The real meaning of hospitality
As more and more day-to-day contact with our customers and potential customers is conducted remotely, “face time” remains a crucial engagement need as it helps to build trust, candour and forge stronger working relationships.
Sporting events are not time-bound or restricted by a one or two-hour window. A day can be spent leisurely in a relaxed and inspirational setting, resulting in a more engaged and productive gathering.
Selecting the right experience, at the right time, targeting the right audience is becoming an increasingly essential part of any company’s marketing strategy
It goes without saying that the need to demonstrate a return on investment or, in some instances, a return on experience, remains a business priority, as does securing a positive and memorable brand message. However, we often find it hard to quantify what corporate hospitality means and how it can benefit a business.
A key consideration, for example, is that hosts could expect to spend ten hours face-to-face with guests at a day of cricket – six hours of play and four hours of refreshment time – and a standard day’s itinerary at the tennis equates to 9.5 hours.
Putting the consumer at the forefront changes everything; selecting the right experience, at the right time, targeting the right audience is therefore becoming an increasingly essential part of any company’s marketing strategy.
Choosing the right product will depend on the preferences of your target audience; the recommendation is always to do the due diligence first.
As the relationship develops and a repeat experience is called for, it’s important to ensure that the second and subsequent year’s offerings differ; in addition to providing exemplary service, annual and proactive innovation has to be at the heart of any successful hospitality company’s strategy.
There are many trends contributing to the changing face of hospitality. More and more companies are adding fully inclusive sporting experiences to their menu of staff recognition and reward programmes. Table sizes available for exclusive use are becoming increasingly flexible so perfect as a birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day or other celebratory gift.
There’s more emphasis on tiering experiences by price, package and food offering; while the more traditional forms of dining alongside champagne offerings still have a place, informal sharing plates, grazing style menus and cocktails are on the increase.
Last, but by no means least, let’s demystify the term “official hospitality”. Official providers are contracted by the governing body, for example the Rugby Football Union for Twickenham, to design, develop, market and sell hospitality experiences on their behalf. This guarantees that everything from the ticket and seating location, the food, beverages and on-day service levels are of the highest possible quality. Additionally, the revenue generated by these hospitality programmes is invested back into the sport or event.
Conversely, unofficial providers do not have a direct relationship with the event owners, are not required to offer a guaranteed service level and facilities are often located off-site, sometimes miles away.
As importantly, these suppliers usually have to rely on grey or black-market routes to acquire tickets, which may be of a much lower category as those provided via official channels. For high-profile events where tickets aren’t readily available, providers may struggle to acquire what was promised – the negative impact for both the host and their guests could be far reaching.
If hospitality isn’t currently integrated within your company’s marketing mix, or doesn’t form part of any staff recognition or reward programme, perhaps now is the time to re-evaluate? As the UK’s leading hospitality provider and official supplier to many iconic venues, our customers and their guests enjoy exclusive access to the best facilities.
We are passionate about what we do so to find out more contact Keith Prowse:
0208 185 7761 or keithprowse.co.uk