Can You Afford Not to Embrace Corporate Hospitality?

22 September 2016

In tight economic times, corporate hospitality can find itself sidelined. That’s down to a few factors, including the catch-all nature of the term (it can refer to anything from a networking event to a champagne-soaked night backstage at the live show of the year, depending on who you ask), and the idea that it is an inessential cost or an ‘added-extra’.

Far from being an add-on, corporate hospitality can be used as a vital part of business positioning and retention strategies for staff, partners and clients.

Look at some key facts:

  • It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one ,
  • Existing customers are up to 65% more likely to buy from you than a new customer ,
  • A 2014 Oxford Economics report estimates that it costs £30,000 to replace a staff member who leaves ,
  • The same report revealed that ‘down time’ while new hires find their feet costs the UK economy around £4.1 bn a year ,
  • Losing staff can have massive effects on employee motivation and output. Losing key customers can do the same, but only 18% of companies prioritise customer retention over lead gen. and new acquisitions ,
  • If you’ve got good people around you – staff, customers, partners – in key roles, you simply can’t afford not to keep them there. Now more than ever. 

Chosen and tailored in the right way by the right people, a corporate hospitality programme can deliver massive value by keeping, developing and securing those key relationships, both across your workforce and beyond.

As a recent AAT report found, recognition is a massive factor in people's sense of happiness, well-being and motivation at work. As AAT Chief Executive Mark Farrar said, "The results show that, when it comes to working happiness, money is far from the driving factor for most of us.  [...] It’s interesting how much status and recognition play a big part in happiness at work". And it’s not just your people – customers need to feel valued and appreciated too.

None of this is news to those who know the motivation and rewards landscape well. As I wrote in a blog post last year, at Inconnection we are always keen to stress the business return when talking to clients about any event or programme aimed at motivating, rewarding or incentivising key people who matter to their business.

In the current economic climate we’re placing an even greater emphasis on ensuring that every pound spent on business development provides the best return possible on clients’ investments.

Corporate hospitality offers an effective opportunity to cement key relationships by spending vital face-to-face time with key partners, colleagues and clients. Relationships can be maintained and escalated as a result of the right tickets, the right event and the right conversations. Informal settings and openness can go a long way towards delivering stronger ROI in a time when budget justification is an absolute necessity.

The key is a corporate hospitality plan built around strategic awareness and maximising value.

Inconnection and our clients know that there is huge potential for value delivery by mapping annual corporate hospitality plans against broader corporate strategy for the year ahead. Corporate hospitality events planned against key business objectives and timelines will allow your organisation to ensure you are acting at the right times, procuring the hottest tickets, blowing away the key players and providing the greatest possible return on your organisation’s investment.

Leveraging corporate hospitality for greatest value returns starts with simple questions: Who do you need to build, strengthen or celebrate your relationship with? What do those people in question like? (One man's Jay Z at the O2 is another's private Grandstand box at Royal Ascot) What are your business objectives, what do you want out of this event attendance? How will you measure whether those objectives have been met?

A keen strategic awareness, foresight and planning, and simple answers to simple questions can deliver some truly exceptional results.

We work with some of the biggest and best companies on the planet, creating corporate hospitality plans that achieve objectives and provide real value and real ROI. For more details, get in touch now via the Contact page.