As I write, not long after another exceptional Cheltenham Festival, it’s difficult for me not to talk in gushing terms about the work done by our colleagues at Jockey Club Racecourses. However, I will refrain; because it was while I was at the event, sharing a fantastic day out with guests of GL events UK, that it occurred to me quite how valuable these event hospitality experiences can be.
At GL events, we’re undertaking several research projects, in order to establish a better understanding of the industry, and to tackle some of the issues encountered by our industry as we enter a new era of outdoor and hospitality events. These projects include a focus on the themes of commercialisation, globalisation, and the future of our events industry.
One of the major topics that continues to come to light across these themes is the need for event production and event support professionals to spend more time talking. We see admirable examples of supplier/buyer relationships so smooth that trust and capability are a given; yet often this approach can repress, rather than encouraging, conversation. As an industry, we’re so hung up on our ability to create wonderful worlds, that we often forget to ask why we’re doing so.
Event hospitality is a classic example. GL events builds the greatest range and variety of hospitality, retail and trade spaces at Cheltenham; but it was only as we hosted guests and clients from across the industry, in a third-floor hospitality suite of our own, that we found the time to sit back, enjoy the views, and have these conversations.
It was a great day’s racing. I’d like to use this column to personally thank Fayonagh for flying home to victory, making my luck slightly better than it could have been! But by far the best part of the day was spending time with customers, and learning much more about them. Not just in business terms; but personally. Shared interests, likes and dislikes, future plans – the conversations you can only have with time, adding so much value to working relationships.
This reminded me that we don’t just enable brilliant events and event organisers. We also play our own part in facilitating relationships and business. Something this industry really needs if we’re going to continue to grow our role and value in modern business.
I’d like to congratulate everyone at Jockey Club Racecourses on a superb event, and wish the rest of our clients the very best of luck as we move into a record breaking-ly busy summer of iconic events and hospitality. But also, to commend the work of our industry for all that it achieves, every day, for so many people. It’s difficult to calculate the value we add.
Bring on the summer!
Scott Jameson, GL events UK Group Managing Director