IFC 2012 – Message from the flight deck: “Featuring the World …at the BBC”

  1. Security and moving about Broadcasting House
  2. When You Arrive…
  3. Food and Drink
  4. WiFi
  5. Buildings Acces
  6. Keeping your belongings safe
  7. Maps and advice
  8. Other travel options from Heathrow

Featuring the World …at the BBC

Welcome to London in Olympic year!

The BBC, official broadcaster of the 30
th Olympiad, is proud to welcome you to its home in the heart of London’s West End. It’s the first time since 1996 that London has played host to the programme-makers of the International Feature Conference and we’re hoping you’ll have a great time with us, listening to documentary programmes of the highest quality from across the globe. We are honoured to welcome to the BBC delegates from all corners of Europe, from China, Russia, the United States, Canada and for the first time from Egypt.

Our four keynote speakers will offer their distinctive perspectives on the art of radio feature, our workshop specialists will share in three masterclasses their accumulated expertise in their fields, and of course throughout the Conference, we shall listen to, debate and argue about some of the best radio features on offer across the world this year. It’s a critical moment for our art, with challenges from budgetary constraint and ever-diminishing resources as well as the demands of new digital platforms and shifting audience attitudes to radio in general. So, when better to gather in a congenial frame of mind and a welcoming atmosphere and discuss, learn and … make new friends.

The Conference is being staged in Broadcasting House, usually known simply as ‘BH’, which has been the BBC’s home since May 1932, and this year BH will see the return of our news services to central London, along with much of TV, in our brand new building.


All plenary and playback sessions are held in the Radio Theatre, while programme discussions take place in the adjacent designated rooms ‘IFC 1, IFC 2 and IFC 3’. Workshops are mostly in IFC 3 (Lower Ground Floor).

Your welcome pack has an easy map to guide you and our Audience Team will be on hand to make sure you don’t get lost.

But before you arrive:


1 Security and moving about Broadcasting House

Broadcasting House is, as you would expect, a security-controlled building and we have taken every measure both to keep you safe and, within what is normal in a capital city, to make security a simple process for all delegates.

On registration when you arrive, you will be issued with a special blue IFCsecurity pass for the full duration of the IFC. You should wear this at all times. If you forget this, or lose it, (we all know what happens from time to time during IFC evenings…) you will need to produce proof of identity to replace your pass or gain entry

2 When You Arrive…

You need to register. You will be provided with your Conference bag, your security pass and information pack, including details of your discussion group and timetable.

If you’re arriving on Sunday May 13th

For Sunday ONLY, Registration is in Main Reception in Broadcasting House. Like 80 years of celebrities before you, come in through the heavy bronze doors and our team will be there to greet you, and conduct you to the BBC Council Chamber where we will celebrate the opening of the 38th International Feature Conference, London 2012 with food and wine with a British accent…

If you’re arriving on Monday May 14th (or later)…

Registration takes place in the special IFC Media Café, where you will also be served lunch and refreshments, and you can relax between sessions, check emails and meet to chat with colleagues. Entrance to the IFC Media Café is via the specially designated IFC door on the west side of the building, on Portland Place, further along the street to the left of Main Reception.

NOTE: This is also where you will enter and leave the building for all sessions of the IFC.

3 Food and Drink

Almost as important as the programmes, you need to know that coffee, tea, water and soft drinks will be available at no charge in the IFC Media Café.

Opening Reception

For those joining the IFC on Sunday 13th May, to celebrate the opening of the 38th International Feature Conference London 2012, BBC Audio & Music is offering a complimentary Reception in the historic Council Chamber of Broadcasting House. There will be wine, soft drinks and water, together with a hot British-themed buffet, served under the gaze of our founder Director General, Lord Reith!

Come to Broadcasting House any time from 1800 onwards, register at the IFC desk in Main Reception, and you will be ushered upstairs to the Council Chamber to meet old friends, make new ones and get in the IFC mood…

Conference Lunch: Following the simple and brilliant arrangement in Hilversum last year, we are again providing brown-bag snack lunches at a price of £6.50 (€7), consisting of sandwiches, fruit, soft-drink, crisps and chocolate / muesli bar. Vegetarian option is available. You should buy your IFC lunch-vouchers when you register, please, so that on the day our catering team can serve hungry delegates as quickly as possible.

The Conference Gala Dinner:

This is taking place off-site on the evening of Tuesday 15th May in the colourful west London district of Shepherd’s Bush at a restaurant created by the celebrated modern British chef Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Italian. The restaurant is situated adjacent to the recently opened Westfield commercial and leisure centre. We will give you clear instructions how to get to Westfield on the day.

Please note that there is a nominal surcharge of £10 (€11.50) per person for the dinner, payable on registration.

The ‘Jam’ Session

On Wednesday 16th May, it’s your opportunity to indulge your favourite bits of feature-making – whether your own, or something that’s particularly special for you, in the relaxed surroundings of a typical London pub. For the evening, we’ve got exclusive access to the private upstairs bar of the 18th century Mason Arms in Maddox Street, just off elegant Regent Street, five minutes’ walk from Broadcasting House. Bring along your CDs or memory sticks (and translations if we need them) and sample the Mason’s delicious Greene King beers (amongst Britain’s finest ‘real ales’) and other drinks. The bar serves food too, so you’re all set up for a fine IFC evening.

Instructions how to get to the Mason Arms on the day.

4 WiFi

You will be able to use your laptop, smartphone or tablet in the IFC Media Café area, but in order that we can provide you with this service, you will need to tell us in advance what the email address you will be using is. We will then issue you with a password to access the WiFi service.

5 Buildings Access

We should like to make sure that you have as easy a time as possible while you’re with us, so please let us know whether you have any special mobility needs.

6 Keeping your belongings safe

While you’re with us, we want to make sure nothing goes wrong, so we ask you please to look after your personal belongings carefully. The BBC accepts no responsibility for damage to, or loss of, items brought onto our premises. This applies particularly to luggage. While we realise that you may be leaving the Conference directly to fly home we will have only very limited space for luggage and cannot accept any responsibility for luggage left with us. So do try to travel light when coming to BH!



Central London is extremely busy, and particularly so this year, as you will arrive just as the Cultural Olympiad celebrations are getting under way. Taxis are not cheap, but we recommend you always use a licensed ‘black cab’, rather than a minicab. Never take an unlicensed cab.

In fact, it’s probably quicker to walk than take a taxi over short distances in London as congestion can mean journeys are slow!

There are five airports serving the UK capital. The busiest and most popular is of course Heathrow, which has five terminals. Depending on which airline you are flying your terminal will determine to an extent how you access central London, which is the site both of your hotel and Broadcasting House.

All Heathrow terminals are served by the London Underground (‘The Tube’). This is a relatively low-cost and reliable, if not the fastest, route to your destination. The line that serves all Heathrow’s terminals is the Piccadilly Line which is colour-coded dark blue.

The nearest Undergroundstation to the BBC is called Oxford Circus, which is an interchange hub for the Central (red), Victoria (light blue) and Bakerloo (brown) lines. Be prepared for crowds: 70 million passengers use Oxford Circus every year.

Maps and advice

The Transport for London website http://www.tfl.gov.uk has maps downloadable as a pdf and live travel news about service problems. Check on the latest travel information before you leave.

IMPORTANT – there is a huge ongoing programme of improvements and rebuilding on the London Underground ahead of the Olympic Games in July, which will still be in operation at the time of the IFC.

Every weekend, there are line suspensions which may mean that you will need to re-route your journ

It’s always worth checking the TfL site above to check whether there are any transport problems – they keep it very well updated.

Buses: Buses are plentiful in London. They’re red and cover the capital day and night with a huge web of routes.

Other travel options from Heathrow

Taxi: We strongly advise against taking a cab from Heathrow. The airport is about 30km from the centre of town, and the routes the cab will inevitably have to take are always very congested. You will be charged at least £50 or €60 for your journey and often more.

Overground rail: This is a very good alternative option to the tube. There are two rail routes that link Heathrow with one of the main London rail termini, Paddington Station. They are called Heathrow Express (https://www.heathrowexpress.com/?gclid=COqpl8Xqsq4CFQcRfAodg2MoRA)

and Heathrow Connect (https://www.heathrowconnect.com/index.asp?SID={32041742-AE95-4F1C-88CC-81D57A13A126}).

If you are arriving via another airport

Your most likely alternative airport is Gatwick. Situated nearly 60km south of London, the only realistic way of getting to town is via the overground rail link, called Gatwick Express (http://www.gatwickexpress.com/). You arrive at Victoria Station.

Other airports

Arriving on low cost airlines, the London destinations may well be either Luton Airport or Stansted Airport, both situated some way north of the capital. In each case, there is a rail route that will deliver you into central London. The Stansted Express (https://www.stanstedexpress.com/index.asp?SID={E2788D21-3A5E-4410-8B89-9D833832750E}) terminates at Liverpool Street Station, the major east London rail terminus. Since the Central Line (east) is closed on Sunday 13 May, you will not be able to travel directly from Liverpool Street to the BBC by underground.

From Luton Airport, you need to take the train to St Pancras International, London’s new international rail terminal.

Finally, a good air transport option for central London is London City Airport, which is closer than any to the centre of town, and is less busy and links directly to the Docklands Light Railway, from which you can interchange to the tube.

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