Greenwich Peninsula has been subject to significant investment in recent years. First there was the seismic decision to site the Millennium Dome there in 2000, its subsequent transformation into The O2 as a lynchpin for regeneration and, more recently, big cash injections in the run up to the Olympics in 2012 and its ongoing legacy – things have been busy.
Around it, east and south-east London have become hives of activity fuelled by international attention and the innovations of firms and organisations keen to make the most of it.
Waves of pop-up restaurants, entertainment spaces and leisure facilities have blossomed with more to come as the opening of Crossrail draws ever nearer.
According to commercial director at The O2, Steve Sayer, east and south-east London are among the fastest changing areas in the country, let alone London.
Since opening in 2007, the venue – which is sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement category at The Wharf Innovation In Business Awards 2016 – has been joined by the likes of Ravensbourne College, The Intercontinental Hotel and a golf driving range with a film studio in the pipeline.
Innovation is a fundamental part of business and the levels of creativity and entrepreneurial verve in the events industry, according to Steve, are phenomenal.
“Clients are demanding event spaces that can offer more than just four walls,” he said, adding that the venue had seen a rise in number of clients wanting extra value, linked to an increase in brand and experience-led communications.
Steve said technology in particular was an expected counterpart to events, driving forward change within exhibitions, for example.
He also said he had seen numerous developments in The O2’s corporate events business including investment in projection mapping technology.
“One of the best examples was O2’s campaign to support the England Rugby team where they projected imagery and messaging across the roof of The O2 throughout the World Cup last year,” he said.
“It was an amazing spectacle. It’s about how you can make the experience more interactive and longer lasting.
“As a venue in this sector, we want to be leading the charge wherever we can. Standing out from the crowd in the events business is all about being new, being different and wowing clients and attendees.”
As sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement category, Steve said his team had been looking for entrants who had demonstrated success, not just in their business but in the wider economy and community, during last week’s judging.
He said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the awards. Our entire business and the wider economy are kept moving by innovation and those individuals with a real entrepreneurial spirit.”
Although entries for the awards are now closed there are still tickets available for the glittering awards ceremony on September 29 at the Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf.
Sponsorship opportunities are also still available. Contact Karen Brodie on 020 7510 6055 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.