A couple of Fridays ago a few of us from the London office donned fetching blue jump suits, climbing shoes and unfeasibly tight harnesses and climbed the O2. It was a bit of a ‘pat on the back’ after a very, very busy summer (made all the more testing when we discovered a builder had mistakenly cut off the power supply to our air con system).
We all agreed it was an amazing experience and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to do something a little bit different. It may not quite match the Sydney Harbour bridge climb but seeing the sun set over the City behind Canary Wharf was pretty good. The views over to the Olympic Park are also good with the famous ‘Orb’ clearly visible between the high rises. Our only regret was that we didn’t take the Emirates Cable Car to get there. That also looked fairly spectacular.
The whole event was exhilarating and great fun. Afterwards, over a few cold drinks, some of us recalled visiting the venue in its original guise – The Millennium Dome. Amongst those of us who visited all those years ago, the feeling was unanimous – it was an awful experience! I remember Lord (then simply Peter) Mandelson describing it in an interview as something that would “brighten up peoples’ otherwise hum drum lives”. Ignoring the tone of the comment, your life would have to have been ‘off the scale hum drum’ to be brightened up by a visit to the Dome. The only good things as far as I could see were the rather neat time-based statistics about the place – there are 12 supporting towers. It’s 52 metres tall and the diameter is 365 metres.
But look at it now, talk about a transformation. We were told that 22 million applications were received for the Led Zeppelin concert and Prince played 21 dates in 2007. Inside there’s a 20,000 seat concert venue, a fabulous exhibition commemorating British music, 11 screen cinema, bars, restaurants, clubs and a smaller more intimate venue where, incidentally, I saw Level 42 recently. It’s an exciting, vibrant venue. There were no concerts the night we were there but it was still packed and as we left there were hundreds streaming in.
As we were talking, it dawned on us that the venue and Chiumento have something in common: transformation. It’s still the same structure but the great white elephant that housed that terrible “Body” exhibit and hosted the cringe worthy Millennium show is now, relevant, modern, popular and successful.
We like that. We’re all about transformation. Helping people, many of whom maybe feeling uninspired and demoralised, rediscover their self-esteem and build their confidence to go to market with a renewed sense of belief. It’s very rewarding when people reinvent themselves and find something fulfilling, motivating and enjoyable. Which, let’s face it, is a goal that most of us aspire to.
Client Development Director