On September 26 I headed “across the Pond” to London to attend an online industry conference related to marketing in the United Kingdom. It was a great experience and I gained more than just content and contacts from the conference.
The main reason for attending this conference was to promote our recently launched Shopping-Bargains UK site. I wanted to physically meet some of the people and visit some of the companies we were actually working with online. I also wanted to experience British culture for myself.
And that is why I spent 4 days in London. I rode the Tube everyday (and was careful to “mind the gap”), shopped at Harrod’s, ate at local restaurants, visited many historic sites and memorials, and tried not “look like a tourist.” On the latter, I must have succeeded since I was actually stopped several times by people asking for directions or local information.
So what did I learn? I learned that there is an incredible amount of history behind everything. Some buildings like Westminster Abbey are 800 years old and embody centuries of tradition that have shaped the British people. I learned that London is filled with people from many parts of the world, especially from Eastern Europe and areas that were once part of the British Empire. I also learned that things tend to cost much more than most Americans are accustomed to paying for similar items.
That thought brings me to the Internet. With over 60 million people and high broadband Internet usage rates in the UK, there are now many opportunities for UK shoppers to save money shopping online. The high cost of personal transportation due to traffic congestion surcharges, parking fees and fuel costs makes ordering goods online an attractive alternative. Such an option become especially attractive when coupled with a free delivery promotion.
The verdict on my trip to London? I enjoyed the experience very much and am thankful to have been able to go. While far from an expert, I now have a better understanding of life in the capital city of the United Kingdom. I look forward to traveling back and to doing more Internet work there in the future. I hope my efforts in the UK will help people save loads of money next time they shop online.
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