Don't stop. First instincts may be to bring down the axe, but entertaining customers is part of your marketing mix, and there is a price to pay if you drop it. 'Entertaining is great for building loyalty, and as we go into a recession, it's important to retain loyalty from your customers,' says Izania Downie, a director at trade association Eventia.
Back to basics. Re-examine hospitality and entertainment as part of your business strategy; in particular, identify the objectives they are intended to meet. 'Your investment in face-to-face marketing should be focused in three areas: strengthening relationships, increasing customer loyalty, and retaining valued performers,' says Marc Balhetchet, co-founder of live communications agency Wave Marketing & Communications.
Cut the fat. Look for savings that won't damage the effectiveness of your spend; people will expect to see you curbing excess at this time. 'It's about being creative - you can save money by cutting out one course from a meal without affecting the overall results,' says Downie. 'Use professional consultants, who will know where the savings can be made.' Gratuitous extravagance could leave a sour taste, but having a good time is still allowed.