Corporate hospitality is defined by the Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the entertaining of clients by companies in order to promote business, especially at sporting or other public events’. It is clear from the definition that the promotion of business is at the centre of entertaining clients and vendors through hospitality events. Sport provides the perfect venue inasmuch as it has the unique ability to bring people together from all over the world through a shared experience that all can connect with. If sport is not part of your corporate hospitality strategy, it needs to be. Sport hospitality can make your company a major player within your industry.
A 2014 report from Research and Markets shows that corporate hospitality saw significant growth in 2012 and 2013 after years of decline brought on by the recession. With market growth of 4% and 3.5% respectively, the total amount of corporate hospitality spending in both years well exceeded £1 billion. Furthermore, Research and Markets suggests that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were largely responsible for driving growth in 2012. This should be no surprise.
In Britain, sports hospitality centres mainly on football, cricket, rugby, horse racing, Formula 1 , golf, and tennis. The most popular sports offer business clients opportunities to rub elbows with the world's greatest athletes, celebrities, and movers and shakers. These kinds of experiences are perfect for establishing a new business relationship or sealing the deal you have been working on for months.
Why Sports Hospitality Works
Research and Markets says that 62% of corporate event organisers believe that corporate hospitality events provide a good return on investment (ROI). Such events provide companies and their clients opportunities for face-to-face interaction above and beyond the corporate meeting room, which tends to be much more formal and reserved. The relaxed nature of sporting events provides an environment more conducive to establishing personal relationships capable of withstanding the pressures of business. This is why sports hospitality works so well as a business tool.
The typical hospitality event centred on sport includes the following:•paid admission to the event
•use of the venue's exclusive facilities
•pre-event receptions, often including champagne
•celebrity or athlete guest participation
•refreshments and catered meals
•corporate gift or memorabilia
•programmes or other event documentation.
The key to sports hospitality is to use a specialist event planner with the experience and connections to achieve the best possible event. A specialist event planner is familiar with all of the unique aspects of sports, where a general event planner may not be.
With the average cost of corporate hospitality now more than £100 per head, some may see this form of marketing to be prohibitively expensive. Yet the long-term pay-off makes corporate hospitality well worth the investment. A sport hospitality event is one of the most powerful ways to connect with clients effectively, in a way that will return dividends for years. Sports hospitality should be part of your corporate marketing strategy.Sources:
1.Oxford Dictionaries – http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/corporate-hospitality
2.Research and Markets – http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/vnrm4w/corporate
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