Gareth Howells, Business Development Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, a Jockey Club Venue, discusses the 5 hidden benefits of hospitality...
When booking hospitality it’s very easy to look at an ROI based on growing some of your key accounts or perhaps securing that new client you have been working on. This is a well-trodden path but is it really giving a clear picture of what you are getting out of your entertaining budget?
Whether it’s a private dining experience, a night at the Theatre or indeed a day at the races there are hidden benefits that are worth considering when getting your finance team to agree to next year’s spend.
Allow your clients to sell for you
The benefit of putting a client who is already a big supporter of your work in front of a new prospect is huge; and is probably the most authentic sales pitch there is. It’s very obvious to just fill an event you are doing with some of your biggest spenders but actually having a mix of key accounts, growth accounts and new accounts, can produce better results as they interact and discuss your service.
Enhance your sales team
We all want our sales teams to be as dynamic and confident as possible. Getting them out of the office and in front of your client base really helps to build this. Bringing your key team members along to interact with you and your clients will really energise them and make them feel part of the decision making process, which will really make them want to go out to bat for you next time the pipeline starts to dry up!
Turn contacts into lead generators
Often our sales process is effective at getting repeat business in but doesn’t necessarily allow us to get to know our clients to the extent we would like. Spending an extended period of time with a company director, who will often be very well connected, can allow you to build a relationship to the point they will want to help you. Any referrals received off the back of this will get you close to contacts that you won’t get to via cold calling or LinkedIn requests.
Learn more about your own product
Often the only feedback we get about our product is a quick online survey or a 5 minute chat when both parties are busy dealing with the day-to-day of running a business. By spending a whole day with a client you get the obvious benefits or building a relationship and increasing retention, but you also find things out about your company and product that you hadn’t realised. You may even find something out about your competitors!
Turn Corporate Hospitality into a marketing opportunity
This might not be appropriate in every industry but if you can create some engaging social media content off the back of your event this could lead to an easy PR win. By adding a charity element to the day or showing how you are rewarding key clients or staff, you can make your company seem fun to work alongside; helping to build that all important brand.
In summary it’s easy to think an event isn’t worth doing next year because that new piece of business you were after didn’t quite come off. Bearing some of the above points in mind will paint a clearer picture about what you are getting out of your hospitality budget; allowing the company to make more informed decisions going forward and ultimately growing the business.
Cheltenham Racecourse can offer businesses a chance make an impression by combining a meeting, conference or event with a day at the races.
By bringing the two worlds together, companies get exclusive room hire, tea and coffee, breakfast rolls, freshly baked cookies, a three or four course hot buffet meal, a 5ft screen, flipchart and LCD projector. On top of that, there is complimentary car parking for all guests, a racing ticket, official racecard and Tote betting facility all from £108 inc VAT.