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Six Top Tips for Corporate Hospitality

An Engage champagne reception

Want to give a boost to your business relationships? Follow these tips to ensure you entertain clients in style.

In the business world, cultivating relationships with individuals both inside and outside your company is always paramount. This is especially the case when you are looking to make that big deal, or push forward with an initiative that you believe in.

One of the best ways to do this can be in a more informal setting, provided you do things properly. Here are the six most important things to keep in mind when laying on corporate hospitality.

Two Engage guests enjoying an event

Focus on building trust

It’s a classic mistake – you want to get things moving, so you cut to the chase too early and spoil the mood. You’re not in a meeting, so now is not the time to push too hard for a deal.

Instead, get to know each other. If you build a strong rapport first, chances are the business will go much more smoothly. However as always, be prepared to make your pitch if the client brings it up!

Know your client

Take your time to research what makes your client tick. Are they interested in sports? If they are, you have a great opportunity to show them a good time, and a relaxed topic of conversation as you get to know one another.

Be polite

When entertaining, the little things can be important. Etiquette matters. For instance, allow your client to take a seat before yourself. Treat your client with deference and respect to show that you value them.

England v Ireland Rugby

Make it memorable

Simply going for a meal at a restaurant, even a nice one, might not make the impact that you want. Get your client’s attention by doing something special that they are likely to remember, and you will find it pays off.

Aim to be early

Nobody likes to be kept waiting, and to make the best impression you want to be there early to greet your clients with a smile. This goes without saying, but you don’t want to risk being late and making a bad impression.

Luxury dining with Engage

Never skimp on quality

Finally, if your client is important to you let that be reflected in the quality you provide for them. Spending money on a premium experience from a trusted provider will make a world of difference in your client’s impressions of you and your company.

About Engage

Engage Hospitality provides corporate hospitality packages of a world-class standard, and we are official partners of organisations including England Rugby, Silverstone, Lord’s, the NBA, Chelsea FC and Wembley Stadium. To view our range of packages or to speak to one of our advisers, visit www.engagehospitality.co.uk.

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2018: A once-in-a-lifetime Wimbledon?

                                                                         

As anyone who left it even slightly late to find tickets for this summer’s Wimbledon will have realised, tennis is enjoying a truly golden period.  With four all-time greats still competing at the very top of the game, fans have wised-up to the prosepct of witnessing history unfold and, consequently, matches are selling out earlier and earlier.

If Roger Federer winning his 8th Wimbledon and 19th Grand Slam made 2017 a vintage year, then his quest for yet another title and the return of Serena Williams will further enhance expectations that 2018 could be an all-time classic.

Williams, Grand Slam tennis’ most successful ever player,  missed this year’s grass court showpiece due to the impending arrival of her first child.  She is, however, expected to be back at SW19 next time around, where she’ll be looking for her 8th Wimbledon title and, assuming she doesn’t win any more in the meantime, an incredible 24th Grand Slam.

Though it’s generally agreed that Williams and Federer are the game’s two best ever players, they will both be 36 by next summer and Rafa Nadal (31) and Novak Djokovic (30) could well surpass their achievements in the coming years.

Despite suffering a slump in form this season, if only by his own high standards, Novak can still produce scintillating tennis on any surface and it would be a brave soul indeed who would bet against him winning more Slams.

Rafa’s hold on the French Open is so strong that injuries alone seem capable of limiting his trophy collection to the record-breaking 10 he already has and he can still beat anyone on his day on hard courts and grass.

Regardless, when Rafa’s 15 Grand Slams and Novak’s 12 are added to the mix, you have four players boasting 69 Grand Slam titles between them, with two to play for before Wimbledon again opens its gates.

When any one of the fab four retire, it could be a lifetime before British tennis fans have the chance to see such a stellar line-up of greats on home soil (and we’ve not even mentioned the additional and equally rare attraction of Andy Murray, a two-time champion and home favourite).

If you have ever wanted to see live tennis, surely now is the time.

Enagage have exclusive VIP Show Court packages available for all rounds of Wimbledon 2018.

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Engage’s Guide to the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham festival

It’s that time of year when the lure of the Cheltenham Festival proves too much for many racegoers and, in case you number amongst them, Engage have cast their eyes over the runners and riders.

At about 1.30 pm on 17th March, in the shadow of Cleeve Hill, a familiar sound will ring out around the Cotswolds: the roar that will signal the start of ‘jump racing’s Olympics’, the Cheltenham Festival.

This year, as always, Cheltenham will serve up its usual unrivalled four-day stamina test for horses and humans.

Most National Hunt trainers would rate a winner at Cheltenham as the pinnacle of their year.  In this way, jump racing is different to flat, as the latter has a series of high points through the season, from Newmarket, Epsom and Ascot to Goodwood, York and Doncaster.

Jump racing has the twin peaks of Cheltenham and Aintree, plus the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, so owners, trainers and punters have their sights set on the Cotswolds from the day they leave Cheltenham on Gold Cup day the previous year.

Engage clients will be enjoying one of sport’s most prestigious and social events from the luxury surroundings of our private boxes, so, regardless of whether they enjoy a proper punt or simply bet a couple of pounds for the craic, we thought we’d study the form and highlight some contenders for them.

Irish eyes will be smiling if the opening race goes to form, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, as horses trained by Willie Mullins have won three of the last four runnings and his travelling support will doubtless back him to continue that run of successes.

Each day has a feature race and on the Tuesday it is the Champion Hurdle, where Yanworth, trained by Alan King, heads most bookies’ lists, but he will be missing his regular jockey Barry Geraghty.

On Wednesday, there is the thrill of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, where horses go flat out over the big fences for two miles, a race that has produced such brilliant winners such as Remittance Man, Moscow Flyer and Master Minded.

This year it could be the turn of Douvan, also trained by Willie Mullins, who carried all before him in his novice chasing season and won at the Cheltenham last year.  Mullins has had many great horses pass through his hands, but he reckons Douvan, bred in France, might just be the best of them all.

On Thursday, the Ryanair Chase takes centre stage along with the Stayers’ Hurdle, run over three miles, where Unowhatimeanharry is regarded as one of the bankers of the meeting.

Those still solvent by Friday will see the main even of the week, the Gold Cup.  Run over three miles and two-and-a-half furlongs, the race is regarded as the most prestigious run over fences and the crowd will never be louder as they cheer on some tired horses coming up the Cheltenham hill.  Cue Card and Native River, both trained by Colin Tizzard, could be in the shake-up here and are well worth a look.

By the time the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup is run at 5.30pm on the final day, most revellers will know the state of their balance sheet, but win or lose, they will have had the time of their lives and will be counting the days to next year’s event.

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Tennis 2017 with Engage – It’s Back to the Future in Melbourne

Tennis

Late last year, many experts suggested that 2017 could be one of the most exciting and open seasons in years. Less than a month in, and with the first big tournament not yet over, those predictions are already proving accurate.

Andy Murray headed into the Australian Open as No.1 in the world and looked odds-on to cement his position after Novak Djokovic’s early exit. Unfortunately, he came unstuck in the fourth round against the lowly ranked Mischa Zverev. So, with the world’s two best players set to watch the semi-finals on TV, who would steal a march on their rivals?

All the attention focused on the ever-growing group of pretenders to the throne (Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and co.), who have for some time been regularly beating the established superstars and just need a little more consistency to break into the top two.

No one, however, predicted the truly epic final. Roger Federer vs Rafa Nadal (ranked 17th and 9th) turning back the clock to play out a classic five-setter, with the Swiss genius eventually taking his 18th Slam in his first tournament back after over 6 months out through injury.

Further down the rankings, Englishman Dan Evans has started to take some serious scalps, with his victories in Melbourne over Bernard Tomic and Marin Cilic perhaps signalling a move to the next level. For so long the bad boy of British tennis, Evans may now have discovered the self-belief and drive to push for the top ten and he will be confident of good showings at both Queen’s and Wimbledon this summer.

Just when we thought the Williams sisters’ domination was over, Serena beats her sister Venus in another Grand Slam final. Despite that, the women’s game is again looking extremely competitive, with a very fresh feel to the top ten. A run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne has seen Johanna Konta move up to 9th in the world, so it could yet prove to be a great summer for the Brits.

Below is our brief guide to this year’s big home events:

Aegon Queen’s Club Championships – London, 19th – 25th June

This has long been a favourite entertaining spot, with the sumptuous surroundings and proximity to central London combining to offer relaxed and luxurious hospitality options. Regular tournament victories for home-favourite Andy Murray can make for an electric atmosphere, further enhancing Queen’s status as a standout option in any event calendar.

We’ve selected two of the best possible packages to cater for a range of budgets: The Roof Garden, which has been redesigned for 2017, is an impressively light and airy facility with ample space outside to enjoy the June sunshine and sip on some Pimms; and Love Fifteen, which is an informal bistro-style facility with prices starting from only £299 + VAT per person.

The Championships, Wimbledon – London, 3rd – 16th July

Still undoubtedly the world’s premier tennis tournament, a day at Wimbledon is one of the most sought after invitations and something that is cherished by clients from around the globe.

Whether you opt for No.1 Court, where you can enjoy watching the sport’s biggest names, or Centre Court, where play takes place under the roof, come rain or shine, until the late hours, we have a range of options for you, from the discrete, luxurious private suites on Centre Court to the buzzing atmosphere of the Gatsby Club.

APT World Tour Finals – London, 13th – 19th November

This end-of-season showdown for the top 8 men’s singles and doubles players is fast becoming an institution at the O2.  It offers a dramatic contrast to the summer classics, with a vibrant atmosphere and over 20,000 spectators cheering on their favourite players from around the world. Packages will be on sale soon, so why not register your interest now to avoid missing out on the best facilities and matches?

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The 6 Nations Country Guide

6 nations

The 2017 6 Nations is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in years. England may be hot favourites to defend their Grand Slam title, but recent strong showings by Ireland, Scotland and France, alongside a powerful, experienced Welsh squad, mean it is far from a foregone conclusion.

Engage will be hosting clients at some of the tournament’s biggest clashes and you can still join them. Click here for more information.

England

There is talk of a 6 Nations injury crisis for the reigning champions, but Eddie jones has further developed the strong, young squad he inherited from Stuart Lancaster and will not yet be losing sleep.

Injuries to seemingly key men, such as the Vunipola brothers, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury and Chris Robshaw, could be rendered irrelevant by players of the calibre of Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Nathan Hughes and Tom Wood waiting in the wings.

A huge opening game at home against France and tough trips to Cardiff and Dublin will demand England be at their best if another Grand Slam is to be achieved, but their autumn form after three summer wins in Australia make it hard to argue against the bookmakers, who have them installed as odds-on favourites.

Ireland

Ireland will take great heart from their first win against New Zealand last autumn and the impressive display that followed in a battling loss. They will be further galvanised by the tragic loss of Anthony Foley, whose memory will doubtless inspire some passionate displays. These factors, combined with a fixture list they may well see as favourable, means the final game against England could be a showdown for the 6 Nations Championship.

Wales

Wales are vying with France to be considered the ‘dark horses’ ahead of this year’s 6 Nations. A draw against Ireland and a narrow loss to England last time round would suggest their talented squad only requires a few tweaks to challenge for honours. However, their home form in the autumn, when a heavy defeat to Australia was flowed by unconvincing wins against Argentina, Japan and a toothless South Africa, could point to problems ahead.

A strong showing first up in Rome could steady their nerves and provide the ideal launch pad for a serious title challenge.

Scotland

A recent win against Argentina and a one-point loss to Australia offered further proof that Scotland have been on a steady upward curve in recent years. Though they are not yet widely considered as title contenders, they could certainly derail the claims of teams who are. Blessed with a mobile pack and some outstanding backline talent, including the irrepressible Stuart Hogg, they will be confident at home and dangerous away.

France

Perennially the most unpredictable team in the 6 Nations, France could be playing for the Championship or the wooden spoon come the final weekend.

Their 2016 6 Nations campaign was a disaster, with close wins over Ireland and Italy providing their only solace. Since then, they have drawn a two-match summer series in Argentina and run both Australia and New Zealand very close in Paris (losing by two and five points respectively).

Despite an often-cited dearth of French talent competing in the Top 14, France can still field a monstrous pack and dangerous backline. What they haven’t been able to do in recent seasons is achieve any level of consistency in selection or clarity in collective ambition. If they do manage to address those issues, anything is possible.

Italy

Consistency is also a problem for the Azzurri and something new coach Conor O’Shea has been working hard to address. Last year’s 6 Nations opening weekend saw them five minutes from a win in Paris, only to then suffer four sound thrashings in their subsequent fixtures. The pattern continued in the autumn, when a hiding at the hands of New Zealand was followed by their first ever win over South Africa and a disappointing loss to Tonga.

France in Rome may be their best chance of registering a win this time round, with close losses in the other fixtures possibly representing moral victories.