Taking a business trip to London can be an unforgettable experience, as the city is known as one of the financial centres of the world and is, therefore, widely considered to be a business Mecca. If you’re getting ready to experience the world of business in London for the first time, you might be in for a bit of an adjustment if you’re already accustomed to attending conferences and events in other countries.
While business will be business, for the most part, there are some tips and strategies you can employ to prevent mishaps and have a great time. As a businessperson, you understand that your stay won’t revolve around having fun, but you also don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get the most out of your visit. From that perspective, here are eight ways you can make your business trip to London more enjoyable and productive:
1. Choose the right hotel
For the sake of getting the most work done, it will probably be best for you to avoid extensive gallivanting during the period leading up to the event or meeting that you’ll be attending. Booking the right hotel room will ensure that you have an ideal environment for reviewing any important reports or presentations. Selecting an ideal business hotel in London can be difficult because there are so many options to choose from. Fortunately, a platform like 7Boutique hotels can help with this by providing a convenient interface where you can easily find and compare the top hospitality accommodations in London. 7Boutique simplifies the hotel selection process by centralising the comparison and providing access to detailed imagery and reviews that help you make a more informed decision.
If you want to try other means of accommodation, then check out Cozycozy vacation rentals. On this site, you can fully comprehend lodges from Airbnb, apartments, and even cabins to hotels.
2. Bring the right gear & equipment
If you plan on being productive during your trip, then you’ll need to bring the necessary tools to allow for some sort of mobile office setup. Shop for highly portable and travel-friendly gear and equipment that will let you bring your work with you anywhere you go. There are numerous lists online that cover everything you need to become a productive digital nomad, so be sure to do your research in that area.
3. Be ready to drink, responsibly
In case you’re completely new to the London experience, be aware that the British businesspeople enjoy drinking in a social and even corporate context. You might even be invited to a pub or bar by an important business partner or client, so be prepared to hold your own and exercise moderation to avoid making a fool of yourself. At the same time, you don’t want to completely decline such offers, as they can often be gateways to establishing lucrative contacts. Be sure to prepare a hangover cure if you foresee the need to work on the morning after a night out.
4. Make it an extended stay
There’s only so much you can do in the course of a few days, and if you’re operating on a very strict schedule then you probably won’t have the time to see everything. Consider extending your stay to 7-14 days to give yourself the kind of leeway that will be needed to get the most out of your visit without stressing about doing it all before the departure date. After all, if this might be one of only a few times that you have the opportunity to visit London, so you might as well see and do as much as possible while you’re there.
5. Book a guided city tour
Speaking of seeing and doing everything, the fastest and most efficient way to do that is to book a guided city tour. There are many of these to choose from, each specialising in a different historical theme or region – some tours cover the main attractions while others will give you a more detailed walk-through of specific neighbourhoods. You can begin your research in this area by checking out a list of the top London tours.
6. Dive into the culture
From food trends to football and everything in between, there’s a lot to learn about British customs and traditions if you’re an outsider. Spend some time getting to know some of the locals and living the London lifestyle. Of course, really immersing yourself in the experience will be easier if you heed tip #4 and book an extended stay. Check out some of the top restaurants, clubs, museums, and parks to really get a feel for what the city is all about. Make some local friends and spend some time watching the UK’s most popular TV shows to become entrenched in the culture.
7. Travel by train
Getting around London in a hire car, taxi, bus, or any other form of surface travel can be challenging at times due to frequent traffic congestion in some areas. Travelling by train puts you underground where there’s no traffic to disrupt your trip. Plus, you can focus on your brainstorming or doing mobile work while you’re on the train without having to worry about driving. Luckily, there are usually London Underground stops within 10 minutes walking distance from practically any destination in the city.
8. Create a detailed itinerary
Following a pre-defined itinerary might not seem like it will be as fun as taking the spontaneous approach, but it will definitely save you the hassle of encountering time-wasting predicaments. Knowing exactly where you’re going to be and when you need to be there before your trip even starts will also ensure that you don’t accidentally wind up late for a business meeting, while also ensuring that you get to see everything before leaving. If you’ve never created an itinerary before, try using an itinerary-building or travel-scheduling apps to simplify the process.
Don’t let the big city intimidate you
If you’re not used to the kind of hustle and bustle that happens in a densely populated city like London, you might be in for a bit of social anxiety and culture shock. One way to get over that faster is to watch tourism videos and local entertainment such as British comedy shows before your arrival. Also, by starting your trip with a guided tour you can get the initial inertia out of the way quickly.