As individuals we are weary, feeling down trodden, almost beaten and all in all we are rather lacking in hope. As a nation we have almost been torn apart by Brexit, and for a year now, hammered by the pandemic. If you factor our current economic woes and ‘Climate Change’ into the equation, it is easy to believe there is little for the average Brit to be optimistic about.
We have however pulled the nation together very successfully in the past, created a positive mood across the land while being an example to the world. While struggling with our current difficulties it is easy to forget the very positive effects that the 2012 Olympic Games had on our nation. Thousands became games volunteers, hundreds of thousands visited the games, and millions enthusiastically watch us perform at our best on televisions in every house in the country and indeed across the world. From the creative and unique opening, to the smooth organisation the event was a triumph that roused us all. The ‘Games effect’ did not end there however, thoughtful planning means that its ‘legacy’ still has a positive and growing impact on a large number of people and businesses.
Clearly we cannot simply run another Olympic Games, but what alternative from our past is there which is ripe for resurrection, can energies and motivate the nation, while adding economic value to the country, stimulate the economy and rebuild brand Great Britain?
The Great Exhibition II
The original Great Exhibition of 1851 was apparently one of the inspirational events of the nineteenth century, so why wouldn’t the Great Exhibition II be the inspirational event we need right now?
Yes, we desperately need something to boost morale and the economy, but we also need something post Brexit and the pandemic that shouts to the world that we are open for business, raring to go, full of great ideas and above all, to indicate to both the world and the country our proposed new direction of travel. You could think of The Great Exhibition II as not so much of a Crystal Palace, but as the UK’s ‘Green House’. Both nurturing a new economic prosperity, and highlight our push towards developing a sustainable environment and infrastructure. This could be a part of our re-branding strategy.
The brave new Great Exhibition could be both a physical exhibition and a pioneering online one. Designed by the best of British architects and designers in physical form, and cutting edge digital visualisers in virtual form. The exhibition could utilise the brains from all creative industries to manufacture an exhibition come show and what a show. Highlighting the very best of everything Britain has to offer it would showcase major players and inspirational new comers, established business areas and upcoming sectors, sustainability and everything green. National competitions could be organised to give free places both physical and digital to young entrepreneurs and promising new start-ups.
Sponsorship could come predominantly from UK companies and unlike the original, which showcased the offerings of many nations, The Great Exhibition II would definitely major on what the UK has to offer, both established and emerging, and with as much of the exhibition as possible viewed online, it would certainly allow a much wider audience to be wowed.
We did it before at Christal Palace and the South Bank and showed not only the world, but also the country, just how innovative we as a nation are. Just like the original Christal Palace, the second Great Exhibition could be based around an outstanding new venue or venues. Perhaps in the North of England or the South West, it could be conceived as was the Millennium Dome and the Olympic Park, to not only rejuvenate an existing site, but to bestow a lasting legacy on the area for years to come.
Is this not the perfect moment not only to rejuvenate the UK’s businesses post Brexit and COVID, but also to give a massive boost to the pride and morale of all UK citizens while showing the world we are back.