Corporate hospitality – cash down the drain or a PR master stroke?
Like any good, growing business, we like to sell our strengths (don’t worry, I won’t bore you with it here!), but we also like to think we know the areas we need to improve. Comparing ourselves to the rest of the recruitment industry, an area of our business that has needed addressing has been corporate hospitality.
I will never forget an Edinburgh based IT recruitment start-up around the early 2000s, whose business model was based purely around corporate hospitality. “We’ve got private helicopters booked for the Grand Prix and a box at Man United”. They hadn’t even launched! Slightly over the top, and yes, I’ve never heard of them since.
Our previous stance was always, “while they are taking you to the races, we are filling your jobs”. But let’s be fair, there is clearly a happy medium. We are always happy to receive entertainment from our suppliers (always adhering to the anti-bribery laws of course), so why not reward our loyal clients?
This takes me to the first point. I much prefer “thanks for the business” hospitality than the “please use us” hospitality. I’d like to hope we could secure the business based on our track record and ability to do the well and at a very fair price. But to keep a client and help develop a personal relationship, a nice lunch / dinner / bit of footie should work wonders.
Our (limited) experience shows that it doesn’t have to be overly expensive or take much office time anyway. I’ve had a mix response when offering corporate hospitality. I like the fact that clients are happy to say “no” and hopefully this means the “yes” clients really want to go!
Clearly we have set a budget at the start of the year, and won’t be doing it for the sake of it. But hopefully we can start to forge better relationships with our clients, away from the office whilst enjoying a drink or two with like-minded individuals. Don’t worry, we’ve haven’t “invested” a box at Easter Road or Tynecastle yet!
See you at Muirfield in July.
What else is going on at Cathcart this week?:
1. Most of us are recovering from Sam’s stag weekend
2. Nick hands the keys to his Scirocco back in lieu of his new car next week - I’ve started a book on how much the repairs to the outgoing Scirocco will be (highest bid £1,150)
3. Our old neighbours and pals from Reaction Group (www.reaction-grp.com) have followed us from Frederick Street to Castle Street. They moved in this week. VERY good news for the local publican!