From the moment you step off the plane at Heathrow, to the second you walk into ExCeL London, your journey to FESPA 2013 will be full of print inspiration.
As the largest international event for wide format print, FESPA 2013 promises excitement, innovation and inspiration for its 23,000 visitors and 650 exhibitors. But the inspiration doesn’t begin and end at the doors of ExCeL London. It starts as soon as you arrive in London.
If you land at London City Airport, you’ll be sipping your first coffee and swapping your first business card at the show in ExCeL within ten minutes. But if you arrive at London Heathrow—12 miles west of central London—you have a fascinating journey ahead of you, which takes in some of the world’s most famous centres of creativity and its finest examples of print use.
It’s a Wrap!
If you jump in one of London’s world-famous black cabs, don’t be surprised if it’s not actually black. The ubiquitous taxis are often turned into mobile ads, with vehicle wraps ranging from a simple product name to a complex social media push. Either way, the designs are so bright, it’s unlikely that you’ll miss them.
If you are travelling into central London by cab, your driver will probably take you along the A4, the busiest ‘A’ road in Europe. Over a million people travel along this road every week, which is why it features the UK’s most in-demand billboard site. Situated on the Cromwell Road section, a huge variety of brands such as Nike, Samsung, and Sony Pictures have used the 75 meter-long billboard to bring their campaigns to life using 3D builds, 2D cut-outs, bespoke effects, and custom lighting.
Once past Cromwell Road, you’ll head through the wealthy avenues of Knightsbridge and towards the media Mecca of Soho. This is where a number of publishing houses create the country’s leading business and consumer magazines, forging opinion and influencing the influencers.
London’s creative industry is the capital’s second-largest sector, generating over £20bn per year and employing over 400,000 people. Many of these people are based in Soho and nearby Fitzrovia. Take a walk across Oxford Street, Europe’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, and up Charlotte Street and you’re within a stone’s throw of world-famous ad agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA, and Starcom MediaVest.
Some of the world’s most global iconic campaigns have been dreamt up here—think ‘Hello Boys’, ‘You’ve been Tango’d’ and ‘Does what it says on the tin’—so take a while to savour the creative atmosphere (and a quick pint at one of the area’s many Victorian pubs).
Visitors to FESPA 2013 wanting to know more about the relationship between design/creativity and print should take a trip to the Creative Corner. The conference will address key topics providing tips on design for print applications for creatives and brand owners, as well as opening up the relationship between PSPs and end users. Among the line up are some of the biggest names in advertising and design including, Coca Cola, McCann NY, Ogilvy, and Unilever.
On your way to FESPA 2013, take a quick detour across Waterloo Bridge, where you’ll find one of London’s largest outdoor advertising spaces—the cylindrical IMAX theatre. Situated in the middle of a fantastically busy roundabout next to one of London’s busiest train stations, the 120m by 14m site is seen by over 1.5m people every week. Little wonder global brands such as Vodafone, Samsung, D&G, and Nike have used it to stunning effect.
Wander east along the Thames path and you’ll soon come to the imposing Tate Modern. Built just 12 years ago from the shell of a former power station, the gallery is now the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year. Like FESPA, the gallery has a truly global outlook, hosting acclaimed works by artists including Lichtenstein, Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Rothko, and Mondrian.