The Royal Victoria Dock closed to commercial traffic in 1981, but it is still accessible to shipping. The centre’s waterfront location allows visiting vessels to moor alongside the centre (for example, the 2005 London Boat Show was visited by HMS Sutherland).
The exhibition building itself consists of two column-free, rectangular, subdividable halls of approximately 479,493 square feet (approximately 44,546 m²) each, on either side of a central boulevard containing catering facilities and information points. There are also three sets of function rooms, one overlooking the water, another above the western end of the central boulevard, and the third on the north side of the building. These are used for smaller meetings, seminars, presentations, and corporate hospitality. There are six hotels, more than 30 bars and restaurants, plus 3,700 parking spaces on the campus.
ExCeL London has hosted numerous consumer and trade, private and public events including exhibitions, conferences, concerts, weddings and religious events since its opening in 2000. Among these have been WorldSkills London 2011, London Boat Show, British International Motor Show, Grand Designs Live, Carole Nash MCN Motorcycle Show, The MCM Expo, London International Music Show, Star Wars Celebration Europe, London Marathon registration, World Travel Market, The Clothes Show London, Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi), The Dive Show, Global Peace and Unity Event, the 2009 G-20 London Summit and IP Expo Europe.
In 2011, ExCeL London was awarded the Business Superbrand 2011. The site welcomed its 20 millionth visitor on June 18, 2014. ExCeL has also been awarded ‘Venue Of The Year’ on several occasions at various industry ceremonies. In 2012, ExCeL hosted several events for the Olympics and Paralympics and have since erected a legacy wall featuring the hand prints of the athletes that won Gold at the venue and the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. In 2014, ExCeL hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, chaired by American actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and attended by 79 Ministers from 123 country delegations.