How to get sales from Corporate Hospitality.

It’s your event and to help you ensure your guest’s happiness and your halo shines we have designed “The Golden Rules of Hospitality’


Always keep your budget in mind, it is usually the small expenses that people forget and they can mount up. If planning a larger event like a reception or party allow for a drop- out rate of at least 20% and base your minimum numbers on this. Also decide what is most important to you, flowers or booze? Don’t feel you have to splash out on Champagne. Often a glass of Prosecco will be just as palatable and will leave you free to spend more on a quality wine.

Know your guests

There is no point planning a five star experience if this is going to make your guests feel uncomfortable and out of place. Similarly you may not want to send the CEO ‘glamping’.  Location is often a key factor for guests when deciding whether or not to accept an invitation, so think about how they will be able to get home at the end of the day or evening. If you make it easy for them they are more likely to say yes.
What are their interests outside of work, do you know? It might be a good opportunity to chat to your clients and prospects to find out what floats their boat. Often a well thought through invite to see their favourite band or team play will be better received than a more expensive day at Royal Ascot for example, and can end up costing you less.

Be flexible

Be prepared to think about the day of the week that you host your event. Thursdays are always prime days and therefore you are less likely to get a great deal, think about a Tuesday perhaps. Lunchtimes will be less expensive than an evening, but be sure that your guests will be available.

Check the diary

Before confirming any date make sure it doesn’t clash with any other large events that may be happening elsewhere, or half term for schools. You don’t want to put an obstacle in your guest’s way before you have even started.

Make the arrival impactful

Your guest’s first impressions are probably the most important element of the event, so make sure that you make it easy for them.

  • Good directions and signage so that they don’t arrive stressed
  • Adequate secure cloakrooms for coats and bags (people may have come straight from the office)
  • Welcoming smiles and a drink and some food all get you off on the right foot.

How many times have you turned up at an event straight from work ravenous only to find the small amount of canapés have been devoured by the people standing nearest the door to the kitchen? Consider bowl food, it’s more filling and doesn’t need to be more expensive.

Avoid embarrassing your guests

Make sure that you give your guests plenty of information up front, what time they are expected (especially if it is a seated event), the dress code (try to be a little more imaginative than smart casual as a description) when the event will end so they can make plans for childcare etc, the type of people they are likely to meet.

Think carefully about your hosts

You need to get the ratio of guests to hosts right. If you have a small group in a private box at a sporting event or concert then 1 or 2 will probably be sufficient. At larger events 1 per table to ensure that all the guests are spoken to. Make sure that the only job the hosts do at the event is chat to the guests. An event manager should be on hand to deal with the running of the event, chasing waiters etc.

Gifts for the guests

It is important to be smart with your budget. Often the biggest waste of money is goodie bags filled with branded items that get thrown in a drawer never to be used again. If you do want to give something to guests as they leave why not make it something they will appreciate and use, like a small bottle of fizz or some gorgeous chocolates. One of the best giveaways we ever saw was to a group of ladies after a day spent in killer heels and that was branded flip flops, a well thought through gift that was instantly used.

The farewell

Don’t let your event down at the end of the evening. Make sure the cloakroom is well staffed so there are no queues. Have handy the number of local taxi firms so that you can call them for guests, or have someone on the street flagging down cabs for them. Above all do not start de-rigging or letting your smiles drop until the last guest has left, there is nothing worse than spoiling the magic in the last few minutes.

Use an Event Manager

Well we would say this wouldn’t we, but your priority should be chatting to your guests and ensuring that you are building relationships. You can’t do that if you are shouting at waiters because the white wine isn’t chilled or there are no condiments on the table – leave that to someone else. As our clients do. Don’t worry that by using an events agency it is going to cost you more, we have ongoing relationships with suppliers and that means we can get better deals and can often save you money.