Guide to SKOPJE

UP Greek Tourism reaches London’s Piccadilly Circus!

Balkon3 interview with the campaign’s Project Manager, Ms Katerina Spetsiou.

Up Greek Tourism launched its campaign to raise money for a billboard at London’s Piccadilly Circus to promote tourism in Greece. This follows two inspirational campaigns in New York’s Time Square and Washington DC, which effectively raised $ 30,000 and sparked interest from international media, The US Campaign was also reported by Balkon3 last year.
Ms Katerina Spetsiou, a London-based architect is the Campaign’s Project Manager. She kindly offered some of her precious time to us, while the Campaign is reaching a critical spot…Through the Campaign’s promotional website and video news about accumulating funds pledged are daily being reported via media: over BP 10,500 in the first few days and counting…

Why was London chosen this time?

– We chose London and Piccadilly Circus because it’s an iconic location, instantly recognisable around the world and the epicenter of a country which for years has been at the heart of Greek tourism. The campaign aims to promote Greek tourism in two ways: directly, through the outdoor advertisement, and indirectly by creating a buzz in the media and social media.

Does that mean that the Campaign has the potential to reach other European cities?

– Following the US Campaign’s success, the London campaign will aim to achieve even greater exposure and to act as the launchpad for campaigns in other European cities. “Up Greek Tourism” hope that their efforts will raise the profile of Greece as a tourist destination and also serve to inspire other Greeks to think of innovative personal initiatives to help their economy. They also want to demonstrate to the world that Greeks remain an innovative, resilient and hospitable nation.

For its “European first” we would like to know a bit about the people behind the campaign in London?

The London team is made up of Anita Demetriou and Katerina Ioannou and me. We work in different professions and have a range of skills and expertise; Anita is a pediatrician, Katerina a yoga and Pilates instructor and I’m an architect but we’re all bound together by our love for Greece and our desire to help our country rise from its economic crisis. That’s the core team in London but we are always guided by Yorgos Kleivokiotis, Onic Palandjian and Stathis Hailkalis who started Up Greek Tourism and there is a team of 15 wonderful people both in the UK and in Greece who are working tirelessly to make the campaign happen.

What was your personal motivation and vision in starting out and participating in the London campaign?

– For a while I’d been feeling depressed with all the negative news stories which I was hearing and reading about Greece in the British press and I was itching to do something positive to help. That’s when I came across an article about Up Greek Tourism and the success of the New York Campaign and thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring the initiative to London. Greece has always been a popular destination for Brits and London being at the heart of the UK is an ideal location to remind people that despite the recent negative press, Greece is still a beautiful, safe holiday destination. I contacted the founding team and asked them if they would be interested in bringing the campaign to London. They embraced the idea and it all started to develop from there.

How important do you think is “crowd funding” for the promotion of goals such as this?

– Crowd funding is an essential tool for this campaign and other similar ventures. In fact the idea for the first campaign in New York was born when Yorgos Kleivokiotis learnt about crowd funding and realized its potential. It offers a fantastic platform for fundraising, is easy to set up, easy to access and thanks to its easy connection to social media, easy to promote. As you can see from the London campaign’s page on Loudsauce it gives you the opportunity to describe your campaign both with words but also through a video which is a very powerful medium. It’s therefore easy for people to understand what you’re trying to achieve and to decide whether it’s a venture they believe in and are willing to help with.

MORE ON THE CAMPAIGN

The London campaign went live early December on the website Loudsauce and aims to raise a minimum of £12.000 in just 3 weeks through crowd funding – an Internet based fund-raising platform. Donors who pledge £10 or above will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a return ticket to Greece from London, kindly donated by travel website tripsta.net.
The advertising video will be created by award – winning visual designer Charis Tsevis and will be displayed on the Piccadilly Lite 24 hours a day for 2 weeks starting on February 1st 2013.

Sophia Nikolaou

Comments