How to choose the right corporate event for your client

The most effective events are those which reflect your brand values and create a positive image of your business as a whole, says James Clutterbuck, Director of Hospitality & Events at Paragon.

Choosing a suitable event for your clients is the most important aspect of corporate hospitality planning.

Treating your clients to memorable, high-quality experiences can be the key to establishing long-lasting and mutually successful relationships. However, great care should be taken over researching and planning to ensure your event achieves the right balance between fulfilling your own business objectives and capturing the interest of clients.

The event planning process should begin with considering your target audience, as this will influence the type of event you choose. Are you targeting an individual, highvalue client, or are you looking to host a larger event that targets a wide range of prospective clients?

If you are targeting an individual client, you should conduct the necessary research to plan around that client’s specific interests. Sporting events tend to be a popular choice due to their variety. Sports hospitality is now a key part of the corporate hospitality industry, providing a range of highly effective event packages, whether your client’s preference is for rugby, football, cricket, horse racing or sailing. When targeting multiple clients or even certain sectors more broadly, remember that one size does not always fit all. In these cases, you might consider hosting a number of smaller events, each designed to engage the interests of your different clients. Considering the interests of your clients when hosting events is a positive reflection of your professionalism and of a personalised, considerate approach to client relationships. In addition to your client’s interests, the event you choose should be influenced by your business objectives. Many businesses use corporate hospitality to improve client relationships, as well as to project a positive image of their brand in order to both increase awareness amongst potential clients and strengthen loyalty amongst existing ones.

The most effective events are those which reflect your brand values and create a positive image of your business as a whole. Unique, well-organised events are a symbol of a competent and intelligent business. Thinking outside the box to provide unforgettable experiences, whether this is an overseas trip or a once in-a-lifetime chance to rub shoulders with a celebrity, will help to raise your profile in the minds of potential clients, giving you a competitive edge in your market.

The success of your corporate hospitality strategy is influenced not only by the smooth running of the event itself, but also both the build-up and follow up to the event. In the planning process you must carefully choose the right dates for your event to maximise clients’ potential to attend, especially if you are planning to host a number of clients at, for example, the Phil Tufnell VIP club at The Ashes. You should also invest in exciting, personalised invitations in order to create buzz around the event. In a way, the invitation can be seen as the beginning of the event, and you should focus on promoting it in order to maximise attendance, whether this is on your website, through social media, or in a direct meeting with clients.

The follow-up to any event is arguably the most significant stage of the corporate hospitality process. It is at this point that you will invite clients to give feedback on their experience, begin to generate return on investment with enhanced business relationships, and plan further events designed to maintain these relationships. Effective corporate hospitality is a long-term process which does not culminate in a single event. Holding frequent events for clients will go a long way to maintaining client relationships, increase brand awareness and ultimately help your business measure the success of its corporate hospitality strategies.

At Paragon, hospitality planning is one of our core areas of expertise. We work with clients on an event by event basis. This means we can ensure each event reflects the stature of your business whilst appealing to the interests of your target audience and, crucially, that the effectiveness of your events programme can be tracked at all times.
- James Clutterbuck, Director of Hospitality & Events at Paragon