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On 10 May 2012, the day the Olympic Torch is lit in Greece, Presence Switzerland, part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) presented the concept of the House of Switzerland at a media conference in Bern, at which the head of Presence Switzerland, Nicolas Bideau, explained: “With the House of Switzerland we want to provide a space to welcome our athletes and their fans and to make Switzerland a sensation in London. I would like foreign visitors to the House of Switzerland to come out saying: wow, the Swiss have done something very creative here!” Most of the House of Switzerland UK 2012 will be accessible to the public. An exclusive area is reserved for the 2012 Swiss Olympic team and for partner events.
A total surface area of 3000m2 in the heart of London will be wrapped in red and transformed into a vibrant “Red Zone”. In the area outside the building, the construction of mountain peaks will remind visitors of the British pioneer mountaineers who made a decisive contribution to the development of tourism in Switzerland. The Glaziers Hall, a guildhall at the foot of London Bridge, and the Swiss Game Lounge together form the centre and creative heart of Switzerland’s appearance in London. As many as 250,000 are expected to visit the House of Switzerland, which has a budget of CHF 4.5 million (2/3 Confederation, 1/3 others).
“Swiss Games” convey Switzerland’s creativity
Presence Switzerland and a well-known Zürich game studio have developed a new video game for mobile telephones and tablets for the House of Switzerland in London. “With the production of “Swiss Games” we are venturing into new areas in communications; for us they are an original and contemporary instrument for conveying information about Switzerland, says Nicolas Bideau. “Swiss Games” is a compilation of three games: a modern version of the traditional musical game of “Talerschwingen”; a jump’n‘run game, and an augmented reality game. The last of these games involves various real localities within the House of Switzerland. The person who wins the highest number of Taler wins the game. In the future, Presence Switzerland will offer “Swiss Games” to other target markets of Switzerland’s communication abroad.
A rich cultural programme open to the public awaits visitors to the House of Switzerland. Promising young artists have been invited to present Switzerland’s very diverse music scene to an international public in London. The Swiss food industry will also benefit from the House of Switzerland. Mosimann’s, the well-known Catering Partner of the House of Switzerland, will serve Swiss specialities with ingredients from selected Swiss producers to visitors at three different restaurants. Symposiums and exhibitions organised with partners on themes including game design, graphic design, professional education and life sciences will focus on Swiss innovations, and promote existing and future co-operation between the U.K. and Switzerland.
Public-private-partnership, a basis for success
“For us, successful co-operation with Swiss partners and companies from the public and private sectors creates a win-win situation,“ stressed Nicolas Bideau. “Our partners make a decisive contribution to the multi-facetted image of the House of Switzerland and at the same time can benefit from the unique combination of the Olympic atmosphere and the “Swissness” to promote their own public image”.
The House of Switzerland UK 2012 successfully enlisted Bernese Oberland-Jungfrau as its Destination Partner. Presence Switzerland has developed close collaborations over many years with the Official Partners Swiss Olympic, The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR and Switzerland Tourism. It has also concluded partnerships with Mosimann’s, Lindt & Sprüngli, the City and Canton of Zürich, Habegger, Swiss International Air Lines, Victorinox, Mövenpick Ice Cream, the Swiss Securitas Group, Switcher, Uniplan, the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), International Radio Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and Pro Helvetia.
Kieu Duy TRAN
FDFA Presence Switzerland
Head of Marketing & Sponsoring
Tel. +41 31 322 35 23
Mobile +41 79 338 90 73
FDFA Presence Switzerland
House of Switzerland UK 2012
Tel. +41 31 325 17 33
Mobile +41 79 875 35 95