which relies on foreign investment. The city’s extensive public park system includes Shanghai Botanical Garden and People’s Square Park.

Exhibition centre: NECC Shanghai

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Short for, the ‘National Exhibition and Convention Center’. This large complex provides 400,000 m² of indoor exhibition space and a further 100,000m² of outdoor display areas. Co built by the Shanghai Municipal Government and China’s ministry of commerce, it plays a keen part in the country’s economy.

Where to stay:

Fraser Residence Shanghai, People’s Square, Shanghai

Less than a mile from the NECC are these spacious air conditioned apartments, which contain a fitness centre, steam room, sauna, swimming pool and restaurant.  On-site parking is available at the property for an additional charge.


France’s capital city is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, known for its culture and high fashion. Millions flock there each year to see attractions such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Disneyland Paris is also hugely popular among families. The vast majority of the city’s economy comes from services and commerce, with finance & insurance accounting for the largest sectors of activity in the central business district.

Exhibition centre: Paris Nord Villepinte

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A large building complex, close to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, with eight halls totalling 246,000m2 in convention space.  The centre can be reached via Parc des Expositions station, and is a popular site for international professional and consumer exhibitions, including Expofil, Intermat, Maison & Objet and SIAL.

Where to stay:

Adagio Access Paris Saint Denis Pleyel, Saint-Denis, Paris

Saint Denis is a mere 20 minute drive from Villepinte, which makes it an ideal location for anyone visiting the Paris Nord centre.

For a quick journey in, book a stay at the Paris Saint Denis Pleyel Apartments, which offer on-site parking and close proximity to the local business district.


A rich history of art and architecture make Barcelona a truly cosmopolitan part of Spain’s Catalonia region. An important economic and tourist centre, the city was, in 2009, ranked Europe’s fourth best city for business. Nowadays, Barcelona also has a reputation for being a leading smart city, by virtue of its innovative projects like organic waste recycling and a superblocks housing initiative designed to reduce ecological footprint.

Exhibition centre: Fira de Barcelona

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Barcelona’s main trade fair institution dates back to the early 1930’s, and provides 400,000 m2 of exhibition floor space for companies to showcase products, and exchange business ideas. Each year, the venue puts on roughly 500 events, with delegates arriving from 43 different countries. Alimentaria, Carbon Expo and Construmat are three of Fira de Barcelona’s main shows.

Where to stay:

Camp Nou Apartment, Les Corts, Barcelona

Just 2.7 miles from Fira, The Camp Nou Apartment is both a smart and convenient option. The property includes two bedrooms, laundry facilities, a fully equipped kitchen and a private balcony.


With a population of over 2.7 million, Chicago is the third most densely-populated city in the United States.  It’s also an international hub for industry, telecommunications technology, and transportation.  Known colloquially as “the Windy City”, its various major league sports teams are hugely popular among tourists, as is the famous Millennium Park.

Exhibition centre: McCormick Place

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North America’s largest convention centre is a state of the art group of buildings located south of downtown Chicago. Each year attracting roughly 3 million visitors, it has 170 meeting rooms on site, and assembly seating for 18,000 people. The Chicago Auto Show, which takes place each February, is arguably the centre’s most significant event, with an annual attendance of more than one million people.

Where to stay:

Magnificent Mile Apartment, Centre, Chicago

Magnificent Mile Apartment provides corporate serviced accommodation on Michigan Avenue, close to Grant Park and Millennium Park.

The property is a five minute drive from the McCormick Centre and Navy Pier. Just one street away is a selection of large grocery shops and restaurants.