There are many great events out there to take your clients to. But which ones are going to be best for your clients? We know that some of you are very experienced in booking hospitality for your organisation, but for those companies looking to invest in a large hospitality programme for the first time we have some tips to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
Get it right, and your hospitality strategy can reap huge rewards in terms of brand impression and client relationships. Get it wrong, and you can end up investing a lot of time and money in something that gives little return.
In this short guide, we break down the essentials of an effective hospitality strategy.
1. Identify the most memorable events
The more unique, memorable and high-quality the event, the greater the likelihood that your clients will remember your business and form a positive association with it.
World class sporting events that only happen every few years provide the perfect opportunity. There's nothing quite like being in a packed stadium as the excitement builds and history unfolds. Seeing the world's best athletes live- as they break records and perform at the limits of human possibility- is something worth being there for.
2. Know your audience
One person's perfect day out is another person's idea of watching paint dry. Which sports and forms of entertainment do your clients enjoy? Do they prefer to go to events during the day, evening, or on the weekend?
You know that clients at a senior level will receive many invites to different events so they're far more likely to pick and choose which events they attend. If you're targeting senior executives, its become even more important to invite them to the most sought after events.
3. Choose a hospitality style that works for your guests
Once you've done your audience research, it's time to choose your style of hospitality. Will the food be served buffet style or a la carte? And what's on the menu? How about the wine list? Will you have your own table? Knowing exactly what's on offer will give you the confidence that you're giving your client a premium experience.
4. Ensure quality time with your clients
You'll also want to make sure that the event offers ample time for conversation. It's difficult to deepen relationships without enough time to talk. Try and find whether there'll be enough breaks to enjoy the food and one another's company. And on the same note, make sure that the setting is amenable to a good discussion.
5. Get clued up on the event
One way to make sure the conversation flows is to get clued up about the event itself. Arming yourself with some interesting facts about the teams or individuals you'll be watching can make the experience even more enjoyable and impress your guests at the same time.
6. Make it official
If you buy from official hospitality providers, you know that you're getting the best seats in the house, along with hospitality that's second to none. The alternative is risky- hospitality providers who don't have a direct relationship with the event owners and aren't required to offer a guaranteed service level. This mean you could end up with a package that's sub-standard. Because they rely on secondary market routes, the tickets may be of a much lower category than those provided through official channels.
So stick with official hospitality providers for the event that you're considering. An exclusive hospitality package guarantees that ticket seating location, catering and service levels are of the highest possible quality.
7. Get a competitive advantage
You're competing with other companies who are also offering hospitality to your clients. Your choice of event can determine whether you merge with the rest of the pack or stand out from your competitors. Think about how you can use unique or rare events to make a lasting impression on your clients and make sure you get your invites in before your competitors. 'Once in a lifetime' experiences are sure to stick in client's minds more than events that they've attended a few times before.
Don't forget... The IAAF World Championships take place from 4 to 13 August 2017. The world's best athletes will gather at the London Stadium, the site of some of Team GB's most famous victories at London 2012. Could it be the right event for your clients?
We are the exclusive hospitality provider for the event. Take a look at our range of hospitality packages, which have been designed to provide world class hospitality to match the world class sport on offer.