The success of a budding small to medium enterprise relies, in part, on the professional relationships it builds and maintains. Mixing with customers, colleagues and even competitors is a vital process for gaining industry recognition.

What’s more, face-to-face interaction becomes all the more important when it comes to establishing a strong and trustworthy working relationship, especially in today’s world which is dominated by social media and online conversations.

Hospitality can play an important role in developing these relationships; SMEs and their most forward-thinking entrepreneurs are making the most of the options out there in order to propel their business forward.

However, with so much at stake for these business minds, it is imperative that smaller businesses understand what it is they are booking and whether the packages follow procedures that are outlined in their company policy regarding the use of gifts and hospitality.

In order to benefit from an efficient and engaging hospitality programme, SMEs should…

…be compliant.

Ensuring that you have highlighted and reported how your hospitality budget will be used and that it not only supports the welfare of attendees but also addresses wider issues, such as sustainability and environmental responsibility. Purchasers of hospitality will be in a stronger position to achieve compliance approval. Did you know, for example, that match day hospitality at Twickenham Stadium contributes to grassroots investment in rugby?

…be official.

Booking through an official provider ensures that your experience, from ticket purchase to the on-day service, is of the highest possible quality. Booking hospitality with a provider that does not have a direct relationship with the event owners, i.e. unofficial, could result in a less impactful experience, or worst case, no experience at all, i.e. a less fruitful deal overall.

…be observant.

Having taken an official route to your packages, you will be able to track the ROI of your event. From the amount of quality networking that takes place to the resulting partnerships facilitated for your business, the outcomes of your hospitality booking will likely bring about great benefits for your small business.

The right kind of hospitality, as part of your wider marketing strategy, will encourage your business to grow and establish its place on the frontline of your industry.

Sam Coates is head of marketing for Keith Prowse. To find out more contact Keith Prowse: 0333 414 9845 or enquiries@keithprowse.co.uk