London is a main player on the world stage of business affairs, and business people in every kind of industry travel in and out of the city to close contracts, attend conferences and meet clients. If you are travelling to the city on business there are a few things you need to bear in mind if you want your trip to be as seamless and productive as possible. |
Try and book a direct flight rather than one with lots of connections. Flight connections can incur delays and leave you with less time to relax, rest and prepare for business meetings. If the meeting you are attending is urgent, you definitely want a direct flight.
London is a vast city, so take note that the main business district is in Central London. You should book a hotel in this area so that you are close to your meeting venues and conferences.
Give yourself plenty of time before your meeting. London is a huge city with a vast public transport system that takes time to master. You want to feel settled and relaxed before your meeting, so arrive a day or two ahead and you will feel organised and ready. For more information regarding transport, the tfl.gov.uk website has it all. Pre-book a business airport transfer and at least you won’t need to worry about public transport upon arrival.
Every city and every industry has different business hours and London is no exception. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the working hours of your business colleagues so you don’t miss a meeting.
Londoners are always very prompt. Lateness is not considered acceptable so if you are running behind, make sure you inform the appropriate people.
Levels of Formality
No first names should be used at the first meeting. Londoners like to maintain a level of formality, which should only be relaxed after a few meetings. Gifts are not normally given at conferences in London so check before offering presents to attendees. Wear a suit and maintain this level of formality if invited to a business dinner. Gentlemen should also carry a jacket and tie at dinner.
The British are quite reserved and expect only a handshake as a greeting. Flamboyant gestures are not the way British people conduct themselves.
The British are not very tolerant of smokers, so be discreet if you smoke and don’t light up before asking your peers if it is alright. Smoking is prohibited indoors, as well as on all platforms of public transport.
Take heed of these tips and you will possess the necessary cultural and practical preparation to power your business travels.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a business trip to London, you can pre-book one of our convenient shuttles direct to your accommodation.
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