Summer is coming up, and that means lots of great options for entertaining clients or prospects. One thing that often is a huge favourite for client entertainment is arranging tickets for sporting events, or, if you are especially keen to impress, corporate hospitality passes. This can be a good choice because most people like going to live sport, even if they are not an avid fan of the event in question, and it can give you a chance to offer them a unique experience that also provides plenty of time for casually chatting, eating and drinking together, and generally building a relationship.
Of course, just because you’ve invited someone to something pretty cool, doesn’t mean that the event they go to with you will be their only bit of corporate pampering by a recruitment firm, and so you need to make your time with them memorable and special to get the best results from your investment. Here are some tips:
If you buy a corporate hospitality package you will probably have some memorabilia included like programmes, but if you just buy normal seats or entry, then it is a good touch to get hold of some stuff like this before they arrive, so you can give it to them. Slipping in any corporate merchandise you’ve had made for your business like lanyards, pens or mouse mats to make up a kind of gift bag can also be a good way of giving them your branded items without it looking too much like you are pushing these things on them!
Food and Drink
Whether your target clients are enthusiastic about the sport you’ve chosen or just coming along because it sounds like a fun day, everybody tends to enjoy themselves when good food and drink are provided. If this isn’t included in your package or you are going to something relatively short like a football match (rather than something like racing where you’ll be at the venue all day), arrange for a good restaurant before or after the event. This will make the invitation a lot more appealing and will also give you more time to talk, if the sports event you’re going too is of the kind where you’ll be too involved in the action to really communicate much. At longer events like horse racing, motor racing or cricket, scope out the available places to eat at the venue on the web and plan interesting sounding meal breaks into the day.
Corporate entertaining is all about bonding as human beings and growing relationships, so if the people you are trying to impress feel like all you are concerned about is winning their business or schmoozing them, then they won’t have a good time and it won’t reflect well on you. Be relaxed and confident and have fun – you’ll be better company and achieve better results that way.
Finally, don’t feel guilty if you have a great time together but don’t discuss work – when you have built good relationships you can always bring that up in a follow up call.
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