Roger Bray (From the Financial Times)
Corporate hospitality is evolving. Once it simply meant going to watch horse racing and filling your clients with champagne. Now, more and more, guests prefer entertainment in which they can take an active part. The change is similar to what is happening in the leisure travel market. There is now a desire for more than just going to Mediterranean beaches for the sunshine, creating demand for what holiday operations like to call “soft adventure”.
Hosts see it increasingly as a more effective way of building relationships. “The trend is towards anything from flying light aircraft or off-road driving to shooting and fishing,” says Wayne Moss, vice-chairman of the UK Corporate Hospitality association.
“Golf is now the number one hospitality sport – but people want to play rather than just watch.” Five years ago, only about 25 percent of entertaining involved some form of active participation. Now, he estimates, the proportion is close to 40 percent. “Many companies think they can get closer to people by getting them to drive a tank*, for example, rather than by just giving them drinks”.
“Another big change has been the increasing involvement of women in such activities. It used to be a “boys only club”. When I came into this industry in 1990, you hardly ever saw a woman at participation events. Now they probably represent about 20 percent.”
A tank is a powerful military vehicle with a very large gun.
Which of these activities are mentioned in the article?
Watching horse racing g) Watching football
Flying aircraft h) playing golf
Driving, but not on normal roads i) riding horses
Shooting j) watching golf
Playing football k) driving tanks
What do these numbers in the article refer to?
Use the correct form of the words from the article to complete the definitions.
If something changes and develops, it______________________.
If there is a desire for something, this may create _____________ for a product or service.
If you are invited to an event, you are a ____________________. If you invite someone to an event, you are the_____________________.
If you try to know someone better, obtain their trust, etc., you try to __________________ a relationship with them.
If you try to guess a particular figure, you ________________ it.
If you almost never see something, you __________________ see it.
An ideal relationship
Before you read
Do companies help the arts (music, theater, etc.) financially in your country? What are the benefits for a) the companies, b) the arts organizations?
Business and arts need each other, writes Tony Thorncroft
The largest arts sponsorship project of recent years has been the relationship between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Allied Domecq, the drinks company. Allied Domecq have invested £8 million over seven years in the theatre company. It is already seen as a model sponsorship, with benefits for both sides.
To begin with Allied Domecq was mainly interested in using the connection for corporate entertaining. The RSC’s two theaters, at Stratford-on-Avon and in the Barbican in the City of London, were ideally located for meeting key business and political contacts.
The RSC’s annual tour of the UK allowed Allied Domecq to build links in the regions. And the RSC’s frequent overseas visits and tours with big-name actors in important roles created the special occasions which gave the company access to influential figures in some of its main export markets.
Iain Oag, director of external affairs at Allied Domecq with responsibility for the sponsorship, remembers in particular a visit to Mexico, a key Allied Domecq market. The company took over two of the RSC’s eight performances and the president of Mexico was among its guests.
Number the paragraph summaries in the correct order. Two of the summaries are not used.
At first, Allied Domecq saw corporate entertaining as the main benefit of the sponsorship.
The Mexican government is a major sponsor of the arts.
The largest arts sponsorship project of recent years has been the one between Allied Domecq and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The RSC performed in Mexico and the president of Mexico was a guest.
The RSC’s tours helped Allied Domecq build relationships in the UK and abroad.
Many other companies have been involved in arts sponsorship.