Creating a visitor experience for the world’s greatest skills competition
WorldSkills London 2011 set out to be the world’s greatest skills competition, future careers and jobs event with 950 competitors from across the globe travelling to London to compete to be the ‘best in the world’ at their chosen skill.
The four day event took place at the ExCeL Centre London over 90,000m2, and expected to attract 150,000 visitors from more than 50 countries around the world. This was the largest event the venue has ever hosted and for the first time in its history, opened all doors of the 100 acre venue to accept full capacity.
Young, skilled champions represented their country to win a gold, silver or bronze medal across 46 different skill disciplines, inspiring visitors to think about the endless possibilities their futures could hold.
The objectives of the WorldSkills London 2011 event were:
- to raise the profile of vocational skills on a worldwide stage.
- for skills to be recognised as critical to the wider economic development for global growth.
- to deliver an innovative, interactive and global Competition.
- more young people would consider entering vocational skills and careers.
- levels of employer investment and commitment to skills would increase.
- standards of excellence in the teaching of vocational skills would improve to support future economic development and growth.
- the event would have a significant economic and skills impact on London.
Purpose’s brief was to deliver an exciting and unforgettable visitor experience at WorldSkills London 2011 using a strong creative theme that would bring together all the various elements of the event. The concept needed to have scale and reach, to appeal to a mass audience and be applied across all touch points and locations in and around the event.
A three-week short burst of intensive marketing activity by Purpose, was based around the simple question, ‘WHO ARE YOU?’. This was applied across a range of advertising and print media designed to encourage audiences to attend the event by prompting them to think about their vocational prospects and how they might identify and associate themselves with a specific career route.
An ‘I AM...’ campaign subsequently followed and focused on bringing out the aspirations and self expression of those visiting the competition, as well as helping to explain and put into context all that happened at the event.
The campaign messaging was applied throughout the 90,000m2 venue in bold, impactful graphics. Its flexibility allowed it to stretch across a number of communication channels, from all 2D and 3D environments, wayfinding and advertising, to literature and social media, whilst still ensuring a strong consistent identity.
The visitor journey
The event was designed to increase the visitor’s understanding and knowledge about vocational education and the route to employment.
The skill areas needed to be visually appealing, well signposted and part of a wider marketing campaign to improve levels of awareness and understanding about the skills competitions taking place.
The layout was designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate – this was particularly important given the scale of the event and the size of the venue. Overhead and floor signage by Purpose, including large ‘Where Am I?’ boards, provided clear signposting to visitors. Maps and flying banners helped to identify various locations and enable visitors to seek out the skills and sectors they were most interested in.
- Event strategy
- Logo hierarchy
- Word bank and messaging framework
- Logo toolkits for Make it Happen, Have-a-Go and Showcase
- Comprehensive partner toolkit
- Poster, press and outdoor advertising campaign
- Pre-event collateral including invitations
- E-newsletter design
- Have-a-Go collateral including guides and banners
- 2D racetrack
- Opening and Closing ceremony branding
- Environment design and graphics at ExCeL Centre including all Competition Skill areas, Boulevard, Registration, Showcase and Have a Go areas
- Signage design
- Wayfinding and floor decals
- Event guide and visitor map
- Ceremony brochures
- Animated screens
- Uniforms and statue sashes
- Interactive registration kiosk
- Event stand for WorldSkills UK
The Skills Show
Due to the phenomenal success of WorldSkills London 2011, a new UK careers event called The Skills Show was created.
Its aim was to introduce thousands of young people, parents, guardians, teachers, employers and industry leaders to the possibilities of vocational training.
Purpose provided both the brand strategy and design for The Skills Show, by building on the cost-effective, yet powerful campaign we created for WorldSkills London 2011. The visual language that draws upon the themes of competition and celebration, utilising dynamic, multi-coloured ribbons at the core of the identity.