By The Drum, Administrator

June 2, 2006 | 4 min read

If there’s anything that the employees of a Scottish business like more than a good old knees-up, then we’ve yet to find it. Entertaining staff and clients (and on the odd occasion, members of the press) is something that all businesses do. And in the world of marketing, where first (and often last) impressions count even more, the stakes are even higher.

In turn, each venue attempts to offer something special and unique to catch the eye of the discerning client who might be searching for a specific experience or event.

Bridgeen McGee, senior event sales manager for The Royal Yacht Britannia says: “In order to attract companies to use a venue, hospitality venues should offer a unique setting which is flexible enough to suit a broad range of corporate events and, most importantly, is a place where guests can relax.”

She adds: “The venue should be distinctive and should also exceed expectations, in order to compete and stand out to a client who is searching for the right place to hold their event.”

Hospitality is a now a key source of revenue for Scottish football clubs. So much so, that Rangers has recently opened two new lounges at Ibrox; The Morton and Symon Lounges in the Argyle Suite.

According to Donna McLellan, head of hospitality and events at Rangers Football Club, the suites have been designed to “provide an affordable way for small businesses to entertain clients or offer the ideal package for a birthday or special occasion for any Rangers fan.”

McLellan agrees with McGee that hospitality should offer the client “a truly memorable experience”. “Hospitality at Ibrox should provide customers with the ultimate ‘matchday experience’, offering excellent food, attentive and friendly service in comfortable and unique surroundings,” she says.

Michael Max, commercial manager of Partick Thistle says that he believes that, despite being a Scottish Football League club and not as glamorous, they can offer companies a hospitality package that was “different” from competing clubs.

Max comments: “What we do is offer people somewhere they feel comfortable and I think that’s the most important factor of a hospitality suite. It’s important to make people feel they are being treated as an individual. We are able to offer a personal touch that people can enjoy.”

Victoria Scott, reservations co-ordinator for Glasgow’s Tiger Tiger says that she feels that Glasgow’s hospitality can compete with cities throughout the UK. “I think especially for Glasgow, there is a huge focus on conferences and events,” she says. “We are one of the businesses who can do that and I think that, as a venue, we have to realise that there is so much business out there and being able to offer a corporate hospitality package is something that is going to expand. I think that Glasgow is ideal as a location as, despite being able to offer a high standard and great choice, it is far cheaper to do an event here than it is in, say, London or Manchester. That’s a huge benefit.”

Scott says that Tiger Tiger has previously played host to evenings such as fashion shows, Oscar theme nights, conferences, and private parties or gatherings.

A “chameleon-like ability to adapt to a client’s ideas and needs” was one of the main factors that most of the hospitality professionals agreed was an over-riding factor in a venue’s success.

Donna McLellan says that upcoming trends in Scottish hospitality seem to be a growing move towards ‘cherry picking’ by corporate organisations, however Rangers have managed to retain a loyal seasonal client base despite this trend, capitalising on this by offering multi-match packages and one-off games to bolster seasonal sales.

McLellan continues: “As tight controls on corporate marketing and specifically hospitality budgets continue, Scottish hospitality venues will have to maintain their high standards and value of their products and continue to look at new markets and packages to maximise and secure hospitality marketing spend going forward.”


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