Grass Roots organises opening of largest international skills competition


Meetings, events and communications agency, Grass Roots, organised a sell-out Opening Ceremony last night (4 October) for the world’s largest international skills competition, Worldskills London 2011.
Held at The O2 Arena, the ceremony involved 950 international competitors, between the age of 14 and 17, from 51 countries; 8,000 visitors watching the ceremony; and some 700 UK-based acts on stage.
“This is their opening party and is focused on getting them excited for tomorrow when the competition commences,” Business Development Director for Event Production at Grass Roots, Darren Spragg, told CMW. “It is the largest event before the Olympics next year in London and has taken a year of organising.”
The event production of the opening ceremony involved 1,500 production crew, 100 volunteers and two full-time interns. “Many of the volunteers and the two interns are using this event as a case study in preparation for working on the upcoming London 2012 Olympics,” said Spragg.
WorldSkills London 2011 brings people from across the globe compete to become the best of the best. Over 150,000 visitors are expected to attend from 5-8 October at Excel London, with over 8,000 attending the opening and closing shows, designed to showcase some of the UK’s most talented young performers and celebrating the communities coming together from around the world to take part in the event.
Chairman for Worldskills London 2011, Chris Humphries CBE, told the audience: “ The 950 entrants competing in 46 skill areas has made this the biggest Worldskills so far. It is also the largest event ever held at Excel London in terms of size, complexity and visitor numbers. We have 920 accredited media covering the event and have built the largest restaurant in the UK to feed 1,800 people at a time and serving 56,000 meals during the week.
“This is a crucial economic event with 154 industrial sponsors and we already have 145,000 registered visitors and are on target for total attendance of the four days of up to 200,000.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was the key speaker for the event. He said: “It is a real honour to be here tonight at the opening ceremony. This is a truly global competition and I’m glad we could put on this global event for you tonight.”
Click here to see CMW’s gallery of the event.
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