Corporate Entertainment

The image of corporate entertainment has been damaged in the last couple of years. Reports of Government subsidised banks having expensive events entertaining clients, sticks in the throat for many people who have lost their jobs, or who are struggling to pay their mortgage. Hospitality tents at Wimbledon; half empty, but paid for in full, also annoy many people.

Yet in all cases, the banks booked and paid for the events before the financial crisis AND corporate entertainment is part of the process of developing relationships in business. Many businesses: particularly City companies are concerned about visibly entertaining clients given the current economic situation. They cannot be seen to be having ‘jollies’ even if they are entertaining existing and prospective clients. Of course, this has had an impact on the Events, Conference, Hospitality and Entertainment sector.

Simon Speller from Hillier Hopkins LLP Accountants said that the Event sector is a very good indicator of economic stability. Clients of his in this sector began to be hit at the beginning of 2008: before other sectors were affected, but, he optimistically said that his clients are now seeing increased activity in the latest quarter: suggesting that there is economic growth – or optimism.

Before the Credit Crunch, large or even limitless budgets were available for corporate entertainment, and lavish affairs were organised with no expense spared. Prices were high, and it was not unheard of for Event Companies to have huge mark ups on their suppliers prices, which they passed on to their clients. Now, however, the trend is for limited budgets and for fees to be negotiated and some entertaining to be cut.

One of our clients mentioned that they were no longer organising their regular hospitality events for all of their clients; instead of taking 100 clients for a corporate day at Twickenham, including watching an International; they were now taking 10 high earning clients to see the match and a curry: cutting the cost from £700 per person to £70. They were also going through their database; inviting people to fewer events and saving the best invitations to their highest earners only.

Another client, who works for a major supermarket that made record profits last year, said that all of the Christmas Office parties were cancelled last year as a cost cutting exercise. Normally her department of 20 would have had a budget of £40,000, yet the company were reluctant to even organise an in house drinks party. Of course cancelling office parties impacts on staff morale and is not always the most effective cost saving measure!

So why do organisations entertain? Is it for fun, or to make them look good? Is it to show off or to reward their staff? There is a little of all these factors when organisations entertain, but it is generally for business purposes. Providing employees with a fantastic away day experience or Office Party is a good reward for loyalty and hard work – hence the demoralisation when these are cancelled. However, first and foremost it is to establish and maintain relationships with clients.

If you arrange to meet a high earning client in McDonalds for a coffee, it says little about how you value the client and their business to you, but if you take care with the venue you choose to meet for coffee: that it is private and quiet to have the opportunity to discuss business in a professional way – it says so much about how you value the business relationship. Likewise, a restaurant where the service and ambience is not good (even if it is expensive) will do little for the business relationship that a lovely family owned restaurant where the chef and front of house really care about their customers.

It is no longer necessary to lavishly entertain clients with high budget events. If you have a limited budget, it is fine to have an in house drinks party, but ensure you have arranged the finer details – such as a cloakroom for coats; clean glasses (yes: that isn’t always the case with hired glasses!) and a few canapés: and organising who is going to serve the drinks and canapés.

We have offered clients who are organising in house events a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) entertainer. The fee comes from their CSR fund, and the entertainer is a ‘busker’ who plays background music, and guests put money into his hat, raising money for a charity. The benefits are that there is a fundraising element to the event and the entertainment is paid from the CSR fund rather than from the budget, and the quality of the event is enhanced by live music.

If you are arranging entertainment at another venue, see what the venue events team offer with the package; for example, is entertainment included in the package; are they able to offer discounted accommodation? Is there an option for a cash bar? What is the difference in price between a buffet and served meal?

When adding the ‘entertainment’ element to an evening, here are my top tips for the perfect icing on the cake.

• We would always recommend going to a respected agency: someone you can talk to, rather than an internet based company. Friends of friends are not always reliable!

• A musician playing background music during the drinks reception and/or meal lifts the quality level of an event. A CSR funded musician adds value to the event, although this isn’t always necessary. A harpist, string quartet, saxophonist, guitarist or pianist work very well in this situation.

• After a dinner, it is always good to have entertainment, to finish off the evening and enabling guests to leave happy. We have found Singing Waiters; Surprise Singing Guests and our Flamenco Guitarists and dancers particularly popular.

• After dinner speakers are a successful choice, although we recommend you are very specific in the contract as to what you would like them to speak about, and give them enough information about the expected guests, to ensure they tailor the speech for the audience.

• Stand up comedians are fun; however, many have material that might not be suitable for mixed audiences or specific groups. Personally I would avoid this option unless you are very confident of the comedian and know your audience well. Some events have been ruined by the choice of comedian.

• A singing act, such as our Romantic Tenor who sings Operatic Arias and Andrea Boccelli songs is very popular. As a rule, Tribute soloists and bands do not impress valued clients, so search for a good quality singer who will add value to your event. Make sure he or she has not set the sound levels too high, and if necessary, manage the sound checks to set the volume lower and request adjustments in the evening. A great evening has been spoilt by the entertainment being too loud – so manage the artiste!

• Get as much advice and help from the venue as possible. They are experts at their venue and might have some great ideas.

Corporate entertainment is an invaluable way of developing business relationships. At this time when people are cutting back, it is an ideal time to increase client hospitality to stand out from the crowd. Good entertainment is not about spending huge amounts of money, but taking care with the details, so that your clients have a positive experience and you, as a company, present yourself well. Good luck!

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Bird Feeding Guide

Offering foods for birds contributes to the overall success and longevity of our wild birds in Britain. But, it is important to remember some very simple policies when providing wild chook feed that can help appeal to a kaleidoscope of species.

• It can be crucial that when you’ve started feeding wild birds, that you just go on all yr spherical as wild birds will begin to see your back garden as an everyday hotspot of nutrients.

• In accordance with the BTO, professionals on all points birdy, feeding birds in the cooler months is a precedence as wild birds will need to remain plump to be sure survival.

• Birds are likely to feed early early morning and late afternoon, Specially in the course of Wintertime, so it is important to examine that there is chook feed offered through these periods.

• Not surprisingly, added feeding is very advisable all calendar year round, specifically through the breeding season early spring where mothers and fathers will probably be to the hunt to locate feed for his or her younger brood and by themselves.

Feeders or Fowl Tables
The kind of feeder or just how in which you offer your wild chicken feed tends to determine the type of species you are going to appeal to. Employing a normal mixed chook feed with a hen table or on the ground will entice many of the more common wild chook species. Feeders will are inclined to draw in more compact birds that could cling on to both a mesh outer or perch. In addition, to appeal to a broader choice of wild birds, you could start to introduce professional feeders like Nyger Feeders which are designed to take the little Nyger Seed, which can be a selected favorite with finches.

Stand up near wild birds as they feed utilizing a window feeder. Available in many different kinds, They are really great for recognising species and seeing their specific character traits.

Whichever means of feeding you choose, albeit ground, desk or feeder it’s important to keep in mind that hygiene is paramount. Preferably, feeders ought to be cleaned whenever we refill them to avoid the Construct-up of microorganisms that could result in condition to spread among our wild birds. Look at our tutorial to Retaining it Thoroughly clean for advice regarding how to clean your feeders. That can help protect against this even more, there are a number of feeders out there which include our Large-Duty Swivel Top rated feeders along with the BTO Heavy-Duty Feeders, which boast an ground breaking FeedSafe™ biocidal coating which kills germs on Call. It’s also vital that we offer clean, clean h2o all calendar year round. It can be done to get Ice Free of charge for Fowl Baths to prevent water in chook baths freezing about winter.

What to feed, when?
Winter season is the toughest time for our wild birds as the necessity to locate food when nature’s larder is at its lowest, combined with extensive, chilly nights and quick days for foraging. Throughout this year, fatty, calorie-laden wild hen feeds like snack balls, blocks or semi-moist treats and in some cases wild hen seed combined with semi-moist suet pellets, are common addition and make for the best nutritional supplements in Wintertime. You should buy Excess fat balls possibly with or without the need of nets. If you need to do decide to use netted snack balls it is significant to watch the birds all the time as their claws could become tangled while in the nylon. If this is not simple, then we propose employing un-netted Excess fat balls within a Unwanted fat ball holder every time!

Through Wintertime, the demand to best up feeders can feel limitless. On the other hand, there are many easy methods and affordable alternatives you’ll be able to present along with your regular hen seed and Extra fat snacks.

• Bulk out your regular wild hen seed with a cheaper filler use as suet pellets, peanut granules, uncooked oats, sultanas or dried mealworms. Additionally, this can include A lot needed protein and carbohydrates for their diet plans.

• Provide your leftovers including dried fruit, Uncooked, unsalted bacon rind, and grated really hard cheese or left around fruit for instance apples, plums and pears, crushed or soaked biscuits and finely chopped remnants at the bottom on the cereal box. Stay away from any cooked meats or fats as they can clog feathers and under no circumstances provide milk as birds simply cannot digest it.

• Feel long-lasting and make your backyard garden a haven for wild birds and wildlife alike by planting chook friendly plants, trees and shrubs that may give a feast of plump berries, fruit and seeds.

• Buy in bulk. The greater Wild Bird Feed you buy the larger the financial savings. In addition, baggage of Wild Fowl Feed in excess of 12kg are VAT free in britain.

Which Feed?
With so many feeds accessible it can be difficult to know which a person is the best to offer. Here’s our very simple manual to the basic and most often made use of wild chook feeds.

Wild Chook Seed Blends
Likely the commonest and easily supplied, you will discover many hundreds of styles of wild hen mixes and straight seeds to select from. The true secret is knowing which species you want to entice or have in your neighborhood, And the way you would like to supply the feed.

Employing a primary seed blend that may attract a sizable range of typical species, for example our Wild Hen Special combine or All Seasons blend, which happen to be packed packed with nutrient prosperous seeds and grains, are a fantastic start out. These sorts of unfastened seed mixes is usually combined with other fillers (see previously mentioned) to bulk out and may be presented both in the seed feeder or both a chicken table or the bottom.

To tempt in more varieties you may commence to include professional feeds that attract the specific Choices of the species or are welcome At the moment of year. For example, our free-flowing Feeder Banquet, given that the name indicates, is really a sumptuous mix of top of the range, Electricity-prosperous ingredients and is particularly a specific favorite with Tits, Siskins and Greenfinches.

It is usually vital that you think about the requires with the wild birds you would like to appeal to into your back garden. Robins, Thrushes and Blackbirds are all ground feeders so it’s important to provide another feeding area for these species and an ideal feed. An all-spherical, most effective vendor for us is our Goldencrest blend. Well suited for feeders, chook tables or floor, this combine is not simply nutritious, it is actually husk-free of charge meaning no waste and significantly less hazard of unwelcome crops germinating in your backyard.

Seed blends that consist of suet treats are significantly welcome during the colder months.

The brilliant and highly regarded Better of British mix is great for attracting a range of wild birds which include Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Wrens and Collared Doves (to name a few). As being the identify indicates, this highly nutritious Mix replicates the organic feeds found in our countryside and is also wholly sourced from the United kingdom, supporting our British farmers. Best served on the hen desk or on the bottom, it’s an excellent all-rounder and is excellent value for funds far too.

Straight Seeds
Straight seeds range between Peanuts to Sultanas and Bogena to Nyger Seeds. Each and every has its pretty personal Distinctive qualities that advantage eating plan of our wild birds.

Peanuts are probably the most well-liked straight feed to acquire. Oil-abundant, Peanuts certainly are a high-energy meals resource and favoured by a range of species which include Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Tits. It is important to keep in mind that if you are doing want to supply peanuts, they have to be contained in a wire mesh feeder, as they can be a choking hazard for little or younger birds. Peanut Granules or crushed peanuts are an awesome choice to Peanuts and therefore are pretty safe being available in feeders, on the ground or fowl desk by themselves or blended with other feeds. That will help entice woodpeckers and nuthatches into your garden, Why don’t you check out pushing peanuts into pure nooks or drill holes into previous logs or fallen branches. Stay clear of salted peanuts when serving these alternatives to the wild birds as part of your backyard.

Bogena Softbill Meals is a high quality, full feed to the fruit and insect loving species, which thrive with a abundant, moist mix. Filled with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dried seeds, berries and insects you can feed By itself with A different blend developed for softbills including Songbird Delight or Goldensong.

Irresistible to Goldfinches, the small, oil-wealthy Nyger Seed or thistle seed are stuffed with goodness and so modest in incontrovertible fact that it’s best to provide in a very specialised Nyger Seed Feeder with tiny holes that lower wastage. Goldfinches in particular are a enthusiast of Nyger, but They’re also very likely to bring in Siskin and Greenfinch as well. Very quickly, your entire yard will likely be awash Using these colourful wild birds.

Sunflower Seeds usually are the initial option for wild birds, since they haven’t got an outer coat or husk to peel producing them a fairly easy meal. Deemed the last word straight food, they best the checklist for combining nutritional worth and significant-energy material easily of feeding and versatility. Offer you them inside of a feeder possibly on their own or mixed with another feed, on the bottom or a desk.

A great benefit, 12 months-round staple, will be the Black Sunflower Seeds. Our Black Sunflower Seeds have thin outer husks for easy accessibility to their nutrient loaded insides. Very talked-about with an array of species, They may be ideal blended with other feeds or Secure to provide on their own.

Mealworms & Waxworms
Packed full of protein and dampness, plump and juicy mealworms and waxworms are an awesome addition to boost the weight loss plans of wild birds. Specifically helpful about Wintertime when worms, snails, slugs along with other insects are Briefly source.

Are living Mealworms
Mealworms are the most popular Reside food items Employed in Britain for garden birds. The larvae on the Flour Beetle are a fantastic supply of protein and Fats. Perfect for attracting A selection of wild birds together with Robins and Thrushes, they may be fed all yr-round, but specifically while in the spring when guardian birds want to feed their youthful. Retailer them inside a neat, dry position such as the garage, lose or simply your fridge! Both equally is often served within a floor feeder or on a chook table. Usually after you purchase Stay mealworms they feature a little volume of meals. Having in a few supplemental Dwell mealworm food to help you maintain them fresher for extended is often helpful.

Live Waxworms
Waxworms (Galleria mellonella) tend to be the larvae from the Higher Wax Moth and acquire their title mainly because they are most commonly found in honeycombs of beeswax. Their soft physique is easily digestible and very nutritious. They are full of protein, humidity and Extra fat, earning them an even more juicy food. Jam packed with protein to assist birds more than the Wintertime months, specially when worms, snails, slugs and other insects are in short offer.

Dried Mealworms
Live feeds are bursting with protein, but for those of us who will be a little bit squeamish within the considered handling these wrigglers, an awesome choice is dried mealworms. Remember to soak dried mealworms in water before you decide to serve outside of a feeder as they have an inclination to fly away, moreover this will help additional hydrate the birds. You could even bulk out your regular feeder seed with dried mealworms for even better wide range and nutrients on your feathered friends. It is important to discard of any discoloured mealworms you may locate as they might have health conditions including salmonella.

For a special deal with, why not include a clean, Slice open up coconut into your feeding plan. Simply break open and drain the coconut, cling with a department or on the feeding station and look at as Tits will flock in the yard to delight in! When the coconut shell has actually been hollowed out by Those people greedy Tits, why not fill using a do-it-yourself fatball recipe.