Thursday, 3 May 2012

3/5: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (2)

Our guest blogger presents their second idea for a top pin trading location during the Games.

London Streets

The streets of an Olympic City come alive during the Olympic Games. We hear it all the time - but there really is nothing like theOlympics. And nowhere is this more apparent than out on the streets. Of course, not every London street is a perfect pin trading position, but hopefully by the end of this column, you will see why it's worth keeping your eyes open while wandering around the city this summer!

To start with, the streets will look good! Olympic banners and decorations help create the stage for a carnival atmosphere. Inaddition to the usual collection of locals and tourists that you will always find in London during the summer, the number of peopleout and about will be swelled by the addition of some new and unique visitors.

To start with Olympic and Paralympic Volunteers will be out in force! Always distinctively uniformed (in London it will be a purple and red combination!), these helpful souls have given up their time to be part of the Olympic experience. It will be hard to not to spot teams of these usually friendly folks wandering the streets.

Joining them will be the uniformed Olympic Broadcast teams. These are the people who are responsible for beaming the Olympics all around the world. They come from all over the planet, and are usually freelance cameraman, soundmen and producers who are familiar with a particular sport.

Then there are the media and press teams who usually wear their "Team" t-shirts or jackets. The larger Broacasters like NBC and the BBC will be particularly noticeable with their larger numbers. You will see these guys walking the streets or riding public transport clutching massive cameras, tripods, notepads or even sound booms trying to get to their next interview or photo spot.

There are the sponsors - normally these come in the form of invited guests all wearing branded outfits and following their leaderwho is holding up a tall plastic sign with the sponsor's name on it so that their group don't get lost.
As the Games wear on, the athletes will begin to become more noticeable as many of the events begin to finish. But, for every 1athlete there are always another 3 coaches, administrators, and physios also branded in team uniform. These guys will be wandering around doing the same thing as everybody else - enjoying the atmosphere, soaking up the city and having their moment in the spotlight.
Finally the Olympic fans - hopefully from all over the world - will be in London. The dutch are usually out in force dressed inOrange, the Americans, Aussie and Canadians always bring good numbers. And many of the other European nations will be dressed innational colours, waving their flags and supporting their favourites.
So from a pin point of view where does this leave us? Well many of these different groups of people will be wearing pins! Pins they'vebought from the shops, pins they have traded at the venue they've been spectating or working at, and maybe most excitingly of allpins that belong to their group! Maybe a volunteer pin, a Broadcaster pin or a Sponsor pin!
I would say 'keep your eyes out' for these different groups - but there is no need, it will be impossible to miss them! What I can say is keep your eyes open for any pins these folks will be wearing, and make sure you have some pins on you at all times just in case a good swap presents itself. There is no telling which streets will be best for picking up pins, but you can be sure that as the Games progress people will get a feel for where the best places are for a good trade.