What Is Corporate Hospitality and How to Get It Right

When it comes to boosting your image, improving your marketing skills and making a fantastic impression on your clients, guests, partners, or anybody else you’re hosting, going out of your way to show off your corporate hospitality skills is never a bad thing. Everybody likes to feel as though they’re being treated with a welcoming attitude, and if you’re trying to get your guests on side or impress them before a meeting, corporate hospitality is certain to smooth the path towards making that a real success.

At Mask, we’ve become top-notch service providers in this industry by always going the extra mile for our clients and picking up on plenty of wisdom along the way. If you’d like some help organising a corporate hospitality event soon, we’d love to hear from you and go over our expertise in more detail.

handshake over dinner table - what is corporate hospitality

Over the years, the precise nature of corporate hospitality may well have changed somewhat. Certain trends come and go with the whims of fashion, and the nationality, cultural background, age, and gender of your guests will probably influence the specifics of your corporate hospitality efforts. However, one thing has remained constant: treating your guests with respect, politeness, and showing that you’re willing to go the extra mile to bring a smile to their faces is never, ever left unappreciated.

Here at Mask, we’re well versed in the art of fine corporate hospitality - it makes up a big part of what we do as an organisation. We thought we’d take some time to run through some of our thoughts on this subject, highlight the importance and best practises of corporate hospitality, and pitch in with some unusual and effective ideas of our own.

What Is Corporate Hospitality?

Corporate hospitality is all about building and strengthening the relationship between yourself as a host, and whosoever your guests might be. It may be as simple as researching your guest’s favourite dishes, giving them a taste of the local culture, or providing them with some carefully-chosen entertainment options.

Naturally, it could be considerably more extravagant than that, and see you pull out all the stops to ensure they have an experience they’ll never forget. Either way, the idea behind it is all about demonstrating that you’re interested in making the best possible impression and are willing to go out of your way to do something special, thoughtful, or appropriate for your meeting or event.

Waiter serving champagn with strawberries

Essentially, corporate hospitality is an investment of sorts. It may require some extra effort and spending in order to set up, but the results it brings can be enormously beneficial for everyone involved. The bottom line, here, is to show that you’ve been considerate, thoughtful, and that whatever the meeting or event you’re setting up may be, you’ve given thought to the hospitality element and that you genuinely want your guest to have a great time. Such actions rarely go unrewarded!

What are the Benefits of Corporate Hospitality?

The benefits of corporate hospitality are many, and a lot of the benefits may not be immediately obvious - after all, it’s hard to say what precise results a smiling face and comfortable environment can bring. However, we can say that the following benefits are more or less assured.

  • A Great First Impression

In the corporate world, first impressions count for a huge amount. Putting your best foot forward and showing your best possible side upon meeting a new client or investor is absolutely vital in order to set the tone for the rest of the meeting and going out of your way to provide great hospitality can really make a massive difference in this regard.

  • Building and Maintaining Relationships

Think about it: if you went along for a business meeting, and it was clear the hosts hadn’t really put any thought or effort into how to make you feel happy, comfortable, and welcome… would you really be tempted to follow up on any offers or further communication? It may be that such factors wouldn’t make a huge difference to your decisions or willingness to enter a business relationship. But then again, it might make a huge difference. The fact of the matter is, you never really know, and it’s always better to play it safe, and show off your hospitality skills regardless.

  • Marketing Opportunities

By putting on a great spread, showing off your hospitality capabilities, and demonstrating that you and your company are willing to go the extra mile, you’re taking advantage of a great marketing opportunity. Why? Because people and clients will quickly cotton on the idea that you and your company are the ones who put the effort in and are keen to stand head and shoulders above the competition.

  • Entertainment

It’s sometimes easy to forget that your corporate clients and guests are people, and not just faceless entities. The fact is, they enjoy having a good time as much as anybody else does, and by making an effort with hospitality, you’ll help them feel good about the meeting, open up, relax, and enjoy the experience of being in your care. This can help build cohesion between you and build trust and openness all round.

  • Return on Investment

It might sound counter-intuitive, but there’s now little doubt about the fact that corporate hospitality events see a very positive ROI at the end of the day. By putting on a great set of hospitality options, not only is business likely to flow more comfortably and smoothly, it also has been shown to encourage spending at the event itself… meaning you’ll end up with more cash in your pockets the more you put into the event.

Corporate Hospitality Best Practices

what is corporate hospitality

As with anything in either the corporate world or the world of events, there are fairly well-defined right and wrong ways to go about business. For many of us, this is a sharp learning curve. After all, get your hospitality wrong, and it becomes pretty clear rather quickly that you haven’t managed to hit the spot. Thankfully, we’re on hand to offer some advice on best practices to follow - read on and find out more!

  • The Venue

It goes without saying that your chosen venue says a lot about you as hosts and will provide the backdrop for all your hospitality arrangements. If the weather’s good and your event style calls for it, look into a beautiful outdoor venue with plenty of refreshing drinks. Need somewhere exclusive and quiet for an evening event? Consider taking them to a private club, or underground bar. The choice is yours!

  • Invited Guests

Getting the right mix of people is key, and you should spend some time considering your guest list to ensure it hits the right note. If you need to keep conversation flowing, make sure you bring along you’re more outgoing and confident clients. If you need media coverage, think carefully about which attendees could put your event in the best possible light. Don’t overpack your venue, and don’t leave it too empty, either!

  • Price Ranges and ROI

You’ll have to keep your budget in mind when organising this hospitality event. If you want a good ROI, consider a more affordable venue and catering option… so long as it doesn’t let you down with something that fails to show off your generosity. Lots of events companies will have special offers for hospitality setups, so take a look at what’s on offer and make sure you get something that works to your advantage.

  • Small vs Large Bookings

There are benefits to both large-scale, extravagant bookings, and smaller, more intimate and relaxed ones. In fact, smaller bookings which offer a sense of exclusivity are very much en vogue right now, and when it comes to hospitality, often these types of bookings will allow you to lavish your guests with more attention. However, if you want to go all-out and put on a show, that’s entirely up to you and can have brilliant results!

  • Engaging the Invitees

Attendee engagement is key to a successful event of any kind. Make sure your entertainment is on point and offers plenty of opportunity for them to get involved at all times (if they so wish). A range of different options is probably a safe bet, and it’s important to ensure any entertainment you put on is appropriate and fits with the overall theme of the meeting.

Corporate Hospitality Ideas

We’ve seen some amazing corporate hospitality ideas over the years, and we can safely say that the best ones are those which require some sort of interactivity and engagement from the attendees. You want them to feel that the event is all about them, and that they have the ability to get the limelight and call the shots if they so wish. We particularly like the following ideas:

Barman is making cocktail - what is corporate hospitality
  • Interactive Food and Drinks Stations

The age of the tired sandwich buffet is long gone. Get smart with your catering options and allow your guests to take charge of what they want. This could be something classic like a skilled cocktail mixologist, who can whip up the guests’ favourite drinks (or even teach them how to mix a classic themselves), or some sort of food options which allow the guests to customise their dishes and get them just the way they want.

  • Contests and Competitions

Everyone loves getting involved in contests and competitions. Whether it’s a quick, fun poetry contest to summarise the event in a creative way, an art contest, a caption competition, or some kind of social media-based photo contest, this is a great way of boosting engagement and showing off your event management savvy.

  • Caricaturists

Caricature artists are known for their ability to conjure up funny portraits in a matter of seconds and are perennially popular on the events and hospitality circuit. Consider booking a local talent to serve your event - it’s sure to bring a smile to the faces of your guests!

  • Covers Band

If you want your event to end with a real bang, book a talented band to come along and bang out some classic covers to get everyone moving on the dance floor. You could even get your attendees to submit requests to the band, too, and watch them enjoy getting down to the music.

  • Corporate Comedians

Laughter is rarely a bad sign at a corporate event (well, unless things are going really, really badly…) and comedians are great at encouraging engagement and getting attendees to take a sideways look at the corporate world. Most working comedians will also tailor their material for the event or company booking them, meaning you’ll get a unique show that pokes friendly fun at the event itself.

Corporate Hospitality: Smoothing the Path to Success

As we’ve seen, corporate hospitality takes many forms, and can be done in many different ways. The key behind it all, however, is to demonstrate that you’re putting the effort in to show off the best side of your company and raise your profile on a competitive market. 

At Mask, we’ve become top-notch service providers in this industry by always going the extra mile for our clients and picking up on plenty of wisdom along the way. If you’d like some help organising a corporate hospitality event soon, we’d love to hear from you and go over our expertise in more detail.