Organising the Perfect Sport Hospitality Event: A Checklist

When you are planning to entertain at a major sporting event, there are many things that are important to consider. Failing to think about these things would almost certainly cause confusion. They could even result in you being unable to actually attend the event that you have booked.

To make things easy for you, we have created a list to check that you are fully prepared in order to entertain your guests with your chosen sporting event:

1.      Find the event that you would like to book

When you are thinking about booking a sporting event you have to consider the time of year that you intend to entertain. For example, if you choose to entertain guests in the spring, then the Six Nations or the Cheltenham Festival may be ideal. In the summer, Royal Ascot and Wimbledon are scheduled. It is a good idea to discover the interests of those you want to entertain.

If you are entertaining more female guests the Royal Ascot might be preferable due to the decadence of the event, or if the people you are entertaining are rugby fans, then the Six Nations, or the Autumn Internationals would be ideal. It is a matter of judging which event will give you a better return on your investment, whether this return is signed contract from a potential client or a boost in staff morale. The more that you put in, the more you are likely to get out of your event.

2.      Work out what the right package is for you

With a large range of sports hospitality package options available at various different sporting events it is important that you take the time to work out what type of package is right for you. Considering both who you are entertaining and the available budget.

You can go all out with a full hospitality package or you can book a more informal package. A full package usually includes the event, a sit down meal with welcome drinks, tea and coffee and a complementary bar. A lesser package could include the event, a buffet and a cash bar.

Your choice of package will largely depend what you hope to gain by entertaining at a sporting event and the amount of investment you are willing to put into it.

3.      Choose a reputable event company from which to purchase your packages.

After you have chosen what sporting event you want to go to, you need to find a company that can supply a package for your chosen event.

Consider things like reliability, extra costs and finding out exactly what you get for your money. Make sure that the company you go with offers official packages and see if you can get any recommendations or read online reviews.

Don’t simply book with the first company that you come across, research is important. If price is a key factor for you, then gather more than one quote, this will allow you to compare the prices before making a booking. Companies can often sell the same thing at different prices so make sure that you don’t pay too much for a package that you could get for less elsewhere.

4.      Find out when you will receive your tickets/ packages?

Make sure that you find out exactly when you might be able to expect delivery of your packages and tickets. Do you need to distribute tickets or packages to people? What time frame do you have to do this in? Could there be any extra costs involved in this aspect?

Most companies will send out packages for major events 7 to 10 days before the event date, but this does vary so you must check to avoid disappointment.

5.      Special Requirements

Let your supplier know as soon as possible if your guests have any special requirements. Do they need special access or are there any dietary requirements?

Arranging access could be a problem so if it is important your supplier knows this upon booking.

Dietary requirements will need to be highlighted as soon as possible. Most places will stipulate that they require notice to ensure that they can fulfil the needs of your guests.

The main priority of hospitality events is to cater to the needs and likes of all guests, ensuring they have a good time and enjoy the experience, making sure they are provided for will bring you closer to achieving an ideal outcome.

6.      Dress Code

Some major sporting events stipulate a very strict dress code. If you go to watch some of the bigger golfing events there is a no jeans policy, and there are no exceptions to this rule.

At Royal Ascot Ladies must wear a hat or fascinator. Their dresses must not be too low cut, they also must have sleeves and they must be knee length. Gentleman are required to wear a suit. If they have access to the royal enclosure then a mourning suit must be worn, with a top hat. Other events such as The Cheltenham Festival are less formal, but it is still important that still you check.

You will need to make sure that you let the members of your party know what the dress code is. If you do not do this you risk having members of your party turned away at the door or they could be asked to leave, which could cause a lot of embarrassment.

7.      Transport and Location

Before you leave to travel to your chosen venue try to prepare as much as possible. Check that you have all of the relevant details to be able to get to the venue that you have decided to book.

If you are driving, you and your guests will need a post code. Sometimes car parking is included in your package, if this is the case then there will usually be instructions that dictate a route to follow in order to park.

If you decide to use public transport, find out where the nearest train station is located. Do you need to book a taxi to take you from the station to your venue? Or is there a local bus service? How will you and your guests get home? Considering this is especially important if you will be drinking.

Could you consider a mini bus or coach if you are booking for large party of people? Does your package allow you to park a coach at the venue?

All of these are important things to consider and they could make or break your event.

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