Ask the Experts: Preparing for the 2012 Games Part II

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Related tags: Olympic games, Summer olympic games

10 million tickets will be sold for the Olympics and Paralympics
10 million tickets will be sold for the Olympics and Paralympics
In the second part of this series on how the hospitality sector can prepare for the 2012 Games, Vince Fihosy, Director of London 2012 City Operations, tells BigHospitality readers about transport changes, engaging staff and preparing for special events.

Transport changes

There are already detailed maps, guidance and tools for businesses​, highlighting the day-to-day impact of the Games on London’s road and transport system​.

Review the implications for your business, staff, clients, suppliers, goods in and out.

Be under no illusion, the transport operations will affect every part of the capital – it will be “business as unusual” over the Games period.

Events and licences

Are you looking to host events attracting lots of people? Will you need a late operating licence?

Share plans for your event with your local Borough ​ by 31 March 2011 to give your event the best chance of going ahead – don’t miss the opportunity to take part in a unique year.

Register any cultural events with The Culture Diary​ by 31 March 2011 so you can avoid clashing with other cultural events happening on the same date.

Engage staff

Engage your staff early. Get their ideas and get them fully engaged and excited. They are your brand ambassadors and the more they know about your plans, the better they can sell and deliver your product.

In time, they will need guidance on taking annual leave and travelling to work (e.g. if you’re extending opening times).

Enthused and welcoming staff are fundamental to the city’s ‘welcome’ to visitors. We can provide information to enable your staff to be well informed about the Games, attractions and cultural activity near to your venue. For further details contact Dharmina Shah (qunezvan.funu@ybaqba.tbi.hx​)

Competition schedule

The competition schedule for the Olympics​ is now available. Review it to understand the opportunities for your business.

While visitor numbers will peak during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, there is a huge amount of revenue to capture during the run-up, during and after the Games.

For example the Mayor will be providing a range of free-to-access events across London - including Live Sites​ with capacities of up to 50,000 showcasing local and international talent - the Cultural Olympiad​ and the Mayor’s Outdoor Arts Festival (details to follow). It’s not a sprit, it is a marathon.

Assistance with preparing

The Mayor recently announced the creation of a single promotion agency for London, which is charged with championing the city’s excellence with one confident voice to business, students and visitors. The new agency goes live on 1 April and more information will be available from this date.

The Mayor and the capital’s single promotion agency are keen to make sure industry is in a position to reap all the benefits it can from the Games, and will be keeping in touch with you through organisations such as British Hospitality Association​, The Institute of Hospitality​ and Society of Golden Keys​.

Smaller businesses should, in addition to these organisations, be looking to trade representatives and at local levels through councils or local business networking groups; by working together you can take advantage of partnership and co-ordinate a local push.

Also make sure you tap the wealth of helpful information at www.london2012.com​ and www.visitlondon.com

Grabbing the opportunity with both hands

There are over 10 million tickets available for the Olympics and Paralympics, attracting many more visitors than would typically come to the capital in the summer.

London will be centre stage to a global audience of billions and will provide a fantastic welcome to the world.

We all need play our part to ensure the entire experience of the capital is top notch.

By planning from now, you can maximise the opportunities and we can showcase the best that London has to offer and the city’s premier status as a top visitor destination.

The first part of this series is available here.

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