A new marketing initiative to promote events and profile-raising opportunities in London for Wales and Welsh organisations has been launched.
The launch at an evening reception at The Wales Office in London on Monday 5th December, was attended by politicians and business leaders from a range of sectors, to hear about the inaugural Wales Week in London, which will take place over the period of St David's Day week in London next year.
Described as 'where Wales meets London, when London celebrates Wales', Wales Week in London is being led by Founders Dan Langford, Acorn's Marketing & Communications Director and Mike Jordan, two Welsh-based business men who have long had business connections in London.
The celebration will consist of a calendar of events from Monday 27th February until Friday 10th March 2017, and it will galvanise, showcase and leverage the activities of existing London-based Welsh communities, and help celebrate and promote the best of Wales, in London.
The not-for-profit, annual programme of activities is a vehicle for Welsh organisations in all sectors to promote their products and services whilst developing new London-based audiences, partnerships and business connections.
Every spring there are a number of Welsh-related events held in London around St David's Day, but for the first time, Wales Week in London will showcase and promote these events under a single umbrella brand.
Dan Langford, Group Marketing & Communications Director of Acorn Recruitment, who for a number of years has been active in promoting Welsh business in London, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for any Welsh organisation that has an interest in developing new or increasing audiences in London.
"Whether promoting products or services to London-based consumers or businesses, attracting new audiences for an artistic production, developing new business contacts and partnerships; or simply showcasing the best of Wales as the place to do business, to visit or to study, Wales Week in London is there to support.
"The idea has been mentioned a number of times over recent years; everyone agreed that it would be worth trying but it seemed that no-one was prepared to get on and develop it. So, Mike and I decided we'd give it a go, get some key partners together and run with it.
"We're running it independently, so we're not tied to any organisation, which we think is important, and we have managed to attract the tremendous support of The Wales Office and the Welsh Government, together with Acorn, Bluegg and Seer Green to help give it the profile and credibility to kick off with.
"It is not a commercial initiative either, and any organisation that wishes to promote its events through it can do so at no cost. The role of Wales Week in London is simply to develop a scenario where the promotion of everything about Wales at that time in London is greater than the sum of the individual promotions of each activity, event or marketing exercise.
"The united, proactive and coordinated promotion of all Welsh-related events will help attract and mobilise increasing audiences, and build a positive momentum across the capital that is distinctly about Wales."
Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, said: "This is a great initiative; one which we are delighted to support by playing a key role.
"St David's Day is the perfect time of year to celebrate and highlight activities of the Welsh community in London. For the first time we can maximise that by bringing it all together under a coherent banner to help energise everything that is fantastic and wonderful about modern Wales.
"In business, education, culture and many other varied sectors - Welsh men and women make a significant contribution. I am particularly keen to see this recognised by a wider audience during Wales Week in London. With Cardiff being the nearest capital city to London, I would encourage people to get involved and to highlight our mark on one of the world's leading capital cities - a city which has never been closer to Wales."
Welcoming the initiative, Welsh Government Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, said: "St David's Day is the key date in our national calendar when we, and Welsh communities around the world, celebrate Wales and all things Welsh. It is the perfect platform to promote Wales and our unique culture, history and language - and to highlight and showcase what today's Wales has to offer the world.
"Wales Week in London provides an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Wales and create a real buzz in the city. I am delighted that the Welsh Government is supporting this initiative and we look forward to hosting events at our London offices in Victoria."
The Wales Week in London website will display the full calendar of events together with details about each host organisation and who to contact should anyone wish to book places or discuss sponsorship opportunities for their business.
The website will be supported by a campaign of communications and promotional activity during the build up to and throughout Wales Week in London.
Alongside the Founding Partners, it is anticipated that Wales Week in London will be of interest to businesses, organisations and communities in London such as the London Welsh Centre, Wales in London, London Welsh RFC, and so on; as well as Welsh-based ones such as Global Welsh, regional development organisations Swansea Bay, Cardiff Capital Region, and in North Wales, the Welsh university sector, the creative industries, designers and the arts in Wales such as WMO, WNO, BAFTA Cymru; Welsh food and drink, tourism; entrepreneurship programmes, inward investment, business and trade development; those working in manufacturing, life sciences, and finance and professional services, and many others.
Organisations planning events or marketing activity in London around the time of St David’s Day simply need to provide Wales Week in London with their details – Wales in London will do the rest. There is no charge for this support.
For separate sponsorship or advertising opportunities aligned to Wales Week in London enquiries should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org