A few months ago I wrote a blog post about all of the different apps that are available to help assistants organise a business trip to London. It went down pretty well so I thought I would share a few more of my London business travel tips with you. Similar to any other assistant who has worked in the industry for a long time, I have organised lots of trips to London for overseas clients and colleagues. One thing I have noticed is that first time visitors to London can be a little daunted by the prospect of navigating the city and getting to grips with our culture and work style.
Despite similarities with other English speaking countries, Londoners do have a few quirky little habits that can confuse even the most seasoned business traveller! We do like to wine and dine our clients and there are plenty of opportunities for wining and dining in London. However, overseas colleagues will often find themselves at 5.30pm siting in the local pub, sandwiched between the Head of Marketing and the young lad from the mail room on his work-experience placement. We like to ensure our overseas colleagues get to know the real us – even if the real us takes four pints of beer to emerge.
Of course, there is also the weather to contend with. I wouldn’t say we are obsessed but we certainly do talk about it a lot. The unpredictable nature of our weather will ensure that most conversations will start with the current climate, it is our way of warming up to small talk – something that we probably aren’t as comfortable with as other nations. For any business traveller coming to London with the hope of packing light can and will be caught out with their choice of clothing. Something assistants should bear in mind when putting together their boss’s itineraries.
For those business travellers bringing their partner along for the ride, there are plenty of activities to keep said partner occupied. The reputation for shopping in London is accurate and I have seen many Executives look aghast as their partner arrives back at the office following an afternoon in Harrods.
I always recommend visitors to London attempt our famous underground transport system otherwise known as the tube. Yes, it is hot down there and often packed to the brim but it can be a lot quicker and cheaper than getting a taxi across central London in rush hour (it is always rush hour in central London). Once on the tube there are a few rules that visitors must following – do not make eye contact with anyone, do not in any circumstances speak to anyone and finally do not expect to have any personal space. Rules are there for a reason, nobody knows what this reason is, but everyone follows them accordingly.
So yes, as you can see there are lots of unique aspects that business travellers will experience on arrival into London. Here are my top ten tips for assistants organising a business trip to London.