The world’s biggest sporting event is a winning setting for hospitality

Tony Barnard, Prestige Ticketing marketing director, explains how the Olympics can help retain your top clients

Q. WHAT WAS YOUR BRAND’S PRIMARY REASON FOR BEING INVOLVED WITH THE GAMES?

A. To have the Olympics in London is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity for any business, whether incentivising senior executives or enhancing client and customer relationships. In the current economic climate businesses understand that holding onto your best clients is more important than looking for new business.

As a provider of hospitality at many major events in recent years, the Prestige Ticketing joint venture business understood the opportunity and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) chose to appoint Prestige for this ground-breaking programme.

Q. WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE ABLE TO OFFER?

A. This is the first time in Olympic history that there has been an hospitality programme within the Olympic and Paralympic venues that has not been the exclusive preserve of the sponsors themselves – Prestige hospitality is open to all. Prestige will deliver a world-class hospitality programme to a level not previously seen at international sporting events.

For example, the Prestige pavilion within the Olympic Park is only 70 metres from the Olympic stadium. (see above)

Many of the Prestige packages include top category Games tickets – for an event effectively sold out, the Prestige packages are almost the golden ticket.

Q. WHERE ARE YOU PROVIDING HOSPITALITY?

A. Prestige is providing hospitality at six Olympic venues: the Olympic Park for ceremonies, athletics, swimming and diving, track cycling, basketball, hockey and handball; Greenwich Park for equestrian events and modern pentathlon; Horse Guards Parade for the beach volleyball; Eton Dorney for rowing and sprint canoe; North Greenwich Arena (O2) for gymnastics and basketball finals; Wimbledon for tennis.

Q. HOW IS THE RESPONSE? HAS THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY MADE A DIFFERENCE?

A. The response from UK-based firms and increasingly international businesses has been phenomenal as they have recognised that this is a truly unique opportunity – no one will forget who took them to the Olympic Games. Companies realise the marketing and business benefits of entertaining at such a unique event.

Businesses also realise that if they are not inviting their best clients, a competitor probably will be. Corporate hospitality is no longer seen as a jolly but rather has become a legitimate and integrated part of any modern customer relationship management programme. In terms of economic uncertainty and turmoil it is vitally important to cement key business relationships. Corporate hospitality provides not only quality face-time with senior clients but a return on investment that is better than many other areas of expenditure.

Q. WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE GAMES?

A. The strength of demand for such diverse sports is a surprising part of this project. The most sophisticated businesses understand that a challenging economy is a time to increase spend on unique events – this is not really a surprise to us, but it is to many people. The international demand is also incredible – sports and events that we had originally thought might not prove so popular in a UK setting have suddenly become highly sought after from elsewhere.

Q. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FIRMS LOOKING FOR HOSPITALITY OPPORTUNITIES AT THE OLYMPICS?

A. You can still be there. You have not yet missed out. Prestige has hospitality packages left for all the events – but don’t leave it too long. Packages are selling quickly now and Prestige only had an allocation from LOCOG of about 1 per cent of the tickets.

CONTACT | PRESTIGE TICKETING
● Guaranteed official London 2012 tickets

● A world-class hospitality experience

● Packages from only £495pp (+VAT)

For advice, call the number below or email rory.heron@prestigeticketing.london2012.com

020 7936 5221