The Value of Corporate hospitality – Chamber of Commerce Magazine May 2012

Corporate hospitality has been quite the dirty word this past year and is something many have shuddered at doing for fear of bad publicity. But, corporate hospitality, when delivered carefully, can be a highly powerful marketing and PR tool that helps elevate brands and provide powerful recognition to potential and existing clients.Naturally, the Bribery Act has made many think twice before engaging in a corporate hospitality programme and there are many ways to interpret its extensive policy. However, with the right support and guidance, you can still create very powerful events that create significant return on investment.

It’s a fact in business that we need to say thank you to our clients, but also create environments that promote new sales opportunities and showcase products and services. Events are a fabulous and effective way of doing this.

The key is to add a quantifiable benefit to your event. This could be by providing educational content from an industry speaker or possibly in supporting a local community project or charity.

For example, arranging an after-dinner drinks reception as a networking opportunity is a great way to engage with existing and potential clients while providing a quantifiable incentive to delegates. Whilst supporting a local community project through fundraising or using local groups to help deliver the event through entertainment or theming are great ways to empower and provide a good news story.

Away days such as golf or sporting events also work brilliantly when combined with a guest speaker or an industry expert.

The key is to see corporate hospitality as an effective marketing tool, but acting in a way, which provides educational and motivational benefit to the audience. The key to any client-driven event is in cleverly creating an environment that subtly promotes your product or service while providing an environment that adds immediate real value to your target customer.