London is one of the most visited cities in the world and also a major business hub in Europe which attracts every year thousands of business travellers. If you have to take a business trip to London, here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your visit.
1. Try to make a reservation on a direct flight
Before buying your ticket search for a direct flight or, at least, find a flight with minimum interconnections. This will help you save precious time of waiting in the airports, time that can be spent in a more pleasant way at the destination.
2. Find suitable business accommodation
The heart of London business lies in Central London, in the so-called City. As Greater London is actually great it’s a good idea to find business accommodation close to the City. This will not only keep you close to London’s business hub but you’ll also be able to take advantage of the free hours and visit some of the famous sights of the city, such as the Westminster palace, London’s Eye or just have a relaxing walk along Thames’ banks. The best business accommodation options are the serviced apartments, but there are also many hotels where you can find good deals.
3. Get to London in advance
It’s advisable to reach the city at least 48 hours before the business meeting in order to familiarize a bit with the transportation system and also find the meeting point to avoid being late for the deal. The public transportation is great but in the case of necessity, a taxi service is always a good solution.
4. Pay attention to punctuality
This is really important for Londoners, so try to be there on time. Keep in mind that generally the business hours are from 9 AM to about 6 PM.
5. Pay attention to formality
Londoners also care a lot about formality. If you meet your business partners for the first time it’s not a good idea to address them using the first name. Use the last name and let them be the ones who break the formality barrier.
6. Appropriate clothing
A suit is an ideal option for a business meeting in London. This is the standard dressing code for both business women and men. If instead you’re meeting your business partners for dinner at a fancy restaurant, check out the dressing code before going.
7. Don’t exaggerate with the gestures
A handshake is enough for a greeting. Keep gestures at minimum during your business meeting with the London partners. Keep in mind that British people prefer more the facial expressions and the composed gestures.
8. Don’t smoke during business meetings
Many Londoners are against smoking and don’t like very much the company of smoking persons. If you’re a smoker it would be wiser to wait until the meeting ends to light up a cigarette.
These are some of the basic tips to consider when planning a business trip to London if you want your trip to be a successful one. To get the feel of home away from home, choose to stay in serviced apartments in london that cost almost 30% less than that of a hotel stay.