16 January 2017
How to Choose the Right Corporate Hospitality for your Client
With 2017 well under way it’s time to organise your corporate hospitality options to ensure you have access to all sporting and cultural events across the year. To ensure all of your planning and spend does not go to waste it is important that you choose the correct hospitality for your guests or clients. We have a short guide on what to consider…
So what are you looking to gain from a hospitality event?
The best way to plan your hospitality calendar is to consider why you are looking to entertain. Is it to:
- Build relationships and win new business
- Maintain relationships with existing clients
- Thank clients for their ongoing business
- Incentivise partners/internal teams as part of an incentive programme
Once you have identified the reason why it is best to put solid objectives into place. This will guide you to the style and ambiance you want to exist during entertaining. For example if you want to build relationships you may go to an event that provides you with the most face to face time so you can get to know your client as best you can, such as cricket. To maintain relationships you may want a more informal event where you can let your hair down.
What type of people are you inviting to the event?
It is important that you understand who you are inviting to the event. You are a lot more likely to get an invite acceptance if it suits the individual and is something they would personally want to go to. For example if your die hard Chelsea fan client is invited to a Liverpool game it may not go down as well, find out their team of choice before choosing the fixture. Likewise if they detest Tennis, an ATP invite is not likely to impress, despite being one of the most impressive invites of the year. Find out their likes and dislikes – in some cases you can find out interests on LinkedIn however we find it is best to simply ask your client as part of the relationship building.
When guests enjoy the event that they are attending it is a lot easier to be thankful for the invite and to open up about potential future business. Clients will always remember the invites they received and may just put you to the top of their list the next time they are looking to do business.
What type of hospitality would be of interest?
You now know your objectives for entertaining and the types of event that interest your client – sometimes the top most expensive package is not the way to go and more informal options may suit. If you want to build relationships, but are inviting 10 guests, sitting at a table for a 4 course dinner may mean you do not get to spend time speaking and getting to know all your guests on the table. If this is the case we would suggest more informal hospitality such as a canape reception and buffet style event, that way you can spend equal time networking with all of your clients – giving you a lot more likelihood of achieving your objectives. You may also like the look of “hybrid hospitality” – part formal, part buffet – this can be trialed at The Aegon Championships in the Roof Terrace package.
How to make your clients feel as though you have gone the extra mile?
We find the best corporate hospitality includes elements that the client bespokes’ to suit their guests. Some of the best options we have seen include adding the steam train journey onto Cheltenham Festival and including a nights stay in the area. We have also seen less elaborate add-ons’ including signed books from the event, organising for a celebrity to come and have photos with your guests or simply adding a gift to your tables. Make sure you stand out and make a lasting impression to your client.
If you would like to discuss how Paragon can help you and your hospitality requirements for the year please contact our team.