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PAlife Pointers


SPOR TING VENUES


A SPORTING CHANCE


BOOKING ASPORTING VENUE PROVIDESA NUMBER OF EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE A UNIQUE EVENT OR MEMORABLE DAY OUT FOR STAFF AND CUSTOMERSALIKE, AS NICOLE HOLGATE DISCOVERS


GUARDS POLO CLUB


PORTS LOCATIONSARE OFTEN categorised as unique venues, according to Julian Britton of Stadium Experience, and they


CORPORATE EXPERIENCE EQUAL TO HOTELS


STADIUMS OFFER A


now rival other competition in this field. Thanks to the large amount of money coming into UK sport over the past two decades, sporting venues are increasingly able to compete in the hospitality market, and stadiums offer an experience equal to corporate entertainment in hotels or other commercial venues. Britton says that much of the change in use began to occur when people realised their sporting venues were lying vacant 340 days a year, when home teams were not playing, and sought to fill that gap. He also predicts there is a lot more to come from future experiences, as up-and-coming venues are purpose-built to be “conference centres with a football pitch in the middle”. As well as having


improved their facilities,


sporting venues can offer a reduced cost option by providing all-inclusive hospitality, as Lucinda Viney, Executive PA at Lenovo, can confirm. She took 18 customers to the Wimbledon Championships last June. The venue provided full hospitality, including welcome drinks, lunch and a serving of the obligatory strawberries and cream. Not only did the customers love it, but the hospitality included in the cost provided extra value for


TOP TIPS


FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BOOKING A SPORTING VENUE


1


Make sure the dates are secure, as if a last-minute match were to take place, you may not have full access to all of the venue’s facilities.


2


tap in to the venue’s resources or booking packages with a tour of the stadium or the chance to meet a sporting icon.


3


if you are booking multiple rooms, make sure they are adjacent – venues such as stadiums are obviously quite large, and your guests don’t want to spend hours walking from A to B.


4 Make sure you have access to the club or


venue logo. A well-branded event is a strong draw, and there is no point being at an international sporting venue if no one knows where you are.


5


Find out if there is accommodation on site or nearby. this could affect numbers of


attendees, especially if it is an evening or two-day event.


Courtesy of Amir Vered, Acting Head of Sales, Wembley Conference & Banqueting


WIMBLEDON GATSBY CLUB


money – something Lucinda says is enough to keep her coming back in the future. Similarly, Beverley Mayers, EA to the CEO


at Julius Baer International, took 10 guests to the AEGON Championships at The London Queen’s Club last June. They chose the Members’ Gallery package, which included use of the hospitality area, a Champagne and canapé reception, a three-course meal, Centre Court seats and afternoon tea. “The main problem that can occur with


tennis and other outdoor venues is rain,” says Beverley. However, Queen’s allowed them to take out insurance so they would be reimbursed if adverse weather did stop play. They even provided umbrellas for when the heavens did inevitably open. A further advantage of such venues is the personal connection many customers have with the sport in question. Beverley’s customers were able “to be with individuals, some meeting for the first time, who all shared the same sporting passion – even if they didn’t always support the same player.” Sporting venues are more emotive as an event space because of their regional ties: many followers choose to hold christenings and weddings at the home of their club. As Beverley points out, this can provide a great way for clients to bond, as well as giving the day an additional thrill. So for an all-purpose venue that is


custom-built to cater for a large array of events, and has the added value of unique hospitality experiences with a strong emotional connection, it’s certainly worth giving sporting venues a try. ●


DI SC U SS TIP S FOR US ING SPORT S VENUES ON TWITTER, FOLLOW U S@PA LIFEM AG PALIFE.CO.UK ♦ 23 ♦ JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 • PALife


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