Corporate hospitality at the races

Posted by Jo Kelly

Race season captures the attention of people who aren’t even sport fans. With the crowds in their finest suits and dresses and the excitement around each race, it’s a fantastic day out and the perfect event to reward your staff.

To give you some ideas, we explain some of the ways you can provide an unforgettable experience for your staff at the races.

Tiered boxes

Hiring out a private box is a fantastic way to reward your team for their dedication and effort. It’s a pretty distinct separation to watching from ground level. Even with something as simple as going to the races, there are ways you can tailor the experience to turn it into a friendly competition between your staff.

For example, maybe going to the races is itself the reward for meeting sales targets? Instead, you could consider rewarding your team with a trip to the races anyway, but add an incentive by stating that your best-performing team over a period of time will get to experience the races from the luxury of their own corporate box. Everyone feels rewarded, yet the top achievers are given that little bit more that helps them feel their efforts are acknowledged and encourages others to strive to go that bit further next time.

Another thing that separates the races from other types of incentive is that it’s rather different from the other more active and energetic events. This instead serves as a chance for employees to dress up and unwind while watching one of the UK’s biggest spectator sports.

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Rewards for dressing up

Ladies’ day is an Aintree institution, so why not get involved with the tradition yourself no matter what race you attend throughout the year? Talk to your employees and get a feel for how they’d like to do it: Do you all go together as a group, or do they prefer men and women have their own tailored experience at the races?

With Ladies’ Day, extravagance is key – the day is filled with flamboyant, colourful, and daring dress styles. Aintree gives prizes for the women whose dresses stand out the most, so encourage the same for your staff; let them push the boat out and cut loose a little. Give your own prizes for the best dressed man, best dressed woman, and overall winner. It’s a minor addition, perhaps, but it’s something small that can help get everyone in the mood for their day at the races. Depending on the enclosure you are in, and even the racecourse you visit the dress code can differ, this can let you add a bit of variation to different events, and also reward staff differently.

Instead of a private box maybe your top performing staff get tickets for the Royal Enclosure or Winner’s Circle, giving them the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and royalty.

As well as Ladies’ Day, many racecourses will also offer a Family day package. If you’d like to get families more closely invested in your corporate culture, take your staff and a couple of their immediate family members to an event.

See our other hospitality ideas

Even if horse racing isn’t an interest, family-specific race packages will often provide a variety of entertainment options to keep the whole family enjoying themselves throughout the day.

Food, drink and post-race celebrations

Another way to provide a sense of luxury at the races is to splash out on food and drink for staff. This could be cocktails upon arrival, or a lavish meal while you watch the races from your box.

This can help your guests to feel special and taken care of during an event. A trip to the races that involves your staff being waited on hand and foot can help to really reward their hard work.

However, you don’t have to make it an extravagant affair. You can just as easily provide a comprehensive picnic for all your staff to make use of a period of nice weather. Maybe have each staff member suggest a dish they could bring. What better way to relax than with a wide assortment of home-cooked food and some ice-cold Pimms?

Even once the races are finished for the day, that doesn’t mean the day has to be over! Some race organisers double as live music venues at the same time. Twice the entertainment with no need to travel any further, pay extra, or go on a different day. Follow up the fast-paced races with an equally as energetic performance from one of your favourite bands or performers to end the day on a real high note.

Horse racing is an incredibly popular sport in the UK, so you can be sure that there will be interest from your staff to go. Even if they aren’t too interested in horse racing itself, the spectacle is not something they will want to miss.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your clients with our luxurious corporate hospitality services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.