Return on satisfaction key for corporate hospitality

A panel discussion held at International Confex revealed corporate hospitality is here to stay, with clients now looking for more value and more authentic experiences.
 
Sam Coates, head of marketing at Keith Prowse said hospitality allows for some great face-to-face time, but it is essential ROI is recorded. “Return on investment is key and we are seeing more emphasis on this and return on satisfaction.”
 
Moya Maxwell (pictured), head of commercial programming at the Royal Opera House, pointed out that it is essential to build KPIs (key performance indicators) around corporate hospitality, but that she is still astounded by the number who don’t. “Companies need to sit down and be brave enough to say ‘What do we want? How can we put measurements around this?’”
 
When it comes to the USP of corporate hospitality, Maxwell said it is the ability to build relationships with suppliers, clients and partners “to improve the business and its bottom line”.
 
“You can have a meeting in the office for an hour, or you can invite them to an event and get them for several hours. You are able to let them know you appreciate the business relationship and go on to cement that relationship.
 
“It is often impossible to have the conversations you need to by email, you need to do it face-to-face,” she said.
 
It was also noted by the panelists that the size of group bookings are decreasing.
 
Ansell Henry, head of sales and account management at Club Wembley, said booking sizes were smaller now than before the recession, with clients looking for different, more authentic experiences. Flexibility is also key, according to Henry, who explained that the club had created a membership programme offering 10-12 corporate hospitality products per year.
 
Phil White, GM at Kempton Park Racecourse agreed, noting that the corporate hospitality sector was a competitive one and “it’s essential to find a niche to distinguish yourself”.
 
Do you have a news story for CN? Email: Zoe Vernor

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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