We have already hosted a few events this year and at the time of writing we still have cricket, golf and a spa day to come, yet I’m constantly asked why we continue to invest in corporate hospitality.

The simple and short answer is that these events are a great opportunity to meet clients, let our hair down and all have a bit of fun.

The longer answer is that, despite our best efforts to maintain service quality second to none and deliver a range of services designed to solve every conceivable IT related issue, we recognise good business still relies on the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with our clients.

As a ‘new school’ marketing manager of the digital age, I love the new, the modern and the effective, but ‘old school’ corporate hospitality remains a crucial part of our marketing strategy here at Quiss.

I believe engaging with our clients and prospects away from the office demonstrates we have an interest in developing our relationship beyond the one we build through doing business together. When return on investment is the measure of almost all marketing activities, the idea of building a relationship based on experience is a happy change, which allows us to adopt a more personal approach.

It’s an old adage, but still valid today; people buy from people. By choosing carefully and hosting hospitality events throughout the year, we get to show a side to our business that’s difficult to represent when we are pitching for work.

Typically, we also see a different side to the organisations that employ our services because we are seeing the people that work for our clients as individuals, outside corporate confines.

Hosting interesting and entertaining events can leave a lasting impression and have a positive influence on our brand values. However, the difficulty for me as the marketing manager is ensuring we get enough ‘bang for our buck’.

It’s important we invest in the right events and tailor the experience to our audience. So when we choose to host our renowned golf day, we ensure we can deliver an equally impressive spa day for those not attracted to a 7km walk in the sun, trying to get a 42.7mm diameter ball into a 107.95mm diameter hole!

I like to think that it is this attention to detail and expression of consideration for our clients that enhances our brand – it shows we focus on the detail, not just the big picture stuff, which is critical when delivering managed IT services for organisations large and small.

Of course, there is an ulterior motive to all this largesse and that is the time we get to spend with our clients or prospects. We might get 10 minutes on the phone or an hour’s meeting, but hospitality gives us a long time to get to know the individuals behind the client.

We are not selling, but a chat over a Pimm’s at the horse racing or a Guinness at the cricket allows us to introduce a new service, test an idea, gauge our service satisfaction levels or talk shop in a relaxed environment, without the pressure of the office.

So next time we send an invite, or you see photos from an event, you’ll know it wasn’t a junket or a sales pitch or a way to bunk off work, but just Quiss being hospitable.

Tracy Armstrong, Marketing Manager, Quiss Technology