I had a special event to attend in London this morning with my ClickZ hat on. It was on behalf of corporate (Incisive Media, parent company of ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies).
It was a very high-powered business leaders meeting, held under the Chatham House rule. This means, effectively, it was private and confidential. All were able to speak freely and use the information received, but not to reveal the source (s).
So, I found myself face-to-face with the CEOs of some of the biggest financial services companies in Europe (in the world, in fact) who had gathered around the table to discuss (amongst other things) the challenges faced online (particularly in search marketing) for financial services, in the future.
It was one of the most fascinating meetings relating to the adoption of new technologies and marketing methods I’ve attended, in years. However, as it was private and confidential, I can’t say much about it. But one thing is for sure: that’s a sector where major change is coming.
I have to say, I’m a little unfair on dear old London sometimes. I think because I’m there so much, I do take it for granted and frequently find myself only seeing the negative side of this huge city. In fact, I’m the same way with New York.
Yet, today I have a more positive outlook. I’ve stayed at some wonderful hotels around the world. But I don’t remember the last time I stayed at hotel where your own private Butler was part of the service! The meeting was held at the Lanesborough Hotel. More frequently you’re likely to see Madonna or some Hollywood movie star wandering around the building. In fact, as it’s owned by Starwood, you may even find the world famous Joe Mornin there. But today, it was…Me!
I like good service, but I’m not much a guy for Butling, so I gave mine the night (and the day) off.
The hotel is magnificent inside and looks over London’s famous Hyde Park. So even though I pay no attention whatsoever about my location when I’m there, I though at lunch time, I’d take a walk in the park. Adventurous for someone who usually only gets to walk up and down airplane aisles.
The weather was quite nice today, with a bit of sunshine. So I took the route adjacent to Park Lane and started off at Hyde Park Corner entrance.
I strolled past the fountain.
It reminded me of Central park in Manhattan a little. I’ve ignored that badly too. But now, I make a point of having lunch with my great friend (and boss) Rebecca Lieb and then taking a stroll through the park afterwards. Anyway, I ended up at Marble Arch.
I took a look back at my route and remembered something.
The last time I walked through this park, I fell asleep on a bench!