The Olympic clock is ticking ever closer to the start of the Games and for many it provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy an array of sports at 37 sites across the country. But are you fit for business during the Olympics? Are your business continuity procedures tested and understood; do you have plans in place to cope with the additional pressures of the Games?
London, where we are based, will be transformed into a rolling carnival gyrating across the capital as millions of visitors converge, drawn by the colour and excitement of the Games, to experience the plethora of events being hosted. Meeting spots for the various "Nation Houses" will provide the backdrop for countries to showcase their national culture. Somerset House, is becoming Casa Brasil, with the promise of creating a cultural programme capturing Brazil's vibrant arts and cultural scene, showcasing the best of Brasil in the heart of London - Copacabana in the capital - bring it on!
As excitement for the Games builds to a crescendo, the impact of an additional 8.8 million additional visitors on businesses operating in and around London is slowly becoming a reality and potential nightmare scenario.
Many businesses have buried their heads, insisting its 'business as usual' and in true British fashion can't see what all the fuss is about! According to research by the British Council for Offices only 1 in 10 workers will be allowed to work from home during the Olympics and many businesses simply can't grasp the enormous impact the Games will have on our current working lives.
At Broadgate Mainland, Account Director, Emma Murphy, has firsthand experience of managing PR in the Olympics having looked after Visa's Sydney Olympic sponsorship campaign, and she has long been advocating that we are Olympic fit. Our disaster recovery plan has been adapted to manage not just the three weeks that the Olympics is officially on, but also the build-up and Paralympics that follow. The London Media Centre opens on 9th July 2012, and a week later athletes and dignitaries start to arrive. The disruption is not confined to three weeks.
While the extent of disruption and delay predicted at major transport locations is hard to believe - I certainly don't want to be waiting an hour just to get onto a platform at London Bridge - we have to be prepared just in case. My worry is that we have an excellent 'fit for business' Olympic plan, but then the internet and broadband infrastructure fails to cope with everyone working from home.
What is guaranteed is that we all intend to make the most of the experience the Olympics brings, having got our act together first to minimise the impact on our client's and business. If you haven't started planning take a peep at the London 2012 Games - Preparing your business paper, it is an eye opener!!