Monday, 14 March 2011

Entrepreneurial Designs are a Bright Idea

Taken from my London2012 BLog - 3rd December 2010 -

Your basic light fitting is quite boring… it probably hangs from the ceiling, has a bulb or two, some twiddly wires and very often, a switch in the wall. But not on the Olympic Park!

While visiting the Handball Arena, memories of kids' TV programmes that used toilet rolls, washing up liquid bottles, tin foil and 'sticky backed plastic' to make stuff came flooding back. I was amazed to see the boffins on the 2012 Design team (clearly fans of the same TV programmes) have come up with a completely brilliant, dead cheap and totally green approach to lighting the venue... the natural solar daylight tube!

Eighty-eight of these pierce the roof of this amazingly simple but totally flexible new sports space. With each solar tube consisting of a small dome of Perspex on the roof, some highly polished aluminium tubes, frosted plastic and some gravity defying ceiling fixings, they light the Arena perfectly… it is really amazing as raw untouched British sunlight just before dusk illuminates this vast space!

The Handball Arena will revert into an incredible community legacy venue after the Games with opportunities for everyone to use it. Provision has been made for music, school, sports and other entertainment uses, making this probably one of the most entrepreneurial spaces on the Park.

If you need an extra couple of thousand seats, then look behind the wall panels and wheel them out! If you want the place to look full without filling the place, check out the multicoloured seating that gives the impression of more 'bums on seats', if you need it as a movie theatre, a conference hall or a massive wedding, then this space will accommodate it! No stone has gone unturned in making this place something really special.

The handball Arena is a big box building that's 90x40m and is clad in copper plate. The copper won't go green like on other buildings, but will retain their shine and their elegance well into legacy, creating yet another iconic building for 2012... and beyond.

Too me, this is one of the best legacy examples on the Park and it's been designed to have a life of over 25 years without damaging the environment. This is the way businesses need to think and work when considering the Games and the benefits they may bring.

So, how can your business use the Games to help your business grow? Well, there are still the contract opportunities available on and the market intelligence that brings. Use this as a great source to find out 'who's-contracting what' and try and get involved.

And don't forget, from mid-2012 (not long now!), the world's journalists and news gurus will start descending on London and will be looking for those stories that will be make the papers before the athletes take to the tracks.

The media will be looking for quirky local news that will tell the story of London, cool shops and people with interesting stories. Start upping your game in delivering incredible customer service and start investing some time and perhaps some money in your shops, offices and websites to make them look slick and inviting, to attract new and retain old customers!
Typically, small businesses think for the short term but if you act like the boffins on the Handball Arena and start thinking outside the box, you too can do some amazing things now that will help your business last for a long, long time.

It's now or never when it comes to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so... on your marks, get set, go!

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