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It’s never too early to plan for hallmark events. Here are some tips:

• Educate, educate, educate. Go to forums, read and learn everything you can about what the potential impacts might be on your businesses.

• Have realistic expectations about how the Games might impact business and what opportunities they might offer.

• Create one official source for information on impacts and opportunities.

• Make sure you can get your feedback to the organizing committees.

• Work with other associated organizations, such as tourism, to make sure opportunities are maximized.

• Plan for the long-term. The Games will only impact business for a few months so plans should include ways to keep regular customers and clients satisfied.

• Think about how your employees might be affected. Should you offer more flexible hours so they can also volunteer at the Games? Should you offer bonuses to keep good staff beyond the Games? Should you arrange transportation?

• Crate a booklet or pamphlet outlining all the businesses and services in your area and make sure every visitor has one.

• Service, service, service. Many visitors to hallmark events have little spare time to "explore" so make sure they can find what they want, get what they want, and enjoy it thanks to fast and friendly service.

• Use any means you can, including the media, to educate all potential visitors in the year of the Olympics about your area. Dispel myths travellers might have about crowding, expense, closures, and construction leading up to the Games.

• Lockdown and pre-sell as much business as you can.

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