“ Finniestone Street Glasgow G3 8YW „
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), as its name suggests, is a large venue catering for many types of event, rather than a purpose-built music venue. As well as hosting live bands, the SECC has a packed calendar of homes exhibitions, trade fairs, craft fairs and family shows.
For many bands who've reached the stage of being able to sell quite a few thousand tickets for their live shows, the SECC becomes a practical option. For a music purist, though, it's lacking in sound and atmosphere.
I've seen quite a few bands at the SECC over the years, including Manic Street Preachers, Arcade Fire and Muse. Some of these have been excellent gigs, but I always have the feeling that bands have to work extremely hard to connect with their audiences and create exciting shows in the surroundings of the SECC.
The venue is often likened to an aeroplane hanger. Its rooms are huge, characterless barns and it has often been criticised for poor sound quality.
On the positive side, when you go to the SECC you know what to expect. Everything is managed efficiently and safely, and there are adequate food, drink and toilet provisions.
The nearby Clyde Auditorium venue, part of the SECC complex, was built specifically for musical performances, and has a much more satisfying clarity and warmth of sound. I've noticed that more and more gigs are being held there rather than in the original conference rooms, so perhaps the SECC management is aware of the venue's shortcomings and trying to address these.
I was enjoying the concert on sunday, until i endured a degraded experience from heavy handed security staff, staff were rude, intidating and very unhelpful. I asked members of staff if they could direct me back to my seat and got lost. I asked onother if he could help, he turned agumentitive raised his voice sternly and said he didn't like my tone that he was calling for a supervisor. Next i was surrounded by a least five mebers of staff, was told to calm down or be frown out. I explained that i wasn't making trouble only wanted back to my seat. After being spoken down too and treated like an animal i was helped back to my seat after missing the finally of the concert and feeling umiliated.
I am a mature responsible women, who would seriously think about going back to a concert at secc again in future.
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) opened in 1985 in Glasgow and is funded by councils and various private sectors. It is an events centre where concerts and various other events are held on a daily basis.
~~~Location Location Location~~~
The SECC is in a prime location a short distance away from Glasgow city centre. It is accessible by car and is well signposted from the city centre with ample parking. Alternatively it can be accessed by following the Clyde along the front and cannot be missed. Trains come through the underground from Glasgow Central Station on a regular basis and on leaving the train station, you can walk along an undercover tunnel and straight to the entrance of the SECC.
The SECC is split into 2 buildings. There is the main building and also the Auditorium which resembles the Sydney Opera House. The Auditorium is split into 3 main parts with conference rooms for up to 300 people and also a 3000 seater conference facility.
The main focus is on the main building which greets you as you come through the tunnel as it is triangular shaped with a glass front. Inside, a concourse extends from the automatic doors to the end of the building with a clear layout. This concourse offers the following facilities :
*Access to a 4* hotel
*Access to the Auditorium
*Catering - a cafe offers sandwiches and coffees - also vending machines
*Ticket collection desks (ticketsoup)
*Toilets and changing facilities for babies
*Shop - WHSmith offers snacks and drinks
There are 5 halls within the main building and 2 seminar suites. The halls are clearly marked and can be accessed through large doors.
*Hall 1 - stand alone exhibition hall 775m2
*Hall 2 - 2315m2 of space which can be extended by joining with Hall 1. Can hold over 3000 seated or standing concert goers if extended.
*Hall 3 - 5095m2 which can be extended by joining with Hall4. Can hold up to 5000 people depending on occasion.
*Hall 4 - the largest at 10065m2 and the highest hall which can be extended with Hall3 or Hall5. Depending on seating layout, can hold up to 10000people.
*Hall 5 - 4105m2 alone or extended. Ideal for conferences.
Each hall can be adapted for concerts, exhibitions or conferences and also banquets so every need can be catered for. If you wish to plan and event then you should contact 0141 248 3000 or 0141 275 6211.
There is always something going on at the SECC and a full programme can be found on the website www.secc.co.uk. Tickets can be booked through www.ticketsoup.com and can be collected in the SECC. Various performances take place in the SECC and the current list includes Olly Murrs in May, Elton John in June and also Rihanna in October. Tickets can be booked quite far in advance and you should check the site for up to date prices. Prices for the Elton John concert for example, vary from £35.00 to £65.00 depending on how close you want to be to the stage as concerts are set over different levels. Disabled access is also available for the concerts.
Events and exhibitions vary throughout the year. The Wedding Show is a popular exhibition as is the Travel Show, Technology shows and lots more. The exhibitions are normally extended across a few halls and are set up in stall form for easy navigation around the hall especially at peak times. The price of the shows varies but if you see a promotion offering free entry then snap it up! For a few weeks during the festive season, the SECC is home to the Irn Bru Carnival which consists of fairground type rides, stalls and fun for all the family. Generally this costs around £10.00 per person.
If attending a concert or conference and looking for somewhere to stay, there are few hotels basically on site including the Crowne Plaza, MintHotel and Campanile Hotel and Restaurant. Alternatively, you could stay in the city centre where you will find the Marriott, Hilton or cheaper options such as Holiday Inn. There are plenty of restaurants within the city to suit all tastes and budgets.
~~~Security and Staff~~~
Staff can be noticed by black jackets and the bulk of staff is security with the exception of shop and ticket staff. They can help direct you to the hall you need to be in and are well connected with the rest of the security staff to ensure no trouble happens. They won't hesitate to put you out.
I consider the SECC a big part of Glasgows heritage. Living only a 30min journey by train, should I wish to attend an event, I have easy transport links to the SECC. Over the past few years, I have attended various events at the SECC. The layout of the buillding is modern, airy and non offensive. Whilst I have never had a pleasure of attending an event in the auditorium, I hope to do so in the future but the main hub is the main building.
From the outside, the main building doesn't look massive and you don't really appreciate the size of it until you are inside. With signposting throughout and plenty of staff to assist, it is easy to find your way around. The toilets in the concourse and plentiful as are the ones in the halls and always clean and well stocked. The shop is tiny and doesn't offer much except basic snacks. The cafe is quite expensive as you would expect but the food is of a high standard but we prefer to eat prior or after our visit. So what events have I attended at the SECC?
In the past few years, I have attended 2 musical concerts at the SECC and although it is a tad embarressing to admit, it was Westlife and HearSay! The SECC is the perfect venue for concerts like these. The halls are amazingly transformed from an empty space to a concert hall. Any concert I have attended has been in an extended hall with high seating stacked up at the back of the hall, lots of rows down the front with aisles inbetween.
There are also large televisions if you want a direct view and the main stage can be seen no matter where you sit with some seats having a better view than others. We always sat in the middle rows and despite a few rather tall people in front of us, managed to appreciate the concert. The concerts started off with supporting acts before an announcement for the main act came on and the music came through clear and loud. The buzz in the hall is amazing with flashing lights etc but trying to get out to leave is a nightmare especially if you are driving.
As usual, stalls with the group or singers merchandise are located at the entrance encouraging you to buy overpriced stuff. Personally, I would rather wait and buy elsewhere as they charge just short of a tenner for programmes and it is simply not worth it! The concert tickets are fairly priced considering the venue and the concert halls have always been clean and spacious. I recommend booking tickets far in advance as they do sell out fast especially for certain performances.
~~~Irn Bru Carnival~~~
We went here a last year and a few years ago (New Years Day) and you would be amazed at how busy it gets. You wouldn't think you could fit a carnival fare into the halls but you really see how big the halls actually are during this event. We always booked our tickets on the day which cost a little more but were easy to buy despite how busy it was.
The rides aren't huge and you certainly can't fit a massive rollercoaster or ferris wheel into the hall. There are various small childrens rides for the younger visitors as well as Cat and Mouse rides, spinning rides that tipse you in all directions and dodgems etc. Spending money on prize machines, teddy stalls and food soon adds to the overall cost of your day out. The food includes candy floss, chocolate fountains and burgers. The experience isn't amazing but the bright, fairground atmopshere is amazing.
Last year I was doing my HNC Travel at college and our tutor arranged a discounted trip to the Travel Show for some experience. The Travel Show wasn't massive but did cover halls 1 and 2 with plenty of space to spare. The layout of the hall was in stall form where attendees could wander around and browse at our leisure.
The Travel Show is on every year I believe. On our visit, there were various companies promoting themselves..most offering chances to win holidays and encouraging you to book. There were free sweeties, pens and brochures and we left with lots of brochures for our research but unfortuantely didn't book anything on the day! We spent a good 2hrs in the hall and everyone was welcoming. We only paid a few pounds each because of our course but I can't imagine it being expensive for this one.
~~~Girls Day Out!~~~
My favourite experience of the SECC. This year saw 2 of the halls transform into a man free zone! Myself, Mum, my sister and 2 of the kids attended after printing off free tickets (otherwise £12.00) from the Daily Record website so we only had to pay our train fare! This was a very pink affair which lasted 3 days and is the 3rd year at the SECC. Basically, various companies attended and had their own stalls promoting themselves, offering free treatments such as massage, eyebrow threading etc and offering prizes for entering free comps.
We loved our day out, well few hours here as we didn't have much time to spare. Basically, there were hundreds of companies detailed within a free programme. Companies included Boots (massive stall), DKNY, Yankee Candle, YSL and more beauty, services, fancy goods and even chocolate stalls. We got to sample delicious treats and received lots of samples from perfume to makeup and chocolate. Special offers tempted us at every corner resulting in Mum buying myself and my sister a bottle of perfume each!
There were hourly beauty shows from the likes of No7, a steak restaurant in the middle of the hall, sandwiches and cupcakes but they were highly priced. We indulged in a tipple at the massive cocktail bar in the middle of the hall for £2.00 each and it was high in alcohol and certainly packed a punch. Because we had free tickets, we weren't entitled to a Boots goodie bag but we picked the Complimentary sticker off and got it anyway...a big bag of No7 stuff and vouchers for free! We paid 40p for a Daily Record and got a goodie bag worth £15 for free so lots of goodies to keep my beauty stock going at home!
The best part of the event was the Bare Faced Butlers (see photo). For £50 an hour, a super fit guy wearing nothing but a bow tie and small apron covering his modesty, will butler at your hen night, private party etc. They were wandering around and certainly caught the attention of many! Overall this is the best event I have attended at the SECC and we plan on returning next year.
~~~Recommendation and Conclusion~~~
I have enjoyed every event I have attended at the SECC and I hope to attend many more events in the future. When we set a date for our wedding, I would love to go to the wedding show for ideas and when we are blessed with another baby, I am hoping the baby show is on around that time. The atmosphere, layout and staffing is brilliant and the prices aren't bad but vary so always best to check the website. Food and snack wise, eat before you go as it becomes expensive.
Overall, I can't fault this modern, well designed and adaptable exhibition centre and fully recommend it to you all if visiting the Glasgow area.
Thanks for reading :)
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) is based in the Finnieston area of Glasgow and hosts many events comprising lifestyle, music and business. This venue houses 5 halls. Hall 3 seats around 3,000, with the largest hall (hall 4) having an approximate capacity of 12,500. Usually, notable artists' concerts are held in this hall.
It is easy to get to the SECC, as it is accessible by a large tunnelled walkway which overarches the expressway beneath. On the other side of this road is Exhibition Way train station, so you literally only have to walk for 5 minutes to catch a train to/from the venue. It is also possible to get a bus such as the 62 to Finnieston and then walk the remaining 15 minutes or so to the arena.
There is also a large car park on site, so if you feel that it is more convenient to drive then you are entirely free do so. However, the parking charges are rather extortionate and expect to be caught in lengthy traffic queues when leaving the venue after an event. This problem can be especially bad where the concert is sold out, as on one occasion I was waiting for around an 45 minutes before I actually got to leave the car park due to the long queues.
Right next door to the SECC building is the Clyde Auditorium which also hosts various concerts and pantomimes throughout the year. This is much smaller in size to the SECC and has famously been dubbed the 'Armadillo' due to its appearance, which rather resembles the Sydney Opera House.
Basically adjoining the SECC is the Crowne Plaza Hotel and there are also various other cheaper hotels situated within the immediate proximity of the venue, such as the Campanile and the City Inn. Therefore, you will not be short of places to rest your head for the night should you so require one. I stayed at the Campanile around Christmas time after seeing a show at the SECC and I thought that my room was great value for money at £25 for the night, so I would recommend that if you are travelling far to come to the centre for an event, perhaps you should look into the Campanile first as it is much cheaper than the other close by hotels.
A few minutes walk from the SECC is the Yen restaurant, which is situated in the rotunda building. This restaurant is reasonably priced and serves Thai, Chinese and Teppinyaki cuisine, so this is an ideal place to go for a meal beforehand.
Inside the SECC, located in the foyer area is a box office where you can book or collect tickets, cash machines, a coffee bar and an R.S McColl newsagent, which as you would expect is expensive. There is also the main bar upstairs and I found this to be much cheaper for soft drinks than the bars inside the hall, so this may be something to note in future.
Hall 4 offers various outlets for eating, such as a Rollover hotdog stand and a Harry Ramsden's, again both rather expensive. There are also toilet facilities and a bar in the lobby area of the hall. Here you can expect a cup of water to cost you £2! It is extremely expensive and I would advise you to take your own soft drinks if like me you do not tend to drink alcohol when going to gigs.
The SECC hosts music concerts, pantomimes at Christmas, various wedding, craft, careers and ideal homes shows. Numerous business conferences are held throughout the year in the different conference suites based within the conference centre part of the venue.
I have been to many concerts and wedding shows at the SECC and I have always enjoyed myself. However, I do find that when attending concerts here, the sheer size of the hall has a detrimental effect on the intimacy of the event and also the venue lacks atmosphere that you would find in smaller venues. Nevertheless, I find that the sound quality at the SECC is always great and this is all that you can hope for really when going to see your favourite acts live.
Last year whilst attending a Jay-Z concert I ended up having a dispute with an over zealous steward who was trying to take a Jay-z disposable camera off of me that I had purchased from the merchandise stall inside the hall. I felt that this experience really hindered my enjoyment of the concert and subsequently put my complaint in writing to the SECC. Within a couple of weeks they responded to my letter and provided me with a cheque to refund the cost of the camera and stated that they would investigate matters further. Therefore, I would say that the standard of customer service that they offer is next to none and I was highly impressed with the way in which they dealt with my complaint.
Aside from purchasing tickets at the SECC itself, you can also book tickets for various events hosted here through websites such as Ticketmaster and also the SECC's own ticket outlet: www.ticketsoup.com
Overall, I would say that this is a great venue but lacks the intimacy and atmosphere that you would hope for at a concert.
The secc (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre) is just outside the city centre and easily accessible from mostly everywear in glasgow theres a train station, buses go especially from the city centre, and theres plenty of parking so you can take the car, There is always something on in the secc this is where all major concerts are held in Glasgow some of the biggest names have played at the secc. I have seen Boyzone (I know) westlife girls aloud etc here. It also hold the Carnival from mid december till mid january this is always very popular a huge carival with every ride you can imagine with something for every age. Its so much fun you can buy family passes or pay £10 entry and this gets you 10 ride tokens. There is a bar and a coffee cafe and right next to it is the Crowne plaza hotel which has a bar and restaurant and its a good place to stay after a concert as it can be tricky to get home.
I went to see lee Evans last night at the SECC in Glasgow, and it was an excellent concert.
This was the first time that I have been to the SECC and I was really impressed with it.
There is two parts to the SECC, the first part is the Conference centre which the building is really new and ultra modern, it really reminds me of a slightly different version of the Sydney Opera House, but my friend thought that it looked liked an armadillo, with all the parts lying over each other.
The second part is the place that all the concerts and any exhibitions happen in. This is the Exhibition Centre.
The exhibition centre is absolutely massive. When we went last night we never really had much time to look around, but we were in hall number 4. The seating is not always set out, so it changes with every concert depending on specifications of the band, comedian etc.
When we went the hall was set out slightly differently than the last time I was there. It was set out in blocks. Blocks with a double letter were in front of the stage E.G AA, BB, etc. Then the other seats were up a level and were tiered so that you can see over the other people in front of you. These were blocks A, B, etc. We were in block D which was on the right of the stage, we could still see perfectly and even if we were struggling to see there was 3 large screens that were on the middle of the stage, then on the left and the right of the stage as well.
There is also places that you can eat, have a coffee, and also purchase drink as well. When the concert was about to start you were not allowed to leave the hall that you were in as no entry re-entry passes were given out. But there is a bar and also toilets in each hall as well so there really is no need to go out of the hall.
Even though there is a lot of toilets inside the SECC, you were still having to queue for about 5 minutes before you were able to use them, this is just with the sheer amount of people that were there.
****How to get there.****
SECC is just off Junction 19 of the M8 motorway. On-site parking is available for over 2,500 vehicles at £5.00 per car per visit. There are 2 car parks the east and the west. We actually managed to park in a side street, we didn't have to pay for it either because it was after a certain time at night. Where we parked we had to walk over this huge bridge that went over the dual carriage way, then you come out of the other side at the entrance to the SECC.
Glasgow is served by three international airports, Glasgow International, Glasgow Prestwick and Edinburgh International.
Glasgow's International Airport is less than 15 minutes drive by direct motorway link from the city centre
From the airport, First Bus 757 service operates daily (every 20 minutes) to Glasgow City Centre via the SECC and return.
Glasgow has the largest rail network in the UK outside London. Glasgow's Central Station is connected with every city in the UK, while Queen Street Station serves central and northern Scotland. Call National Rail Enquiries on 0845 7484950. Once you're in Glasgow, your journey right to our front door can be completed by train Trains run to the SECC from the city centre with a journey time of just three minutes.
Coach operators run services to Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station from throughout the UK.
SECC is located within easy reach of the major city centre hotels as well as smaller hotels and guest houses in the city's west end. There are 6,000 hotel bedrooms within two miles of the Centre over 2,500 of which are in four or five star establishments.
In addition, three of the hotels are hotels on-site:
The 283 bedroom four-star Crowne Plaza, which is connected to the SECC by a covered link
The 164 bedroom three-star City Inn and
The 106 bedroom Campanile
There are currently proposals for a further two hotels on site.
Tel: 0141 248 3000
Fax: 0141 226 3423