Four networking sins committed in the digital age

If you have ever wondered how to network effectively in today’s digital age where everyone knows of each other, either directly or indirectly, then this brief article will hopefully be of interest to you.

The trick to good networking is to work the floor, seek out the right people, avoid time wasters and avoid these four sins. If you do this and know your stuff, then the rest should fall into place.

Not attending events

I was recently at the Nottingham Digital Summit and found myself at a stand from where I could observe different approaches to networking by some of the Midland’s top marketing, tech and creative talent. It was as I watched hundreds of people exchanging ideas and businesses cards that I realised something; the only people who did not gain new knowledge, points of view or contacts from the event were those who didn’t attend!

There are various business events on in the UK or wherever you are, just have a look on Google and Eventbrite and you will be surprised at how many free and paid-for events are taking place every week. Also the Marketing Week hosts and promotes various events during the year, the main event this year, Festival of Marketing, is set to be bigger than ever.

Not talking to people

Once you’re at the event go and talk to people! At the end of the day, you’ll want to gain some new contacts and everyone is in the same boat as you on that day. Make small talk, you never know this could lead to a new business contract or partnership in the long-term.

Not having any clear goals

Before talking to the various, interesting people at just any event, ask yourself what do you want to gain from the interactions? Are you looking for just new contacts or actual leads for your business ? Maybe you’re there to find a new employers? If you’re looking for leads where are the most likely leads for you at the event? Then attend the sessions they attend.

Here is a tip; if you’re business caters to young people, then look for the creative looking, fresh-faced individuals and avoid the older individuals as lovely as they might be. This sounds simple, but it’s easy to stay within your comfort-zone at an event where you don’t know anyone. At the same time, if you’re looking to introduce your business to new companies, you’re best off to speak to older individuals maybe with say (as cheesy as it sounds) nice watches and good shoes who are more likely to be Owners, Directors or senior decision makers.

Not having your business card on you

You never know who you will bump into and you can’t always guarantee that you or the other people will have a piece of paper and a pen on them. Therefore, having a business card that you can provide to the people you’ll meet will be is a must for someone who is networking. In the next 20 years business cards might be a thing of the past, but not just yet !

Why do B2B businesses struggle with marketing?

The UK’s B2B market, estimated at £96.5bn by the Office for National Statistics, is a dynamic sector playing a fundamental role in the UK economy. The sector is composed of both large and small businesses selling both products and services in the UK and abroad. 

It is obvious that both small and large B2B business are struggling to adapt to the new digital economy, which is a shame because of the potential of this sector. Consider this; research by Frost & Sullivan showing that the global B2B sales are expected to make up 30% of the global market by 2021.

With the advent of the internet, specifically B2B e-commerce, the market is about to experience a fundamental restructuring and increased competition, primarily due to businesses’ ability to now compete more effectively across borders. This trend is likely to continue and is being encouraged on a governmental level. To demonstrate; the EU is in the process of finalising the EU Digital Single Market which will result in the standardisation of the online sales processes, tax rates and more to create a secure and efficient Eurozone-wide market for ecommerce businesses to take advantage of. 

Key decision makers and buyers are also undertaking more thorough online market research on their options before approaching a businesses for potentially partnerships. In one study Google found that 67% of purchases for multiple industrial manufacturing and pack-and-ship industries were influenced by digital. Unfortunately, due to the majority of B2B business having one foot in the old world of marketing and another in the online work (unfortunately in the shape of a clunky brochure website) they’re missing out on new sales and leads everyday.

Challenges facing the B2B businesses

While B2C ecommerce market has grown steadily over the last decade, with various innovative businesses becoming household names, the B2B market has struggled. Some of the key challenges that we believe are holding B2B business back from success in the digital age include:

  • Old-fashioned marketing approach: Businesses in the B2B market often sell products or services which are not the most flashy and as such Marketing Managers often find it difficult to differentiate their products/services from the competition or market appropriately. As a result they’ve become stuck with an outdated marketing strategy focusing too often on print.
  • Mismatch between positioning and perception:  If in business first impressions are important then establishing a strong, market-relevant online presence is crucial for businesses looking to succeed. Not being found online or being perceived as low-quality supplier or producer when you’re aiming to target the premium market will lead to a mismatch between how your business should be perceived and how it is being perceived.
  • Inability to reaching the right people: Key decision makers are much more difficult to get hold of due to the structure of medium and large businesses.
  • High product/service value and longer sales cycle: High average sales or order value means the overall sales cycle is longer than in a B2C environment and with multiple stakeholders and decision makers to get buy-in from there is a high chance of sales not closing.
  • Generating Sales: There seems to be a lack of clear understanding of the business’ sales funnel and understanding of how to generate leads from multiple channels.

Five tips to instantly improve your B2B marketing strategy

  1. Know who your customers are. Keep track of your customers’ purchases and details of your customers as this will come in handy when undertaking both offline and online marketing.
  2. Create a professional, engaging online presence. Have a plan in place for your online presence – make sure you have a modern, mobile responsive website. However, this is only the start of your online journey, just because you own a website doesn’t mean you will receive the right traffic. See the below point.
  3. Work with an online marketing specialists. A costly mistake B2B businesses make is to work with cheap PPC ‘specialists’ or hire Marketing staff who are not specialists in online marketing to undertake digital marketing for the business. You wouldn’t use a non-qualified Accountant to do your annual accounts, why then would you use a non-qualified individual or agency to undertake your online marketing? 
  4. Have the right system and processes in place. Did you know that the most successful sports coaches have the simplest but well-tried processes in place for their teams which they drill and refine over and over again until it becomes second nature for the players? At the top professional levels its the inconsistent teams that lose more often although they have great players. Review your processes and ensure sales are not falling through the cracks. 
  5. Hire the right people. No matter how good your systems are or how great your marketing, if the people who are working in your business day-to-day don’t understand what you stand for or your products/services then you won’t succeed in the long-term. People are very important but easily overlooked in today’s tech-focused world.

How to use video to engage your website visitors

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a surge in the number of businesses looking to add videos to their online content mix.

The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video


http://www.wordstream.com

Should you use video content on your website?

The statistics say yes. Video content is predicted to make up around 70% of all consumer traffic  and over the last decade marketers have embraced video as a serious marketing platform, with various household brands now incorporating online videos into their marketing campaigns. The benefits of these include:

  • Dynamism grabs and holds a users’ attention like no other content
  • Content can be more creative and engaging than say in an infographic, article or image
  • You can reach an audience with stronger, more moving messages than static graphics
  • Videos can be indexed by Google in its ranking and can be used to drive traffic to your website.

Where to host the video content

Where to store and host your video is your next thing to focus on. If you’ve got an advanced CMS, you should have a media manager to store your videos. Another option would be to use an external providers’ service, such as YouTube, Wistia orfor live streaming USTREAM.

It’s important to note that external providers such as the ones above often have limitations on how much you can customise elements of the video (e.g. frame, play button styling and instant play function).

How to engage visitors using video

Videos are a powerful tool which can help to grow your customer base. Here are some tips on how to use videos to engage your customers and gain ones:

Produce an engaging, professional video

To maximise impact ensure your video tells a story. Use real people where possible and ensure you have a call to action. This can be verbal or non-verbal and are known to have a direct impact on conversions.

Ensure your videos are relevant

Watching a video which does not contain the messages/content you were expecting or is located somewhere it shouldn’t is off-putting, avoid doing this at all costs. If you’re adding multiple videos to the website ensure you have a library which is fully responsive. This will ensure it looks perfect for mobile users; the key audience for video.

Enable and encourage sharing

Making your videos sharable will help to drive your message on social media platforms and reach more current and potential customers.Do this with credits in your video and using links and icons where possible.

Fun fact: viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.

The sensational growth of the UK Ecommerce market and how to get involved

You’ve probably heard the serious concerns about the state of the UK’s high street, with various well-established retailers such as House of Frasers, Debenhams, Habitat, Woolworths to name a few, struggling and some even shutting up shop over the last decade. The underlining issue affecting these retailers has been the incredible rise of ecommerce as a much more efficient and convenient way of shopping for consumers, with more people purchasing products online. These traditional retailers have essentially failed to keep up and innovate, consequently failing to make the transition from a brick-and-mortar stores to modern retail working in an omnichannel world.

Ecommerce refers to the online transactions conducted through the internet, usually through online platforms such as websites, web applications or standalone applications.

Shopify, one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms, estimates that globally ecommerce sales will increase by 246.15% to $4.5 billion in 2021, up from $1.4 billion in 2014. This is quite clearly a magnificent opportunity to be taken advantage off, but at the same time the numbers are mindboggling and it is not clear what this means for our local market in the United Kingdom.

The UK is well positioned for the ecommerce revolution which is set to accelerate over the coming years, partly due to the government’s well though-out strategy and investment in internet infrastructure but also the UK consumer base’s willingness to try new technologies.

How large is the market in the UK?

According to statista.com the UK ecommerce market was worth around $86,450 million*. Next to this, the number of online buyers is also expected to increase significantly, increasing to 54.6 million in 2023*.  To put this into context; the UK is the third largest ecommerce market in the world being surpassed only by the USA and China. Not bad for small island of 66M people right?

What are the most purchased products?

The most purchased product categories were fashion and electronics and media.

What is the average sales value?

A positive signal demonstrative of the UK’s ecommerce growth is the fact that the value of online transactions are increasing each year. In 2017 the average revenue per user was $1,500, this is expected to increase to $2,000 in 2023.

How can you take advantage?

  • Plan before you start: If you don’t already have an online store, now is the perfect time to open one. To start, produce a retail plan and ecommerce strategy, outlining your value proposition, business objectives, products and services plan, financial plan (including projections) and online marketing and digital plan.
  • Selecting an appropriate sales platform: If you’re not sure which platform to choose for your ecommerce website read this article in which leading ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify are compared. The ecommerce platform to choose will largely depend on your business type (e.g. B2B or B2C) and other factors such as budget, product catalogue and revenue. Once you’ve selected your ecommerce platforms it is best practice to work with a developer or a digital agency to create a website (or other platforms) from where your customers can buy your products and services and generally engage with you.
  • Investing in Search Engine Optimisation: It is also beneficial to work with a SEO agency to ensure your website is fully optimised for key terms your customers are likely to search on. Search engine optimising is key to being successful as an online retailer and not investing in this will most likely lead to failure to attract the desired website traffic or grow your business.
  • Create original content: Depending on the market that you’re in online buyers will be expecting more than just the products that you’re selling. Some might benefit from styling advice, suggested products or product reviews. Creating original content which adds value for your customers will allow you to keep them engaged (and coming back to the website).

Why not have a look at some of the UK’s innovative ecommerce retailers for some inspiration:

 

Sources

*Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/global-ecommerce-statistics

*Statista: https://www.statista.com/outlook/243/156/ecommerce/united-kingdom

Want to engage Millennials and Generation Z? Look no further than the School of Life for inspiration

Marketers have always used labels to describe different audiences as this allows for easier segmentation of people.  Standardising generational labels, such as Baby Boomers, Generation Z, Millennials, on an international level has made it easier to discuss and address challenges specific to each group.

Millennials are described as individuals born between 1981 and 2000, with the Generation Z label referring to individuals born after the 2000 period. Both of these groups are made of enthusiastic, tech-savy individuals. Generation Z individuals are especially in tune with all things digital. They are targeted with advertisements, social media campaigns and influencer marketing attempts on a daily basis, as a result of which they’ve come up with creative ways of avoiding being sold to from using Adblocker to only buying products they perceive as authentic. This has made marketing to this group extremely challenging.

The School of Life have successfully made philosophy fun and quirky (just look at modern, minimalist design of the products). They’ve repacked philosophy, making it easy to digest and applicable in modern life and have succeeded in engaging the younger generations, converting them into regular buyers of products and consumers of their online content.

Started by philosopher and author Alain De Botton, the website is  a hub for information relating to  philosophy and psychology.  The brand is differentiated through its focus on how to apply philosophical and psychological theories to develop one’s emotional intelligence in order to establish and maintain more fruitful relationships.

A millennial myself, I’ve been aware of the School of life for several years and have found that they have grown their customer base by successfully engaging users online through the production of high-quality video content, narrated by Alain De Botton himself, mainly on Youtube. Word of mouth has been crucial to spreading their brand, made only possible by the high-quality content they produce. The videos are narrated by Alain De Botton himself. More recently they’ve started to tackle some serious social issues and questions (e.g Why Do people Have Affairs), moving away from the early videos in which they introduced basic theories from the likes of Scorates and Artistotle to the general public.

What is interesting about the School of Life is that they have upgraded from providing basic content about philosophy to creating a dedicated platform providing more in-depth information and running workshops for individuals and professional groups in major cities across the world in addition to their successful shop. They currently have more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube too. They’re showing that as Bill Gates once said that ‘Content is King’!

Having closely observed their activities and products, I’ve summarised below the key areas the School of Life have excelled in and any brand looking to attract Millennials or Generation Z should seek to replicate:

  • They have a distinct name and brand. This sounds simple but you’ll be surprised how many businesses, organisations and corporations have a name or brand that do not resonate with their target audiences or communicate their value proposition. Their logo is bright yellow, it is warm, welcoming and fun. These are not terms you would normally associate with philosophy. Ask yourself the following question:
    • What does your brand say about your product or organisation
    • Does it have character?
    • How does it position your product/brand (e.g premium or regular)?
    • Does this align with how you want to your customers to experience your brand?
  • They’ve excelled at content marketing. The content they provide, especially on Youtube, is only the first step in their sales funnel. The users are engaged, aware of the brand and are then encouraged to visit their website. Some users will go out of their way to Google Alain de Botton after watching their videos and will thus (again) land on their website. The content is a source of leads or visits to the website.
  • The content and now the services they provide exude quality and push the boundaries usually placed around online, freely available philosophy and psychology. The positioning of the brand is well supported by the content that is created. I’ve yet to come across a badly produced video by the School of Life or a poorly written article on the website.
  • They monetised after they had established a strong, recognised brand. When monitising content, they extended into areas which fell naturally inline with their existing offering.
  • All marketing literature and merchandise follows a similar branding and tone of voice. Quality is at the heart of the products. Alain De Button did a fantastic job in establishing this.

Top 5 tips for first-time visitors to Rome

I had the pleasure of visiting the Eternal City of Rome recently. The city is buzzing with energy, there is not a corner you turn into where you don’t walk into a group of tourists from a faraway corner of the world or a local on a Vespa or a Lambretta rushing to work or university. From the narrow streets, to the scooters, to the bridges I couldn’t help but see the similarities between this cities layout and that of Amsterdam (read more about my visit here). Like the Dam, the city has managed to achieve an equilibrium between attracting tourists, with a record of 48.3 million visiting between June and August 2017 alone, and at the same time keeping the locals around, creating a multi-cultural, charming Italian super city.

If you’re a first-time visitor you can follow the same old tourist trail as millions of others each year, or you can do things slightly differently and get a much better understanding of how real Romans live in the city without missing out on the standard tourist attractions. If you’re looking to do the latter of the two, here are 5 key tips that will allow you to maximise your return on investment when visiting Rome for the first time.

Key attractions are free, saving you ££!

The best and most surprising thing about Rome is that some of the city’s top attractions such as the Patheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and St Peters Basilica are completely free. You can thus save your self some serious pounds/dollar/euros and redirect this cash to other activities for your stay. Although this is great, my business mind couldn’t help but feel that an opportunity has been missed by the local authorities to generate at least some revenue that could contribute to the maintenance of the many glorious monuments Rome has to offer for future generations.

The early bird catches the good shots. So, go out early.

Rome is full of tourists and it is difficult to find a good spot if you’re serious about your photography and love to document your trips. If you can wake up early and avoid the groups of tourist it is definitely worth doing!

The Eternal City or the Obelisk city?

When in the Eternal city it is easy to get lost in the fantastic relics of ancient Rome and it is easy to forget that the city hosts hidden gems from another ancient civilisation – the Egyptians. Obelisks were used by ancient Egyptians to make important statements using hieroglyphic  and were regularly placed on either side of the entrances to their temples. Centuries ago various Roman emperors imported these obelisks and positioned them in key locations throughout their capital city. Over the years quite a few of these obelisks went missing and when rediscovered they were often broken and dirty. Several Popes invested heavily in repairing them and adding further detail and symbolic messages, mainly Christian symbols such as the addition of crosses at the top. You will find that they’re now positioned in front of churches and other important building. Did you know that there were once also ancient Roman and Ethiopian obelisks dotted across the city?

Visit the Pantheon

You must simply visit the Pantheon. The thousand year old former Roman temple has been converted to a magnificent church by one of Rome’s many Popes. The internal architecture is as impressive as the external. The width and height of the inside of the building (approx. 43 meters high and wide) together with the light peaking through the hole in the dome is simply breath-taking.

Tour with a local!

I had the pleasure of having a friend that is a native to Rome and knowing basic Italian but visiting parts of this magnificent city outside of the central town was still a massive cultural education. From the local pizzeria to the elderly locals coming out of their high-rise flats to walk their dogs at night, I really enjoyed seeing the daily lives of Romans. It is only when you go out of the tourist-dominated city center that you appreciate that English is not very widely spoke compared to say Amsterdam. This is especially the case among the older generations. The more Italian you know the more enjoyable the interaction will be for you and everyone around you.

If travelling by air take into the account that both the airports closest to Rome are quite far away, so be prepared for a long taxi ride.  Also be aware that Rome can get really, really hot so make sure to bring plenty of fluids as you’ll be walking to key attractions! If you want to have a drink in or want to eat in they have different prices (usually higher), so be aware and take away where possible.

A boring website? Lacking engagement?  Spice it up with these 4 tips!

Having worked for several creative/digital agencies and talked to friends working in other agencies, I’ve come to notice the importance agencies place on the workplace and especially in creating a fun, yet professional and stimulating work environment. At the same time, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of attention that is paid to the websites of these same agencies in comparison to the interior of a studio.

I know  it feeds into the old battle between Marketing and the other departments (e.g Sales/Product). The popular believe is that if your product or service is good enough then it does not matter what your online presence or marketing assets in general look like. It is always great to have strong product and service offering and every organisation/agency should aim for this. However, modern buyers are likely to conduct background research on potential suppliers before even engaging in face-to-face and telephone conversations. Your website is now your online brochure, with buyers reviewing your online presence, together with other financial and security checks for large blue-chip buyers, to establish if your agency or company is trust worthy and should be considered as a potential supplier.

You may argue that not all companies/organisations are filled with digital obsessed millennials. Research shows that the gap between older and younger users who use the internet for research is falling each year. In 2011, 86% of 45 to 54 year olds classed themselves recent internet users, this has since increased to 97% in 2018. It is very likely that regardless of whether the key decision maker is a young millennial or a 45 year old they would use the internet to conduct supplier market research.

How to create an engaging online platform

In today’s age it is imperative to have a strong, professional online presence which communicates your company/agency unique selling point(s). Here are 4 key tips on how to create striking and lasting impact online, allowing you to engage your users and achieve real results (if you’re not from an agency this advice can be applied to any website, so hopefully this is useful too.):

  • Focus your message: It is great to display all the services and products you offer and all the clients that you have in your portfolio, it is understandable as everyone want to boast about their successes with past clients/products. However, it can very easily confuse the reader, with users for example not being sure of which sector your services/products are suitable for. Focus on a single market if possible and then demonstrate how your agency is best positioned to deliver value for companies/organisations in this market. This can be done through demonstrating your experience, your excellent service or specialist products.
  • Tell a story: Users are more engaged when a story is being told. What makes your agency different? Have you done an amazing job on a project and been rewarded with an award? If the answer to these questions is yes, then share this.
  • Create a captivating design for your homepage: Great visual design involves the creative use images, colours, shapes and typography to create compelling messages, so utilise these. Don’t be sacred to use engaging content such as video to tell your agency’s story, people are more likely to watch a video which features real people, is witty and utilises animation than read long pages filled with text. You don’t have to be a video production agency to do this. Keep the design short and to the point and navigation be minimal. I recently worked on a creation of the online platform for the PestEx, the UK’s largest trade conference for Pest Control specialists. You can see how the items we have chosen to be included on the homepage strongly demonstrate the benefits of attending the conference.
  • Invest in engaging content and search engine optimisation: In today’s crowded online ecosystem marketing agencies are competing with other agencies in their region but also nationally and with online platforms such as WordPress, Wix, Weebly and many other out-of-the-box website suppliers. Engage with an online content and SEO specialist to create engaging content and get your website to rank higher.

 

Avoid the following:

  • Too much text: A long homepage with a lot of text is makes for poor user-experience and should be avoided, bounce rates for homepages which are high in text are likely to be very high. Keep this text for the internal pages.
  • Not responsive: More and more internet users are now accessing websites on mobile and this trend will become the norm over the next few years. To create a future-proof online platform which your visitors can access on mobiles, tablets and desktop ensure your website is fully responsive. Google now also prefers fully responsive websites, so this will assist in ranking your website higher on search engines.
  • No social media presence: If you do not already have a some sort of social media presence you should be on social media (this includes LinkedIn). Social Media is fantastic for raising awareness of your brand and services and can be good source of referrals. Link your social media accounts to your website, this way you can direct traffic from your Twitter/Facebook accounts to your website where you can encourage potential clients to view your portfolio page or contact your team to discuss a project.

 

Oliver Agency are a good example of an agency which has achieved a good balance between getting a clean homepage and not missing out on showcasing their work. You can instantly tell that they work with major brands such as BMW and Pepsi. They’ve incorporated high-resolution images into their homepage, as well as social media and the latest updates from their blog. Nonetheless, they could have gone further and explain more about what they by incorporating their unique selling point, as outlined on their Approach page (they embed a part of their team inside the client’s marketing team) onto the homepage. Thus achieving something more along the lines of what Recipe have realised with their homepage.

Apply some of the above advice and let me know if you found it works for you.

Whilst you’re reading this article don’t forget to follow me here!

 

Is it possible to recharge in a fast-moving, international city?

In today’s non-stop consumerist society it is easy for individuals trying to climb the career and housing ladder to forget to ‘check-out’ and re-charge from time to time. We all know people who claim they only do one hour work from home every now and then but are really always just ‘checking’ the emails on the mobile. It is also true that a lot of us are simply constantly succumbing to social media platforms’ need to be constantly updated with the latest thoughts and photos of our latest outings. It is an understatement to say we’re living in an ever demanding and connected world where social, work and family time all overlap.

I had the fortunate chance of being able to recuperate for a few short days in a busy, major city: Amsterdam. During this break w I completely disconnected from social media and work. How can you recharge from living/working in the Nottingham by going to Amsterdam you may ask?  This is a strange statement, I know. Amsterdam is known for it’s hard-partying, weed smoking, drug taking, skirt-chasing antics with people coming from as far away as Japan and the USA to dabble in the country’s’ liberal offerings.  But I saw a different Amsterdam from that.

If you look close enough you will find that Amsterdam offers an amazing cultural package, with the city boasting an eye-gobbling 75 museums, ranging from the well-known Rijksmuseum (roughly translatable as the Commonwealth museum) to the lesser known and specialists museums such as the Brilmuseum (Spectacles museum) and the Bijbels Museum (Bible Museum). If you’re looking to travel to Amsterdam, it is worth purchasing the IAMSTERDAM pass which not only offers you free public transport for either 24, 48 or 74 hours, but also free or discounted access to the majority of the museums in the city and much more! We managed to get into the Rijksmuseum, the Maritime Museum (which hosts a replica 16th century Dutch East India company ship which you can access) and the Van Gogh Museum. All three which would have set us back around 10 Euros each if we didn’t purchase the IAMSTERDAM card, so you can see how it is a logical choice when going to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is also a ridiculously international city, with the Dutch living in the city being composed of various background and expats from all around the world living in the city also (it is estimated that around 176 different nationalities live in the city!). Its international reputation is reflected in the cuisine of the city. If you’re adventurous you should try the traditional Indonesian eateries dotted across the city. Any tourist in Amsterdam should try the Rijstafel (which roughly translates as the rice table) with numerous dishes all served up at once on a table. It’s a bit like tapas but with an Asian twist!

Then there are the canals, where life takes on a rhythm of its own. They are the perfect spots to take a break on during your trips to the various tourist sites that. You’ll be mesmerized by the sight of  young, old, couples (even with children, although I’m sure that is not the norm) and singletons all stopping at the side of the canals to have a quick smoke, get up and get on with their day.

If you like a good deal, it is worth grabbing a few snacks, a bottle of your favourite drink from Albert Hein (this is like the Tesco of the Netherlands and are literally everywhere) and taking this to a good spot from where you and your fellow travelers can watch the multiple private and tourist boats go by. A great spot we found and spent hours lounging on was just in front of the Amsterdam Central Library, where there is an extended platform which gives you even a better view of the canals and its traffic. It is also located to the impressive floating Sea Place Restaurant, apparently it is Europe’s first floating restaurant and the Chinese food is not to bad either!

For those who want to re-charge in a more elevated location, look no further than the A’DAM Lookout building rooftop restaurant and bar. This building hosts various creative companies, a tourist shop selling quirky ADAM merchandise and to top it off a swing at the top of the building, giving you a sensational view of the whole city!If you do not fancy being swung at the top of the building you can sit and have a drink or snack in the roof top bar listening to a carefully curated jazz and blues playlist.  Surprisingly, it is not very busy and the staff are extremely friendly and very passionate about their city, so you will be assured a good time regardless of what you decide to do.

A word of advice: you don’t want to stay too long in the city as it can get quite expensive, so I would recommend limiting your stay to no more than 5 days.

Overall, you can recharge your batteries in a very international city like Amsterdam, you just have to be willing to look for the little things, try new things and get of the tourist path.

Hopefully the above list provides you with an insight into how to recharge in a mega-busy city like Amsterdam. Do you think it is possible to recharge your batteries in a busy, international city? Share your thoughts!