Senior Account Executive, Sara Houghton, shares her highlights from Clerkenwell Design Week 2017.
Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) is one of the most exciting events of the year for the architecture and design community in the UK. Every May, the three-day festival in London brings together some of the most creative minds from all over country – making it the perfect opportunity for design brands to showcase their best products and newest collections.
This year we supported our clients, flooring manufacturers Tarkett and DESSO, by providing content marketing and public relations services to help organise a jam-packed programme of events in the Clerkenwell showroom. We travelled down to London from our Manchester content marketing agency office base. It was my first time at the festival and I was left completely awe-struck by the whole experience. Now that I’ve had time to take it all in, here’s a round-up of some of my highlights and learnings along the way:
As the design hub of the city, CDW was, naturally, a fountain of artistic inspiration. The whole area was bursting with innovative ideas, many of which were displayed in the form of giant, eye-catching installations. One of my favourites was ‘Bleed’ created by the Lighting Design Studio, Popcorn and Red Deer. This interactive installation was made up of a series of LED strips suspended in the air. Visitors were invited to place their fingertip on a sensor, which triggered the lights by reacting to their heartbeat – flashing on and off at the same rate. Simply amazing! But more importantly: newsworthy, photo-ready and extremely shareable. The result: PR coverage in a number of key design titles and social media flooded with videos and photos, as visitors shared their ‘bleeding hearts’ brought to life.
Feast for the senses
Exploring Clerkenwell can be a tiring experience, so many companies managed to attract attention to their showrooms by offering a delicious selection of food and drink. Ceramiche Caesar, an Italian porcelain and stoneware flooring company, positioned an ice cream truck outside the showroom, serving free scoops of artisan gelato. Aside from keeping on brand with the company’s Italian heritage, this also worked like magic in the midst of the British heat wave, and people could be seen queuing for coupons (cleverly distributed only inside the showroom).
Similarly, in the Tarkett and DESSO showroom, we arranged a Scandinavian-style FIKA session, serving special cake sculptures created by the multi-talented designer, Kia Utzon-Frank. The cakes featured print designs of the company’s newest flooring collections. What better way to improve your brand’s reputation than by leaving visitors with a sweet taste in their mouth?
Going beyond the showroom
For many companies that have showrooms in Clerkenwell, CDW is the busiest time of year, with footfall at its highest. The temptation, therefore, is to focus the attention on the indoor activities, to draw-in passers-by and to keep visitors inside. This year, however, a number of showrooms decided to bring the action outside. The furniture company, BuzziSpace, for example, created a ‘BuzziJungle’ structure situated in Design Fields. This installation not only looked great, but also provided a great meeting point for visitors and featured in many of the media shots shared by design magazines and on social media. Similarly, for Tarkett and DESSO we hired Pedibus bikes and invited guests to enjoy a group cycle tour of Clerkenwell with us. The branded bikes could be spotted all over the area and enabled us to go beyond the showroom to reach out to even more festival-goers.