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Guest Blog: AWE 2104 – All eyes on London

Less than a week until Advertising Week Europe (AWE), when the media industry’s luminaries, commentators, practitioners, and fun-seekers descend on London to be inspired, entertained, and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Although still in its infancy but off the back of a successful launch last year, AWE has generated palpable excitement within the industry. Many of us are now frantically trying to block out our diaries, swerve unnecessary meetings, and negotiate with our other halves for a couple of late night passes, to ensure we are seen at the ‘hottest’ show in town.

For those of us who don’t live or work here, an invitation to spend a week in the capital must be hard to turn down (in the same way an offer of a black Nandos card must be). There are 34 Michelin Star restaurants to delight our palates, 30,000 shops to indulge our retail cravings, 170 museums to stimulate our minds, over 300 music venues to get us dancing, and 4,500 pubs and bars to quench our thirsts! London can also feel like a home from home, with pretty much every nationality’s language audible on its streets.

No surprise then, that Matt Scheckner, Executive Director of AWE, plumped for The Big Smoke as the resident host of AWE rather than Paris, Madrid or Rome.

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,” said Samuel Johnson. This was in 1777, a time where much of London was open countryside and the population a fraction of what it is today, but Johnson had already seen its potential.

Today, the city spans over 600 square miles and is home to more than eight million people. It is a thriving iconic world city, ‘the capital of Europe’, where people of all nationalities come to work, shop and play. London is Britain’s economic and cultural powerhouse; number one for fashion and retail, a hub of culture, creativity and innovation. London is predicted to grow by a further 1.5 million people over the next 20 years – the size of Manchester and Birmingham combined.

This trend is predicted to continue, meaning London is now effectively not so much a part of Britain, but a city state in its own right. In fact, it’s so different to the rest of the UK that it’s almost like living in another country.

This is a theme we pick up on during AWE, at our ‘Big London Debate’, 2nd April , 12.45pm @Bafta. We ask whether London has what it takes to become the number one global mega city, dwarfing heavy-weight contenders like New York, Tokyo, Shanghai & Delhi.

We have gathered together a prestigious panel including the Deputy Mayor, Kit Malthouse, as well as Vizeum’s very own Richard Morris to discuss their views on all things London; from politics to fashion, transport to food and drink , from culture to new technology and media. But where do you stand with regards London’s supremacy? Join the debate and have your say.

Hope to see you at Ad Week amongst the sea of strutting peacocks!

Simon Harrington, Marketing & Business Development Director, Exterion Media

If you’re a media owner and you’d like to contribute to the Vizeum blog then please contact Josh Colley (josh.colley@vizeum.com)  for further details