Hospitality Uncovered- What You Need to Know When Buying Corporate Hospitality
What You Need to Know When Buying Corporate Hospitality
Corporate hospitality offers a perfect opportunity to repay customer loyalty, meet your clients in person, create new networking opportunities and cement current business relationships. Entertaining your clients makes good business sense, but understanding what to buy and who to buy from can be a bit of a minefield!
This blog's objective is to guide you through the process of procuring corporate hospitality, so you can entertain your clients with complete peace of mind.
What is Corporate Hospitality?
Corporate hospitality packages are defined as VIP experiences at a variety of events, which could be sporting, musical or cultural, and include food and drink in an environment conducive to building relationships with clients or
employees. "Packages" are created to include specific items in addition to the event ticket and will include food, from a buffet or a sit down dinner, and may include souvenir brochures, parking and guest speakers. What you get in a package differs from venue to venue.
The hospitality market in the UK is a one billion pound plus industry that has no governing standards body and no clear codes of practice or accountability. As a result, there are literally hundreds of small agencies and brokerages out there, capitalising on client's lack of knowledge to make a 'quick buck'.
There are many ways in which to buy hospitality, you can purchase some events directly from the venue itself, however most venue's appoint 'official suppliers' to manage their hospitality sales and there can in fact be multiple
'official suppliers' for an event, even for a specific facility!
The RFU for example currently appoint 7 different companies to sell the various different facilities at Twickenham and dedicate a webpage explaining who are official and why to avoid unofficial options- even if they may be cheaper! http://www.englandrugby.com/tickets/dont-risk-it-book-official/
There are also many agents 'reselling' the same packages, sometimes at inflated prices plus other 'unofficial packages' available, all of which makes it very difficult for the consumer to understand who and where to buy from!
A simple rule of thumb is to buy directly from the venue, if possible Venue's should be your first port of call, some venues for example Goodwood, often have internal sales teams selling their own packages.
If this is not possible, in the case of Wimbledon for example, then you should find out which companies have been appointed as the 'official' company to sell packages at the venue and purchase with them. As I mentioned this may well be multiple companies all appointed to sell individual facilities.
There are also many unofficial packages available, some of which are of an excellent standard, however all too often these packages are of a lower standard, they may be situated a long way from the venue and in extreme cases, may not even exist!
Venue's themselves are more and more aware of unauthorised packages devaluing their events and make the distinction clear on their own websites, The Rugby World Cup Website warns of the problems associated with unofficial packages in an attempt to protect consumers- http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/news/65091
As did the European Tour in the lead up to last years' Ryder Cup http://www.rydercup.com/europe/news/beware-unofficial-hospitality.
In sports such as Football and Rugby it is illegal to re-sell match tickets and packages that use 'black' market tickets are in fact breaking the law. I wouldn't want to explain that to my boss on Monday morning!
So in summary, only when you buy with venues or their official suppliers are you sure that the hospitality packages you purchase are official and of the required standard. Compare Hospitality only work with these two sources; therefore guaranteeing the client has complete transparency and peace of mind when buying their
Posted by: Andrew Vincent
'The only comparison tool for official corporate hospitality'