Golf events are corporate favourites. As entertainment budgets come under intense scrutiny, you may think that golf would be among the first things for the axe. But you would be wrong.
Companies are prepared to spend anything from £5,000 to £20,000 on a golf day will always have worthwhile business objectives.
In addition, golf resorts and golf hotels are increasingly keen to impress meetings and convention planners with their facilities and convenience. It could be argued that at least as much business is done on the course - or in the golf resort meetings room - as is in the boardroom.
One company that has seen the benefits of doing business on the golf course first-hand is Cardiff-based IT specialist, Certus IT.
Paul Brown, business development director, says: "We view the high-end networking you can have by spending four to five hours on a golf course
with a good contact as invaluable.
"Just recently, we landed a three-year, £200,000 contract with Fifth
Dimension Systems, the number one Sage partner in the UK, which is enabling us to expand our operations from Cardiff to opening satellite offices in Camberley, Leeds and Southampton," he says.
"It has given us the boost we need to start to realise our long-term ambitions of becoming a big regional IT consultancy. The catalyst for these discussions came about after a few rounds on the fairway. You simply can't put a price
Many companies use single day golf events to entertain old clients or to
woo new ones. And - given that an average game for four will take four
hours, usually in magnificent scenery and often with top class food and drink served in excellent facilities- it provides the perfect opportunity for a sales pitch.
This year's Ryder Cup has been a marketing boon for Wales. For a tiny
country to host the world' s third-biggest sporting event, is some deal.
And Wales tourism, meetings and convention bosses are trying their hardest
to cash in, albeit on the slimmest of resources. "Interest in doing business
on the fairway is greater than ever" says Roger Pride, director of marketing
at the Welsh Assembly.
"Naturally, The Twenty Ten course at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport is
a popular choice with corporates, who were keen to try out the course
before the best golfers from Europe and the US went head to head this
month. However, with 189 courses to choose from, 22 of which are links, businesses soon realise that they are spoilt for choice when selecting a potential course in Wales.
"Venues recognise the natural links between business and golf and are upgrading their facilities to ensure they can offer a complete package. Together with The Celtic Manor Resort which combines a £20m golf
clubhouse with a 400-bed five-star spa hotel and more than 30 meeting
rooms, The Vale Resort in the Vale of Glamorgan has opened a £1m
state-of-the art conference facility, while the Marriott St Pierre Hotel & Country Club in Chepstow has spent £1.8m remodelling its two golf courses
as part of a wider £7m refurbishment of its facilities."
Taken from an article by Jill James, published October 8 2010 16:32. For the full article: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/28711f6a-d27e-11df-9e88-00144feabdc0.html