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Before you read a text on the latest form of corporate hospitality, answer the following questions.

1. If you were invited to spend the day with a corporate client, which of these activities would you prefer to do?

a) Have a ride in a hot-air balloon
b) Drive an army tank
c) Watch tennis at Wimbledon
d) Fly in a Russian MIG jet fighter

2. How much do you think it costs to

a) drive an army tank $
b) watch tennis at Wimbledon $
c) fly in a Russian MIG jet fighter $

3. Why do you think companies spend large amounts of money on entertaining clients?

Read the text and check your answers.

When it comes to corporate hospitality, companies are constantly trying to go one better than their competitors.

Hospitality is no longer about cocktails and a smoked salmon buffet, or champagne and strawberries at Wimbledon. Now corporate executives are being offered toys, tanks and jet aircraft. Excitement, entertainment and experience are the new buzzwords in the corporate entertainment business.

London firms are now taking their favourite clients on driving lessons in a tank, as well as target practice using the tank's guns. The winner of the shooting competition gets a chance to run over a car with the tank.

"A lot of traditional corporate hospitality events like racing at Ascot and tennis at Wimbledon have been around for so long, and so many companies have actually done these things," says Hanna Sharp of entertainment firm, Corporate Promotions.

"Yet every year they have the same clients they need to entertain, so they have got to come up with new, fresh and exciting ideas."

Another event intended to thrill clients involves flying a jet fighter, similar to the movie Top Gun with Tom Cruise.
"There is a bit more risk involved in this one. But it is a good bonding activity and people are a little bit edgy," says Simon Shaw from Midland Investments, who used the service.

However, capturing the imagination of corporate customers comes at a price. Entertaining at events like the Henley Regatta boat race near London costs $600 a day, while a corporate hospitality seat at centre court for the Wimbledon tennis tournament can cost as much as $2000.
"The budgets are absolutely huge. But it is much more cost-effective to keep that customer than to actually go out and find new ones," says Hanna Sharp.
A day in a tank costs $400 a head, while a 30 minute flight in a jet adds up to $1,000. If you want something more authentic, a ride in a MIG-29 jet fighter in Russia could cost you $18,000.

"The whole team is relentlessly searching for new ideas and increasingly we are actually creating events in response to what is in the media and what is popular," Sharp says.
Corporations are now able to offer trips up Everest or treks across Antarctica for their clients.

While companies are trying to offer a once in a lifetime experience that clients are unlikely to forget, it seems that the majority of corporate executives still prefer a ride in a hot-air balloon or a relaxing day at a health spa.


Find words in the text which mean the following:

a) (Spanish) Palabras que están de moda, clichés –
b) companies –
c) (Spanish) atropellar –
d) to produce or find – (phrasal verb)
e) (Spanish) emocionar, hacer alusión a –
f) the process by which individuals become emotionally connected to each other –
g) nervous, tense –
h) (Spanish) rentable –
i) (Spanish) implacablemente, inexorablemente -


What do we mean by Corporate Hospitality?

Corporate Hospitality can be described as any event where an organisation entertains clients, prospective clients or staff at the organisation’s expense. This includes spectator sports, participatory events and activities, art or cultural events, and any other events.

Why use Corporate Hospitality?

The basic idea behind corporate hospitality is to strengthen relationships. Hospitality really targets the individual rather than the company as, for example, a purchasing director being invited by a sales director is of more benefit to the invitee than his/her company.

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