Try the Honiley Court Hotel at Meer End. 3* Corus hotel, about 15 mins away from the NEC. Alternatively, if you don't mind slumming it a bit, there's a Premier Inn at Balsall Common, also about 15 mis away from the venue.
Try hotels on the A45 corridor Dave, look at Coventry, there are some great deals there, and the Virgin service is one stop Cov to NEC. Don't try and drive each day into NEC, there are roadworks at the moment, and even when the roads are fine, the queues into the car parks are a mahooosive nause.
I think Travel Inn in Cov central has some deals at the moment?
The missus used to a journo (yes I know) and I used to tag along when she had to visit places like Brum (the NEC of course) or Cologne or Nuremberg or the less interesting but closer places like Utrecht or Leeuwaarden, which of course meant we didn't require a hotel.
In Brum we stayed in the Chamberlain Park Hotel. It's a large red bricked building in one of the shittier parts of Brum but close (ish) to the city centre.
There is a bed in every bedroom.
Secure car parking but staffed by the most miserable cnut in the world.
It's cheap (ish).
The breakfasts were brilliant with none of the "I said ONE sausage you cnut!"
The staff don't mind you changing rooms.
From the tower rooms you got an excellent view of the Brum skyline when it wasn't foggy.
It always seemed to be foggy and when It wasn't foggy, it was windy.
The sash windows in the tower room rattled like fcuk unless you wedged them with a beermat.
It's in a shitty part of Brum.
We had to change rooms (twice).
The evening meals were shite.
You got a room with a connecting door whether you asked for one or not and anybody the other side of the door is partially deaf.
If it's the weekend expect a wedding reception so you drift off to sleep at about three in the morning humming a song you hate as you've heard it all fcuking night. Agadoo by Black Lace was the final straw as I've always hated it.
Unless you've got a car the NEC is most denitely not walkable.
We also stayed at an Express by Holiday Inn (very close to the city centre) which was next to a pub with great pub grub. Unfortunately as it was the weekend, there was an Irish (pikey) wedding reception and the young pikeys were roaming the corridors in packs. After complaining (three times), they were rounded up and probably (hopefully) shot as it was quiet for the rest of the evening. All guests can expect a full continental breakfast. That is unless the pikey cnuts haven't troughed the lot first. The only cereal left was what was they hadn't been able to shovel into their fat gobs and most of that was all over the tables.
Dave - Birmingham Airport is on the same site as the NEC and the airport hotels are literally a two minute ride away on the monorail, which runs most of the day and night. There is a Novotel and an Etap, both of which do rooms that start at about Â£35.00 a night. Alternatively, Birmingham New Street is about 10 minutes on the train, with services running every 10 minutes or so, and Birmingham Internatioal train station is co-located with the NEC (you don't even have to leave the building) so you might not have to restrict yourself to the immediate area. There is a Comfort Inn right outside New Street Station, single rooms about Â£45.00 a night IIRC. There's a chinkies, a pub and a cinema on the same street (and an adult shop directly behind it!). But if it's cheap and convenient you want, the Etap at the Airport is probably your best bet.
Try the Travelodge at Droitwich, prices start drom Â£19 per night. Its cheap & cheerful, 4 TV channels no phone, no hair dryer etc, but its right next door to a Little Chef for breakfast and a 2 min walk theres a great pub which the food is pretty good. I stayed there last year when visiting the NEC and its about a 15 min drive to the NEC.