James Wood’s Working Diary

Firstly, I’d like to welcome you all to my working diary and also say a big hello to everyone I haven’t seen for so long!

I’m one of the final members of the team to feature and I have to say it’s been very interesting reading everybody else’s working from home diaries over the last few months!

There seems to be some common themes that have emerged amongst my colleagues – getting up later, enjoying more time with the family (really?!) and of course, time to experiment in the kitchen.

I’ve actually moved house during lockdown and the lighter evenings have enabled me to get to grips with the garden and pond (although I had to buy some waders so I could clean it out)!

As a team we have certainly kept the tourism wheels going with the help of Zoom and plenty of team spirit – albeit in a virtual world.

I have dreadfully missed the buzz and vibrancy of the city centre. I didn’t realise what a luxury it was to be able to nip into a gallery or attraction at a moments notice or try out the latest restaurant for a quick lunch. However these experiences are now returning, along with the opportunity to meet up in person with my tourism colleagues across the city region. Bring it on!

So the good news is that we have been able to return to work in the office at Cunard Building – and we’re in a new space shared with Culture Liverpool. I have now been back in a few times and it’s been great to see colleagues in person and not on a screen!

9.00am – Emails
Following my breakfast of tea and toast and feeding Pidge the resident wood pigeon it’s time to hit the laptop and focus on the important emails from the many unwanted ones that have appeared overnight.

This is the time I’ll also plan out my day and prioritise things, particularly if carried over from the day before.

9.30am – Catch up with Sam O’Brien
I have at least one catch up each day with my partner in crime Sam O’Brien. As well as discussing what we have on the to-do list that day and the longer term projects this is always a good time to have an informal chat – much as how we do in the office.

Today we are looking at the agendas and invites for the forthcoming Liverpool Coach Group and Large Attractions Group meetings.

10.00am – Team Meeting
We now have one full team meeting a week on Zoom and one management meeting.

Discussions today included a review of the new local campaign, Love Your Liverpool, memberships and returning to work in the office.

11.00am – Planning Time
Next week I will be attending a virtual event called City Fair. Here I will have over twenty, ten minute meetings with international tour operators and destination management companies.

I’ve had some great enquiries from all over the world so I hope these will develop into new business for the city over the next few years. As ever with travel trade this is a slow burn process but I’m feeling very positive.

My preparation includes sorting out a revised presentation that covers our key tourism products – and not forgetting to include the important measures the city has taken to keep residents and visitors safe.

12.30pm – Lunch
This is always a simple affair for me. I bought a bargain panini grill for £12 from Asda over 2 years ago. Since then it has not seen the light of day having lived in the gadget graveyard cupboard along with the ice cream maker and juicer – until lockdown. This little thing has kept me going with tasty lunches throughout so in honour I’m giving it a special mention as it will be heading back to the cupboard soon!

1.30pm – Cunard Building
A quick drive over to Liverpool for an afternoon in the office. Time to catch up on some more emails and to update on various projects with colleagues including Chris Adderley, Suzanne Watson and Joe Keggin.

3.00pm – China Partnership meeting
The China Partnership was formed several years ago to bring together business partners from across the city region who have an interest in marketing to China. As Liverpool has enjoyed a centuries long trading relationship with China this is a great fit.

I sit on the board of this group to represent Marketing Liverpool from the tourism angle and this was the first meeting since before lockdown. This proved an important one for all to take stock of our individual situations and begin to map out the future.

4.30pm – Snack time
All this talking is making me hungry. My fellow colleagues will agree that I have a dreadful weakness for any snacks that were developed in the 70s so it’s time to bring out the Wotsits and Monster Munch while catching up on more emails and matters in hand before I leave the office.

5.30pm – Back home
Today has gone very quickly. Luckily it’s stopped raining so I’m heading out for a short walk to clear my head before dinner.

There’s a great view from the top of my road towards North Wales. However, I don’t think it will ever beat the view of the Liverpool waterfront from the other side of the Wirral!

I hope you have found my work diary interesting and I look forward to catching up with you soon!