The Excitement of ‘Getting it Right’ For Your Client, Is a Feeling That Never Leaves You

It was bound to happen at some point…a couple of months in the making…a month of proving my worth to the club with great options and great rates…a site visit to make sure the hotel was suitable and BANG…my first confirmed team stay for one of my new clubs had arrived.

Over the years in my previous role, I had visited hundreds of hotels in the UK and abroad. Meeting clients in said hotels was nothing new…I had done this and from what I’ve been told, I’m good at it. So why was I a little nervous about this situation? Meet the hotel sales contact, check out the bedrooms, look at the meeting space and then welcome your client. Easy.

Well, it is. However, there is a lot more riding on this one. Not that the thousands of aforementioned meetings I had with clients in hotels didn’t mean anything. They did…and they helped me cut my teeth sufficiently to ensure I do what I do, well. Nevertheless, this is all about my business now…not that of a multinational hospitality company. Maybe one day though…

So as I set off from home on the South Coast, I knew that today was going to be a great day. Not only was it great to be going into a hotel on business, it was a day that I was going to start proving my worth to the first of my clubs who have trusted me to look after their team stay business. Booking hotels is only half of the job though…ensuring that it goes right from an operational point of view by looking at every little detail, is the other half and something that not every agent does. Having worked in this field for a number of years now, I’ve seen how agents get it right and how some only really look after the booking part. Not all, just some.

I wasn’t expected to be there for this team stay…I had already site visited the hotel and assisted with the rates, contracting and invoicing process. The club were happy. I sure as hell wanted to prove my worth though. I’m a firm believer in good things happen to good people. If I do well by this club, word of mouth, karma and a slice of good luck will hopefully help with my business developmental efforts in expanding my little empire further. More importantly though, it will get my blossoming relationship with this club off to a great start. That’s the key.

After a couple of hours driving, I arrived at the hotel. Sure, I was feeling some nerves as I wanted everything to go without a hitch. To ensure that it did, I met again with the hotel sales director. We went straight to the private dining room where I confirmed that all requirements asked by the club had been met. I was introduced the duty manager who would be looking after the teams dining requirements. We discussed food labelling, dietary requirements, dinner service taking into account Covid-19 requirements and timing. All was going well.

Prior to the team coach arriving, we had looked at the entry points for the team…not because the team is precious about being seen…but what worked well for this teams requirements. Would the front entrance be suitable or would the side entrance be better because it has direct access to the meeting/dining space? What entry point would also work best for the team coach navigating the corners in the car park?

Small details. But these small details matter. If one little thing goes wrong with a team arrival, it’s hard to get it back. I’ve seen on numerous occasions teams lose their match and the smallest little issue with their hotel stay is cited as a major issue with match preparation. This therefore MUST go well. I cannot have my first clubs team stay with Haythorn Sports & Events going badly for any reason.

The team coach arrives in the car park…right now, the heart’s pumping…my first team stay is here and I’m responsible for ensuring the club are happy with how things go and that the hotel is happy with how things are. The players and staff are off the coach and in the hotel (front entrance to answer that one…), I meet my day-to-day contact at the club, individual key cards dished out, players shown where the lifts are, an offer to show the team manager the dining room and I think we’re just about there. Phew…part one, complete and a success. I think.

I park myself in the breakout area outside the private dine room and make it known that I’ll be there for the next couple of hours until dinner, in case there’s any issues. Bar showing a couple of players where the Physio room is, so far so good. 20 minutes prior to dinner, the manager makes his way down and I get the opportunity to introduce myself. I explain who I am and how Haythorn Sports & Events has come about and that I’m looking forward to working with them over the course of the season – so long as he’s happy with this stay. Of course.

Dinner is served and without a hitch. The hotel team did a great job and I can leave knowing that they’ll provide and equally great service for breakfast and the pre-match meal. I leave my number and ask them to contact me the following morning confirming that everything has gone ok. They do and it did. Perfect.

A few days later, I’m with the team again, this time for a ‘simple’ pre-match meal for a cup game. Same level of preparation, same level of ensuring all little details are looked at, same happy football club at the end of it.

After those two team stays, I get confirmation that we’re going to work together for the whole season. An absolute joyous moment when I get that confirmation.

The work I do isn’t only about getting the best rates at the best hotels…it’s about making sure my clubs are happy. Sure, counting the pennies is important to these clubs, especially in this day in age. However, so is service. Haythorn Sports & Events is built on the premise of understanding how hotels work and therefore ensuring that teams are comfortable at every turn during their hotel stays. Good pricing is not all we’re about. It’s the full package of working together and that’s what will help Haythorn Sports & Events grow further and stronger, with a sound ethos.

Until next time 😉


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