Business and Association Proposal

The purpose of this report is to recommend entering into one clearly identified sector of the events industry. This report will evaluate the current corporate hospitality sector, showing the trends in the market and the growth that it has experienced. By looking at the advantages these events can have on a company the report will then go on to elaborate as to why it would be appropriate for the stationary company Doodle Inc to move into this sector. Business and Association Events Research carried out by RS&M for the event agency McMenemy Hill estimated that UK companies spend 330 million annually on events. (Bowdin et al 2001).

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But what exactly are these events which they are talking about. Business and Association events also known as MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) are events that are organised to satisfy the needs of the business and/or association markets. The business and association market can be divided up into two main sections: Business/Corporate Market. The business/corporate market refers to events such as conferences, exhibitions (trade shows) product launches, road shows, incentive events and corporate hospitality.

Many companies hold these types of events to further themselves in the business world. These are good way to make new contacts, drum up new business and even just motivate staff. Association Market The association market refers to events such as non-profit events held by professional and trade associations or political parties it also includes public sector conferences and meetings held by local authority or educational bodies. “Any event for the benefit of a company entertaining clients of staff, or prospective clients at the company’s expense.

” Mintel (2002) defines it as: “A business using an event or venue to entertain its associates, clients and potential clients” Corporate hospitality is about organising some form of entertainment for clients or staff which will enhance the business. In the case of clients it is a chance to achieve a good working relationship with business people within your industry whilst giving them a positive image of the company. For staff it is a good way to motivate them or simply thank them for their hard work.

Corporate hospitality covers a wide range of different activities including a day go-karting, golfing trips, flights abroad, a gala dinner or even a family fun day. Corporate hospitality has been used by many companies for many years to entertain their existing or potential clients. It is a frequent occurrence in the business world for a customer to be taken out to lunch or dinner or to a sporting event at the expense of the company. According to Croft (1992) times are changing and these ideas are now becoming more old fashion.

Business men no longer want to go on just a day out, they need to have a reason to go, they need to know that they are achieving something out of the invitation. Due to technological advances and the rapidly changing business world, many companies in the UK now work on a global scale, so business men are constantly having to travel all over the world for meetings or conferences. The offer of a trip to a foreign place simply for a day out, which is of no benefit to them, no longer appeals.

Along with the business benefits, business people need to be tempted by something out of the ordinary for them to take time of their schedules to attend. They want to go to something which is quite out of the ordinary something that they wouldn’t do everyday. They need a wow factor. For many companies corporate hospitality is now a way of driving sales, securing new contracts and making new contract within the industry, and has become an extremely valuable marketing tool.

It is becoming recognised as being a valuable investment for companies. (Crofts, 1992). The Mintel Report (2002) showed that there was a growth in the sector from   570 million in 1997, to  649 million in 2002; this is a growth of 19% in the last 5 years. This rise is largely due to the fact that companies realise the vital role that corporate hospitality has to play in the marketing mix. In recent years it has become evident that companies are now including corporate hospitality in their marketing budgets.

“A 1999 survey, commissioned by the catering company Sodexho Services Group, showed that 60% of marketing directors and senior managers planned to maintain their corporate hospitality expenditure at constant levels, in real terms, for some years to come, even if the economy slowed down. 30% of respondents were planning to increase their expenditure” (Keynote, 2000) This survey shows that even though economies are slowing the demand for corporate hospitality is still on the increase. Directors are realising the rewards that corporate hospitality can bring to a company.