The benefits of corporate entertainment

A popular way to gain more clients and increase profits is by showing how much you appreciate their business. But it can also be how much you want their business. Corporate entertainment can range from a huge conference with speakers, bands, and comedians or just a simple round of golf. It could be between a client and a salesperson trying to setup a casual atmosphere for relaxed conversation of a product or service, or a simple morale booster from within the company. Christmas parties, retirement celebrations and other events that don't necessarily have anything to do with gaining business are still considered corporate entertainment and can have an impact on the performance of your employees. But with troubling economic times, some companies might consider forgoing entertainment as it can often be a bit pricey and are not sure it'll be a worthwhile tactic.

The downsides of corporate entertainment

Some companies have gotten in trouble with corporate entertainment because they didn't take into consideration the financial situation they were in. AIG in 2008, after receiving an $85 billion handout from the government, went and spent lavishly at a California resort and spa where $440,000 of that money went to expensive food, spa and room charges. Although I'm sure it raised the morale of the executives, it wasn't a wise move as far as image was concerned. There are books and case studies about this companies business practices, so of course corporate entertainment can work both ways, you really need to plan it well and keep in mind the business implications when going this route.

corporate entertaiinmentCredit: barunpatro

Keep it in perspective

Even though entertaining your employees or future clients can seem like an escape from the daily grind, this type of entertainment is still business and can either have a negative or positive impact on your bottom line. Ensuring you have good corporate entertainment ideas and the funds to pull it off will prove to be one of the wisest business decisions you can make. But if need be, there are a few cost-cutting measures you can take to avoid hurting your profits.

  • Entertain only the highest earners in your company to further encourage the success they've had, while also inspiring others to increase their efforts to be selected next year. This has a competition element to it, but can be successful if implemented correctly. You're only entertaining a few as opposed to a whole company.
  • Create an entertainment fund that every employee donates to throughout the year. This can double as a vote to whether or not you'll need any entertainment, but can also be combined to a small amount allocated to entertainment from the company.
  • Put an initial large deposit in a high yield savings account, researching for the best rates, and let that be where entertainment funds are stored. Usually you'd want to entertain once a year, so withdraw frequency shouldn't be a probably. Just create a budget of how much you're going to spend that year, take that amount out, letting the rest build interest

The basics

Many corporate booking agencies have websites that you can view and browse some of the entertainers they have available as well as prices for those entertainers. It'd be a good idea to choose a company who's been in the business awhile and also has positive feedback from other customers they've worked with. You also want to choose entertainment that fits with your clients or your employees. Who are you trying to entertain? What's the purpose of having entertainment if you're the only one who enjoys it? If possible, maybe get a consensus of what your employees or clients want so that everyone's voice is heard. Also, having a good working relationship with the corporate event planner will prove to be a better experience for all.

A heads up

Entertainment in a business setting is a great way to maintain current business relationships while also building on future ones. You can improve the morale of the company, and increase profits with motivated employees. It's just all in how you go about doing it. You need to understand the financial situation you're in, the public image you're putting out there and whether or not it's adequate for your audience. If these points are overlooked, it can backfire. And just remember, even though it's entertainment, it's still business, so be practical and plan carefully.

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