Cultural and ethical background considerations of the conference participants
London has become multicultural because of the entry of migrants from Asia and other parts of the world. The continuing growth of migration has occurred since early 2000, and this has contributed to the complexity of the London environment, but which has not negatively affected the business environment; rather this could be seen as a contributing factor to the growth of the London economy. London is a hub, which means many international organisations are headquartered in, have made their presence at and fitted their corporate agenda to the city.
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It is not surprising that when this mini-conference was announced in some major cities, many firms responded to our call, albeit we could not give a positive response to everyone considering that this is only a mini-conference. To consider every request would be inappropriate because of the limited resources that we could provide.
Participants to this mini-conference consist of CEOs and managers of small-scale enterprises who come from many parts in Asia, Europe, North America and other parts of the world. There are a number of owners of larger firms coming from the Middle East, but as said earlier, we have to limit our participants. Since the conferees are of multi-ethnic origin, we have to consider their cultural background and considerations. The different cultures that we have to consider in the conference are Asian, American, European, Canadian, and so forth.
With regards to the European culture, we don’t have a problem with that as some team members are of European origin. The same with the Canadian and American cultures, we are well aware of the way they deal with the business environment. International organisations are focused on national culture and organisational culture. National culture is taken from early socialisation, whereas the corporate or organisational culture is derived from specific organisational practices. National culture can influence organisational culture when this is practised by the founder (Hofstede, cited in Cray & Mallory 1998, p. 9). A manager who employs a work team coming from different countries must be able to build a culture that is, to some extent, common to all participants.
This mini-conference also has to deal with increasing internationalisation, which has resulted in a decline in barriers to international trade and the rise of globally cohesive businesses. This means that interactions with suppliers, customers, and government agencies often go against cultural boundaries.
The processes and methods of international business negotiations are quite complicated. Tung (cited in Cray & Mallory 1998, p. 10) provided five dimensions in which negotiations can be determined: ‘contextual environment, negotiation context, negotiation characteristics, strategy and negotiation outcomes’. In examining these dimensions, the researcher has to consider several variables which can vary in different cultures. Different issues have to be dealt with from culture to culture. The process of agreements, how these agreements are reached and the nature of such agreements after the negotiation is seen differently in different societies.
An example of this is the interaction between Canadian and Chinese managers. The Canadians had an objective to assist the Chinese institution in setting up a management programme. Both sides did not have much experience in Sino-Canadian negotiations. After two days of the usual introductions, tours and parties, the two sides started the negotiations and the terms of the deal. The Chinese presented a list of their requirements, and the two sides agreed on most of the terms of the agreement. When the Chinese presented the list the next day, it was already different from what has been agreed apart. The Canadians perceived that what had been talked about during the first day was already final; contrary to the Chinese practice that the first agreement was only a set of initial positions from which the real negotiation might start (Cray & Mallory 1998, p. 11). This is a Chinese culture that the Canadians were not aware of, and if they had known before the negotiations, there would not have been a misunderstanding.
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London’s ethical, cultural, political and social contexts
The growth of immigration in Europe since 2001 is number one in the mind of the British electorate and places a challenge to the future of Britain politics. The European Union has a big role in the UK’s economy since half of the country’s exports, and imports go to and from the EU (Dhingra, Ottaviano & Sampson 2015).
Politically, the EU also influences the UK. In 2009, the British National Party was born, and this was new to the concept that Britain was not included in European politics. There is also the emergence of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which won the 2014 European elections and has redefined the British political environment to some extent (Kaufman 2014, p. 248). The question, whether to exit from the European Union (“Brexit”), was decided by the British people in a referendum. As of this moment, the British electorate voted to leave from the European Union when the “Leave” vote won against the “Remain” vote with a very narrow margin (Kirk 2016). How the economy and political contexts of the UK, London particularly, will be affected by “Brexit” is totally out of subject matter for this paper. What we can say is that the British people have decided their fate for themselves and we cannot alter that decision.
Work-related values with regards “work attitudes, participation and commitment” in Britain have been investigated. Western societies, including the British, have a Protestant work ethic (PWE). Calvinism has something to do with the development of capitalism, and this is particularly pronounced in the capitalist spirit (Weber, cited in Arslan 2000).
Weber believed that the spirit of capitalism motivates worker performance through the beliefs espoused in the Protestant religion but not in the Catholic or Islam religions. PWE encourages beliefs and attitudes, such as: working hard as a religious obligation; enjoying leisure time as a negative behaviour; thriftiness and industriousness; promptness and time-keeping; value for work; commitment and being true to one’s work; they need for success; considering career success as God’s blessing; and, taking poverty as a form of punishment and wealth as God’s favour (Arslan 2000, p. 14). In management, PWE aids in organisational structure and helps shape culture and effectiveness. Some features of organisational culture can be correlated with PWE, such as in the form of individual creativity, ability to manage risk, identity, and reward as a motivation (Robins, cited in Arslan 2000).
London: The prosperous city
London generally refers to Greater London, which is comprised of 32 boroughs and the historic City of London. On matters of governance, the boroughs are governed by local councils while the entire Greater London is run by a mayor and the London Assembly which is elected by the people. Greater London is surrounded by the London Orbital, which is also called M25 (Davidson 2010, p. 5).
In the financing world, London is the leader in Europe but second only to New York in terms of hedge funds and private equity markets (Davidson 2010, p. 6). The city’s position as the world’s number one financial centre is based on the fact that there are more international business transactions occurring in London than anywhere in the world. Moreover, since English law is predominant in providing professional and support services for businesses, international law firms have based their networks in London. Currently, three London-based law firms are on top of support services worldwide. Additionally, London’s law services include a friendly legal arbitration procedure and conflict resolution, adding reputation to being a hub for ‘international dispute resolution’ (Davidson 2010, p. xxix). Other markets that have long contributed to the London cluster include commercial banking, insurance and the international bond which have existed since more than five decades ago.
Another primary reason to make London an important destination is real estate investment. In 2014, commercial property investment for Central London alone reached a staggering £20 billion, and 73 per cent of that came from foreign investors. Examples of wealth assets bought by overseas buyers are the Gerkin, now owned by Safra which is a Brazilian-Lebanese family business holding office in New York, and the HSBC tower bought by a firm from Qatar (Slade, cited in BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015, p. 5).
There are many important reasons why tourists should invest in London (BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015, p. 6); some of these are:
- Confidence is high because London is right at the centre of the robust G7 economy. There might be political reasons to be wary about because of mayoral elections or referendums, but these are healthy political exercises, and London remains a safe city to be in business. This city has proven that it cannot be simply shaken by economic crises or economic downturns as it has shown resiliency in the past.
- Average lease terms are longer than in other countries, say, for example, Asia which has shorter lease terms. Firms find it easy to conduct business with investors occupying buildings for the long term, and most are there as a single tenant. London property owners take special considerations for the companies coming in as they are more concerned about the entire economy than of individual progress.
- London is as popular as ever with foreign investors whose investment accounted for 73 per cent of the city’s investment in 2014. The London market is highly liquid, making it a good investment opportunity.
- London has a diverse market which can group into submarkets, providing wider exposure to other investment attractions like banking, media, fashion, and so forth. London is so dynamic that it can evolve into other submarkets. Businesses which have improved in London include King’s Cross, Stratford, Silicon Roundabout, and many others (BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015, p. 6).
- Major infrastructures have improved business connectivity and are, in fact, investment opportunities. The transport sector connects central London to many areas, including the City and West End and has made the city a good place to roam around.
- The TMT sector (short for technology, media and telecommunications), now commonly known as Media-Tech, is fast-growing were 64 per cent of companies belonging to this sector have increased employment. In 2015, office rentals tremendously increased, making it favourable for landlords (BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015, p. 7).
- London’s debt record has improved, providing lower interest rates and bank margins. There’s a good reason for borrowers to make their move and secure financing terms. Foreign and local financial institutions are offering lower debt terms for borrowers.
- Tourists should take advantage of the favourable exchange rates that have caused a strong growth in the retail property market. Consumer spending is high, and more international retailers are coming in. Studies have shown that more tourists are visiting London than any other city in the world. In 2014, a record 18.9 million tourists visited London and spent about £12.8 billion (Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, cited in BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015).
International luxury brands are also making their presence in Central London, particularly at Regent Street, where they attract high stakes, customers, from the UK and around the world. Sale of residential property is stronger in London than in other parts in the UK, where both the £1m+ and the sub £1m categories are stronger than ever (BNP Paribas Real Estate 2015, p. 8).
London has a lot to offer for tourists. The British Museum is the attraction you should not miss because it boasts of 8 million collections of art and artefacts that trace back more than two million years ago, from prehistoric times up to the present (The London Pass: The British Museum, n.d., para. 1).
You can witness other rare sights by riding on the Thames River Cruise and enjoy the beautiful and popular landmarks like the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, or the Cutty Sark. If you are a nature and animal lover, see for yourself exotic animals enjoying their natural habitat at the London Zoo.
Fresh from the experiences of the London Olympic, the London organizers left the ArcelorMittal Orbit where one could see the Olympic scenes from atop and for us to remember those exciting Olympic events. From the South Bank, tourists can also enjoy the wondrous Shakespeare’s Globe, a reconstruction of the 16th-century playhouse where Shakespeare staged many of his plays (The London Pass: Shakespeare Globe, n.d., para. 1)
The historic Tower of London, an old landmark that has assumed many roles in the past, allows the tourist to admire its past amid the intrigues and secrets of its existence. Other UNESCO world heritage sites that one should not fail to take a glimpse and know their history include the Westminster Abbey, the Windsor Castle and the Hampton Court Palace (The London Pass: London attractions, n.d.)
The Churchill Wartime Museum stimulates one’s historical interest and imagination into what transpired during Winston Churchill’s communications and interactions with his war cabinet inside his bunker. The museum also depicts Churchill’s private and political life, with films and photographs showing ‘the greatest Briton’ that saved London from total annihilation (The London Pass: London attractions, n.d., para. 2).
The Royal Air Force Museum is a wondrous sight having the finest exhibitions about British military aircraft and aviation that played an important role during past wars and conflicts. Visitors can engage with hands-on experience and simulator rides, just like feeling the real actions during the war. Visitors can also listen to stories of the Royal Air Force and feel excited about how it had grown from a mere force of 1,500 pilots to more than 205,000 defending the British homeland (The London pass: the Royal Air Force, n.d.)
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Another major attraction is the house of John Keats, the Romantic poet who wrote inspiring poems about love and life. Keats’s house has been transformed into a museum and literary centre where poetry performances are happening for the young and aspiring poets and tourists. The scenery and the tranquil gardens can inspire enthusiasts to become poets; small audiences listen to poetry readings during the day (The London pass: Keats house, n.d.)
Individuals who are not UK citizens are required to apply for a visa to be able to enter the UK. But there are exemptions to the visa requirement, which are specified by the UK government. A UK visitor may need the following documents: a letter from the employer providing details of the leave of absence of the applicant and the inclusive period of absence; if the applicant is a student, a letter from the school or university granting the request of the student to leave for a specific period, and the course the student is taking; and other travel plans of the applicant. The UK also needs a visa for the businessman, or the applicant may apply for multiple entries. Visa applications can be made either by post or in person, and there are other requirements which be made online (Learn4good: UK visa application, 2016).
Financial costs (transport, hotels, etc.)
The cost of living for a temporary visitor or investor might be much more than in other places, but there are affordable ones. For regular business people, there are apartments worth $140 per night and can go as high as $1,460 depending on the facilities offered. There are also free accommodations, but these are only good for foreign students. Some travel agencies offer vacations for as low as $1,000 for one week with free entertainment, and that includes a plane ticket, but that also depends on the place of origin. That is quite stunning since London is one of the most expensive cities to visit (Hill 2014, para. 1).
The visitor oyster card is an easy plan for going to different places using public transport in London. This a smartcard that allows for journeys using the bus, London Overground and Rail services in the city. A visitor oyster card can be purchased before arriving in London, and you need not queue at bus stations. An oyster card can only be charged for only £6.50 maximum while a Day Travelcard costs £12.10 (Transport for London: oyster card, n.d., paras. 1-2). Taxis are quite expensive; it can run up to $41.47 for just two miles (Hill 2014, para. 2).
Health, safety, equality and diversity considerations (religious, dietary, access, disability)
The National Health Service (NHS) promotes health, equality and diversity across England and the whole of the UK. NHS activities are aimed for best practice and encourage helpful moves that can create an unbiased and more inclusive health program for UK citizens (Hill 2012, para. 3). Some of these events include organ donation from minority ethnic groups, or raising awareness of transgender issues(Hunt 2007).
Lack of qualified nurses for the NHS has been filled by recruiting overseas nurses from lower-middle-income nations such as the Philippines, Sub-Saharan Africa, or India (Buchan & Calman, cited in Hunt 2007, p. 2253). The problem arises over the management of racial and cultural diversity in the nursing profession, and reports have stated that there has been inadequate racial and cultural employee diversity management. This means there are constant discriminatory practices committed against overseas trained nurses (OTNs).
In a study by Hunt (2007) on the conditions of OTNs in the UK, the researchers recommended the need for clear career development, promotions and grievances systems, and proper diversity management for the migrant workforce. The study involved researchers and advisors for the ‘Researching Equal Opportunities for Internationally Recruited Nurses and Other Health Professionals,’ which delved on the subject of recruiting nurses and health workers of different racial and cultural backgrounds (Hunt 2007, p. 2252). The study defined diversity as distinguishing and giving value to differences that may include ‘age, ability, culture and ethnicity, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation’ (Department of Health, cited in Hunt 2007, p. 2253).
Minority groups have contributed to population growth, and the most prevalent is the Muslim populations in Britain (Peach; Peach & Glebe; Vertovec & Peach, all cited in Peach 2006, p. 353). Islam has been attributed to the influx of ethnic groups. The London events (underground bombings) were portrayed by media as if the British Muslim communities came from one ethnic group. There are different ethnic groups in the UK although they come from a ‘high degree of social encapsulation’ (Ballard; Halliday; Shaw; Baumann; Geaves, all cited in Peach 2006, p. 354).
With respect to human rights and inclusion in the United Kingdom, the Department for International Development declared that eliminating world poverty cannot be achieved without addressing the rights and needs of people with disabilities (DFID, cited in Bjorgan 2012, p. 14). Although there are relationships between disability and gender development, it can be noted here that the human rights discourse surrounding the intersection or disabled women did not occur until roughly 2006 (Bjorgan 2012).
Literature regarding women with disabilities demonstrates diversity, crosses disciplines and policies, and is often interdisciplinary by the nature of intersecting both gender and disability. Beginning in 1981, an influential book titled ‘Images of Ourselves,’ a British anthology was written by Jo Campling, based on 23 women with disabilities describing their lived experiences of being both female and disabled. This new genre of writing connected public discourse with the private lives and stories of British women with disabilities (Bjorgan 2012, p. 15).
Overview of an advertising/digital marketing campaign
Most of the human and organisational activities are now influenced by technology and the internet. The most affected is advertising. The internet can relay messages and advertising campaigns in just seconds and target a wider audience. Digital media is heavily influencing the marketing strategies of firms. A study of marketing using digital media accounted for approximately $25 billion in 2006, and this would have increased tremendously to $60 billion by 2011 (Lane, cited in Truong & Simmons 2010, p. 239).
Online or internet advertising refers to ‘any form of commercial content available on the internet, delivered by any channel, in any form, designed to inform customers about a product or service at any degree of depth’ (Harker, cited in Truong & Simmons 2010, p. 240). Internet advertising is comprised of display advertising (e.g. banners, pop-ups, etc.), search engine optimisation (SEO) (e.g. Google Adwords), and affiliate ads, where a marketer’s URL is advertised on a host’s website (Jensen, cited in Truong & Simmons 2010, p. 240).
Firms and organisations are now focusing on digital marketing to promote their products or services, at the same time, cut costs on advertising as they take advantage of the internet’s capability to provide immediate success. Traditional advertising such as TV and print media are giving way to the new way of reaching out to customers in the soonest possible.
Digital advertising can also extend to mobile advertising because it is speedier and effective given that majority of Britons, particularly youth have mobile phones or iPhones, which can receive instant messages. Mobile advertising is synonymous with mobile marketing but which has received little attention from researchers. Mobile advertising is a form of advertising that communicates to the consumer via a handset’ (Richard & Meuli 2013, p. 699).
Motivating the team
How can we motivate the team to facilitate a successful mini-conference for a group of companies visiting London and looking to invest in the capital? Increasing growth of visitors is coming to London as international organisations perceive the favourable economic and business environment conducive to small-scale enterprises and even large international organisations.
The team needs work motivation and to be creative in facilitating the mini-conference. A number of studies indicated that creative behaviour requires a substantial investment of time and energy in order to be effective. The team members should be more focused on the issues being talked about in the conference and motivated to work harder to find ideal solutions to problems that may come about (Kim 2010, p. 20).
Work motivation is a broad concept about existing situations or circumstances that can arouse and direct a great amount of effort for the person’s task or job (Katzell & Thompson, cited in Kim 2010, p. 20). Motivation can incite creativity in the context of an existing problem by providing more attention to finding new and ideal solutions. Motivation has become the centre of creativity research to provide understanding on individual differences of creative behaviour (Abile; Shalley; Woodman & Schoenfeldt, all cited in Kim 2010, p. 20). Human motivation can be classified into intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic emerges when people look for enjoyment, attention, the consummation of curiosity, creativity, or personal challenge in the workplace (Amabile, cited in Kim 2010, p. 20).
Extrinsic motivation emerges when team members feel driven by outside forces, for example, tangible rewards and expert evaluation. This can be opposite creative behaviour. The cognitive evaluation theory states that the presence of relevant extrinsic restrictions on performance changes a person’s apparent locus of causality from the internal to the external factor; therefore doing a task is seen mainly as a means of accomplishing an extrinsic goal (Kim 2010, p. 21).
Leadership style to be used
A leadership style that can be used in the conduct of the mini-conference is transformational leadership. This has been the focus of much research. Transformational leadership can be compared with transactional leadership because of the focus on the exchange between the leaders and the followers (Bass, cited in Rogers 2007, p. 16). A transactional leader works with the members of the team and uses rewards as a typical method of motivation while the transformational leader engages the followers. In a study using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Bass and Avolio (cited in Rogers 2007, p. 16) successfully separated seven leadership factors from transformational and transactional leadership and a Laissez-Faire factor. Under transformational leadership, there are Idealized Influence, Charisma, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, and Individual Consideration. They got hold of the transactional leadership features, such as Contingent Reward, constructive transactions; Management-by-Exception, Active; and Management-by-Exception, passive. Taken from the context of the MLQ, a leader who demonstrates ‘Idealized Influence’ possesses the ‘great role model,’ because followers see him or her as being what they aspire to be and the followers strongly identify with the leader (Rogers 2007, p. 16). This means the leader is a very charismatic individual (Bass, cited in Rogers, 2007).
The Inspirational Motivation factor refers to the leader who is articulate, farsighted, positive, keen, and full of encouragement. The leader is very effective that the goals of the project become a shared vision for all members of the team, and they become totally committed to the team and the vision (Bass, cited in Rogers 2007, p. 17). The Intellectual Stimulation factor is perceived as the leader’s ability to get the followers to be innovative and artistic. The leader inspires the followers to freely express themselves regarding reasons and ideas. The Individualized Consideration factor is seen through the level of support the leader provides. The followers see the leader as someone who knows how to listen to their gripes, care for their personal problems, assists in their undertakings and advise them about their problems (Bass, cited in Rogers 2007, p. 17).
Digital Plan for the Mini-Conference
Participants for the mini-conference are businessmen and investors who come from the different parts of the world. They are here to study and learn about London and, if possible, to invest in London if they get to know the viability of the city as a business destination.
Digital Marketing Plan Strategy
The world has heard many things about London, a city that existed since the beginning of time. Business people and anyone who wants to take a bite of this city are here to see and experience for themselves the truth of what they have heard. It is our opportunity to showcase the many assets and potential of London in this mini-conference. Their presence is a sign they believe the things they heard of London.
In the planning stage, the team should review and focus on the marketplace and formulate the objectives. This is a great opportunity because the marketplace is now laid open and gathered before us; meaning the sector comes to us and it will be a great mistake if we are not able to present a good digital advertising campaign. The sector comprises of investors from around the world who are willing to invest their money into London because they have heard much about the city.
What are our digital marketing capabilities? We must provide a state-of-the-art website. A fast and reliable internet connection is available, and we can advertise London over the internet and during the mini-conference. The mini-conference will showcase everything that is London and how business and organisations have stuck in London for years now.
The key performance indicators (KPIs) are another essential subject that should be given focus. KPIs include the conference factors and the efficiencies of the speakers, London features and what it could offer to the conference participants, and financial and organisational benefits that the conferees could attain as conference outcomes. The benchmark competitors are similar groups offering mini-conferences showcasing London’s potential and wealth.
The action plan focuses on implementing and managing digital marketing communications. The website is of primary concern in which the team members will contribute their insight and SEO.
The second phase in the plan is to reach out to the customer segment, i.e. increase audience online. Important factors to consider are search engines, social networks and blogging.
Discussion and reflection about the plan
This report should include how you have amended your plan to include group feedback. Most team members were excited about the second phase of the marketing strategy: “Reach” and increase the audience online (Smart insights: digital marketing 2015, p. 2). It was clear from the start of the website installation that everyone wanted to participate in SEO, blogging, social networking, and so forth. The team members have been involved in social media and online communications. Naturally, this is their thing. At first, they were feeling excluded as the first stages of the pan were not yet clear to their minds. Later, they breathed a sigh of relief upon learning that the activities were mostly conducted online; and we had to restructure or redefine most of the processes that would include online communication. The members were excited about anything that involved online.
During the presentation, the investors will have access to general and specific information about London, including the many attractions and financial benefits, as mentioned in the earlier paragraphs. This information will be provided by speakers who are members of the team and have extensively studied the nature and scope of this mini-conference.
This mini-conference is now a whole day event. It will only take about 4-5 hours presentation of the facets and important information about London which the investors need so that they can decide whether to invest in London or not. The time length is important since we do not have first-hand information whether they will stay long in the city; we only had to assume that they chose this mini-conference because they could afford a short stay in the city.
First, I will deliver the welcome remark and will give them a brief overview of the mini-conference and a few notes about the wonderful city that is London. ‘London is here to give you comfort while you scan the business landscape,’ I would say. Then the rest of the important features of the conference will be delivered by my most-trusted team. The city’s special attractions, the tourist destinations and the facts in which London became famous will be given emphasis along with a brief but full-of-colourful-details video presentation. This is one of the highlights that will create a lasting impression on the conferees. We carefully studied this video presentation and hired a professional videographer to apply creative features to make it very interesting to watch.
Another very important presentation is the financial or business aspect of the conference, the main reason the investors came here for.
In this part of the presentation, the significant candid question that needs immediate response is: ‘Why should you trust London with your money?’
First and foremost, confidence is high in London. There might be some political noises, but policymakers and the people of London are careful not to allow these ‘noises’ to intervene in the business environment. The people know what they have accomplished, and the political and social climate will remain supportive of the business environment. The city and the UK, in general, for what it had chosen to be the people’s fate in the years ahead. Britons will not be shaken by any negative forces that might intervene in their path to progress. All other policies and business factors and benefits are readily available for foreign and local investors in London.
All investor benefits provided in the introductory part will be briefly emphasised in this part of the presentation such as average lease terms for buildings are longer than in other countries; foreign investment is booming in the city, and the market is highly liquid; London’s diverse but dynamic market that can provide submarkets; availability of a strong business infrastructure with a well-managed transport system; improvement of London’s debt record; the rise of the Media Tech that represents technology, media and telecommunications; the exchange rates that caused a strong growth in the retail property market; and luxury brands proliferating in Central London.
The team members and the conference participants will have a major part in the conference evaluation. First, a short questionnaire method will be provided with the participants regarding their expectations of the conference. This will give them a chance to express their views, albeit in a very brief piece of comment.
A sample questionnaire to be given to attendees (what they liked/didn’t like/think could be better)
- Did the conference give you information important to your business?
- Are you now more informed than before you attended this conference?
- Are you now convinced to invest in London, or you need more information?
- What important part of the presentation impressed or informed you?
- What is lacking in the presentation about London?
- What needs improvement?
There were about sixteen conferees who came from different parts of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. All of them were investors looking for opportunities in London. They expressed in the questionnaire their great expectations about London and were not disappointed with the presentation given by our team. They indicated that their expectations were given in the presentation. Most of the participants expressed their happiness about London despite the recent political events, such as the “Leave” victory in the last referendum in which the UK voted to exit from the European Union. They know the spirit of the British people – that they always express what they think is right and they did this by voting for “Leave”. The vote would bring more prosperity to the British people and the entire United Kingdom, the participants said.
Majority of the participants also revealed that they had already been in London before, but they still wanted to ‘investigate’ more before they could decide to invest. Some of the participants were managers of companies, and they were sent here in London to find out more facts and information that could be of help in their new business venture in London. Five participants said they had decided to invest, but others reserved their decision after their visit and when they would have arrived in their country of origin and consulted with their respective firms.
The presentation was helpful in the investors’ quest for more information about London. As a whole, it was successful in the sense that it delivered the necessary data and information for the investors, and they went out more informed and contented. But there were some who expressed what was lacking in the conference. A government representative could have explained that certain policies could be of help to investors. This caught the team off-handed as we did not expect any government participation, but it will be considered in future conferences. During our brainstorming session after the conference, this was one of the main issues – a government representative to provide a brief talk on issues regarding foreign investment in London.
The conference for foreign investors is an exciting challenge for our team since the preparations made us all very busy, individually and collectively. Each of us participated wholeheartedly, doing our individual work at home and at the university. The digital marketing plan was one of the largest challenges, and also very exciting to do. The team members were doing the website installation and the interaction between the conference participants and the team. We provided search words and SEO to make the conference known to those interested. There was a bond formed between the participants and the team members even before the participants’ arrival. This is because of the constant interaction and chat and emails provided by the website through the internet. This is one experience that we will not forget for the rest of our lives as students, as team members and as future workers with our own goals and careers. Most of all, we learned to value more London, a multi-cultural city that is home to millions who come from varied ethnic backgrounds. London is like New York, a progressive city that has also become multi-cultural. But London will never be like any other city because it is that unique – the attractions, the businesses, the environment, the landscape, and of course the people. They are all very distinct from any city in the world.
After this event, I dreamt about it – that I will live here forever and that this is the city that will last until eternity. All of us have fallen in love with London. It is no surprise that the participants will come, longing for the place and make it their headquarters.
There was one thing we were worried about – the conference was just a short one that could accommodate only a small number of attendees. We were limited by our resources, finances and manpower, but the aim and objectives of the mini-conference were met. How we wished we could extend it to be much larger and more comprehensive. Nevertheless, our goal and mission have been achieved.
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