Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 goes to Birmingham

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 to be held at the Birmingham NEC.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live logoBack in February, whilst at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show in London, I picked up on some quiet concerns about the 2015 show.

Some people who were working on the stands were confused that they’d not yet been given the option to book for the following year’s show.

I also noticed that attendees weren’t being sold advance tickets (like some 2014 tickets were being sold from a small ticket booth at the 2013 show).

Was the three day event ending? Was it changing venues due to the imminent demolition of Earls Court and the subsequent squeezing of available exhibition space?

The answer seems to have come today, when I received my quarterly journal from the great team at The Cambridgeshire Family History Society.

In the corner of page 20 is a small advert stating that they ‘have been advised’ that the 2015 Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at the Birmingham NEC.

The Cambridgeshire Family History Society informing readers of the WDYTYALive venue change.
The Cambridgeshire Family History Society informing readers of the WDYTYALive venue change.

Whilst the official show website doesn’t currently mention the venue change yet, I’d heard this rumour floating around social media. It’s nice to finally see it for myself in print.

In the meantime, Glasgow will be playing host to a special Who Do You Think You Are? Live show on 29-31st August.

How would this venue change affect you if you plan to attend the 2015 WDYTYA show? Birmingham is about 1.5hrs drive west for me, or 2.5hrs by train (which involves travelling 1hr south to London, then 1.5hrs back up north). I might see if i can find a better plan – curse you Dr Beeching!

Author: Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin is a British author, family historian, tech nerd, AFOL, and host of The Family Histories Podcast.

16 thoughts on “Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2015 goes to Birmingham”

  1. I have checked with other traders and nobody has been notified of this. I was told by Brand Events that the NEC was a 90% certainty but nothing has been finalised. I would like to know the source of this apparent confirmation, or is it just supposition by the author. ?


    1. Hello Ron,

      This seems to have caused a bit of a stir. The blog posts relays the information sent out by Cambridgeshire FHS to its subscribers – I was surprised to see it myself this morning when I opened my mail.

      The show’s official twitter account remains quiet on it this evening, saying only that information will be released by summer (see: https://twitter.com/WDYTYALIVE/status/460152479620292608 ) ..presumably once they’ve finished all the work needed on the Glasgow show.

      I’m kind of hoping it’s not true, as London is far easier for me to get to, but it has been there for many years, and there have been calls from a few people to make it more centrally located.



  2. Thanks for the update from WDYTYAL tweet – I wonder when by summer means? It must be very disconcerting for anyone already organising and booking facilities for annual events, conferences for 2015 not knowing when this is to be held! Especially if the usual dates are not available. Hard work may come to nothing if the same weekend is booked as WDYTYAL?


  3. Hi Kirsty,

    Yes, i spotted a quiet and cryptic note along those lines in a recent email.

    I guess that the WDYTYA? Live team will officially announce the 2015 show dates after (or during) their WDYTYA? Live Scotland show. Hopefully my name and photo won’t be shown to the door staff, in a ‘turn this troublemaker away’ scenario 🙂


  4. Who Do You Think You Are Live 2015…..The dates and venue for the 2015 show have been announced. For all those who could not attend before because it was held in London now have a chance, it’s being held at the N.E.C. Birmingham in April – Thursday, Friday & Saturday 16 – 18th April 2015.


  5. This new venue for the show is great news. I hope to exhibit there in 2015, at a fraction of the cost of exhibiting in London which I could not justify. It is great the show is being brought to the centre of England for a change. My line is Irish Ancestry. Hope to see as many of you as possible there at the NEC Birmingham, especially if you have Irish Ancestors – I may be able to help you.


  6. Terrible decision. I usually go for all three days. Now I won’t be able to go at all. I hope the SOG will revive their London show (the forerunner of WDYTYA Live that used to be at the RHS Halls.) Our Capital needs a big family history event.


  7. I live in Bristol, so you would think that the NEC would be a better venue for me. However they have also changed the dates to include 2 week days. This means that I either have to take a day off work, or attend a packed Saturday. It is likely to be packed on Saturday anyway, because no one will be able to afford the extortionate train fare on the Thursday or Friday. So actually it looks like I won’t be attending at all.


  8. It’s obvious that people who attended the event in London would not travel to Birmingham but because of the distance but when you think about it, London has hosted the event for about the last 7 or 8 years, over those years there have been many people living north of Watford Gap who could not attend because the event was in London and traveling that far was out of the question.. It’s only right that the event should move around the country to give more people living in other parts of the country the chance to attend especially as audience figures have dropped by about 30 or 40% over the years since the event was first held in London.


    1. I’m no expert on the train system, but I would have thought it easier and cheaper for most to get to London than Birmingham’s out of town NEC.

      Whilst it may be easier for car users, surely we want to encourage the use of public transport?

      + London’s our capital and deserves a family history show.

      Maybe we should be petitioning the SOG to revive its annual fair (used to be in the RHS Halls pre WDYTYA?) rather than or as well as being merely “a show within a show”, as they described it to me when I asked. I’m sure it would be as popular as ever it was + cheaper and less purely commercial emphasis.


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