Corporate entertainment is back and it intends to get results.
Three-hour lunches at the Savoy, weekend flings in the Caribbean, product launches with dance troupes and laser shows ... The lavish corporate entertaining which typified the 1980s went into a tailspin in the recession, and many thought it had gone for good. But corporate entertainment is making a comeback - albeit with a difference. As Nick Cooper, managing director of events consultancy Sledgehammer says, 'The budgets are returning but the days of the extravagant jolly are over. Companies expect entertainment to make a point and get business results.' Indeed, the very word 'entertainment', which to some smacks of excess, is often dropped in favour of commercially correct expressions like 'partnership building' and 'interactive events'. But whatever they call it, companies are rediscovering the value of mixing business and fun. Vauxhall Motors showed off the approach at this year's launch of its new Vectra model.