Friday, 29 January 2010

Decade of Sport demonstrates a raft of event opportunities in the lead up to 2020

More than 200 events industry professionals gathered at Somerset House on Wednesday 27 January for an exclusive opportunity to learn about major sporting events planned for London and the rest of the UK over the next ten years.

Decade of Sport, staged by ISES UK in association with Visit London, was the first major conference to detail opportunities that exist for venues, suppliers and agencies around significant sporting occasions planned and confirmed until 2019. These included the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a possible FIFA World Cup in 2018, the NFL’s competitive American football matches, ATP Tennis Finals and many more events outlined by the four speakers.

Hosted by me, the conference and subsequent networking event took place in the Embankment Rooms at Somerset House, staged with the assistance of key ISES member companies Fisher Productions, Sound By Design, Thorns, Simon Lane Photography and Leith’s Catering.

Speaking to a packed auditorium, Visit London Director of Business Tourism Tracy Halliwell and 2012 Director Mark Howell updated delegates on London’s plans for 2012. With just over 900 days left until the greatest sporting event on earth comes to the UK capital, both keynote speakers urged delegates to proactively seek out business opportunities and, be talking now to potential clients about a full-range of satellite activity including live sites, fan festivals, media hubs, broadcast points, destination houses, hospitality programmes and auxiliary events.

Following a coffee break, during which delegates could discuss the enormous amount of detailed information they’d just received, Decade of Sport resumed with a session from Iain Edmondson, Senior Projects Manager for Events for London.
Iain provided the lowdown on how this specialist division of Visit London works to attract major events to the capital and some of the ways it can help organisers to unlock the city’s full creative potential in order to stage spectacular stunts such as Robbie Maddison’s death defying back-flip over Tower Bridge to promote Red Bull’s X-Fighter event last year.

Iain concluded his session by describing London’s role in becoming one of the host cities in England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup bid. He was then followed by the bid’s Accommodation and Hospitality Consultant David Hornby, who talked about the national set-up for bringing the FIFA World Cup to UK shores in eight years time.

ISES UK President Zanine Adams says: “Through our collaboration with Visit London and England 2018, we’ve been able to offer ISES member companies true value and provide an afternoon’s worth of invaluable business advice. I am so pleased with how much relevant content we’ve been able to deliver during this event and it’s a strategy we are working hard to maintain for all ISES member activity.”

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Jedward tear it up at the NTAs

In a month when The O2 has been named the world’s most popular music venue after selling 2.3 million tickets last year, it was only fitting that the celebrity world should descend en masse on the docklands arena for the National Television Awards.

In the days leading up to Wednesday’s showpiece ceremony, all the talk on Twitter was about the X-Factor’s Jedward performing their dubious version of ‘Under Pressure / Ice Ice Baby’ alongside the original Vanilla Ice.

From my vantage point alongside a bevy of celebrity boozers and movers, it looked like a few extra post X-Factor rehearsals have done the twins the world of good (although that may have been the free beer!).

I was going to post just a one-minute highlight from their performance but come on, you know you want to relive the whole shebang! And if you missed it, here’s a chance to catch this instantly forgettable moment of pop history. It’s definitely not one for the O2’s British Music Experience exhibition but it did add to a fun night of celeb spotting and hospitality courtesy of The O2’s Comms team. Enjoy!