No navel-gazing here

News And Views

News & Views

  • 21 June 2016
  • Oliver Thomas

The Creative Square Mile: Celebrating Soho’s Place in the Capital

“Soho is the centre of all creativity in London, even the world, boasting the highest concentration of creative professionals within any square mile on the planet.” – SohoCreate

We love being based in Soho and call it home, so we were really pleased to join our client, Microsoft Lift London, to soak up the jam-packed week of SohoCreate Festival, now in its third year. Microsoft Lift London sponsored the Future Talent Creative Careers Fair that took place in the iconic Soho Square. The Fair provided a chance to network with some of the city’s top creative recruiters and hear from companies such as Picturehouse Central and Film London to name but two.

SohoCreate was established to publicise, celebrate and increase Soho’s creative influence on the rest of the world. One of its key goals is to attract investment and to continue protecting and growing Soho as a hub for industry leading talent in London. With creative entrepreneur and writer Tom Harvey as CEO, and advertising guru Sir John Hegarty as Chairman, I’d say SohoCreate is in safe hands.

The SohoCreate Festival itself is an annual celebration of creativity, with a range of attendees, speakers, debates, workshops, open houses, pop-ups, parties and more. It surprised me the sheer breadth of talent and sectors the term ‘creative industries’ encompasses. Having the opportunity to learn and talk with a diverse group of creative types was really special.

This year, actors shared the stage with designers, chefs shared with advertising folk and so on, forcing conversation and discussion on how things were made, designed or formed. It confirmed what many already knew but weren’t necessarily practicing: that our industry is all about learning from others – experiencing and hearing about what others are doing.

Collaboration as a means of mashing together the best of something to produce the best output remains crucial to our industry. Once upon a time, sharing and cooperating with competitors may have looked a lot like suicide, but today it’s absolutely necessary. With a plethora of creative companies packed into a single square mile, Soho is perfectly placed to demonstrate the value of collaboration between like-minded businesses.

The Festival recently secured the backing of Westminster Council and is growing in popularity every year. We’re already thinking about the role we play in Soho’s creative conversations and how we can help SohoCreate become bigger and better. We hope our Soho neighbours feel likewise - get involved next year if you didn’t this time around! Not only does it get the brain cells buzzing, it’s great fun too.