Ready or not, here it comes. The London 2012 Olympic Games are upon us. So, what’s the best plan of action for catching up with colleagues and business partners during this time? It might just be to get a meeting room in Birmingham.
I don’t mean to be flippant. I think the Olympics will turn out to be a net positive for my beloved London. And the all-eyes-on-the-capital/welcome-to-the-centre-of-the-world feeling is kinda neat. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting to see a few events. And some job-related opportunities have come along for me, my girlfriend and a few close acquaintances that have made me be a little more pro-Olympics than I reckoned I might have been otherwise.
But I’ve just gotta say, London already appears to be overwhelmed by all the fuss – and the Opening Ceremony hasn’t even commenced. The streets and the Tube are heaving with even more people than usual for such a touristy time of year. British Airways is capitalising on the Games by suggesting its potential passengers “Don’t fly. Stay home,” while Transport for London is advising people to “avoid central London, the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and areas around venues during Games time.”
Maybe BA’s onto something that’s more than just a tongue in cheek way to support Team GB. And anybody who’s had the pleasure of trying to drive on London’s busy roads or use its clanging public transport system at the most normal of times should realise that if TfL is telling you to stay away that’s probably a very good idea indeed. If you need to be punctual, focused, flexible, responsive (insert whatever positive business attribute adjectives here), then London ain’t gonna cut it for the next month or so. Why bother?
From a business perspective, all the hubbub in London presents an excellent opportunity to check out another city or area of the country. You’ll probably save a heap of money too. Leave London to the Games Makers and get on with your job in relative peace.