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By Daniel Hunter
Businesses are more likely to turn down hospitality packages to the Olympics than to Lords or Twickenham, despite public demand for Olympic tickets far outstripping supply, says leading business advisors GoodCorporation. With less than 70 days to go, one in five corporate hospitality tickets remains unsold.
Contrary to what might be expected, this is being driven by ethics rather than the recession. At a recent Business Ethics debate at the House of Lords, held by GoodCorporation, senior figures in some of the UK’s leading companies (including FTSE 100 and 250 organisations) confirmed that when it comes to hospitality, Olympic tickets are the most likely to be turned down.
“Businesses now have much tighter guidelines directing what they can and cannot accept as far as hospitality is concerned," Michael Littlechild, director of GoodCorporation explains.
"In some companies, executives are required to ask permission before they can accept anything much more than a lunch. This is effectively a form of self-regulation, as employees don’t want to be seen asking to attend lavish or extravagant events.
“In other companies, the policy is linked to a monetary value, often capped at a few hundred pounds. With top corporate tickets to the Olympics going for £4,500, roughly five times the price of Lords or Twickenham, they are effectively priced beyond the limit of many company policies.”
Confirming that corporate ticket sales may not be going to plan, Prestige Ticketing, the company with sole rights to provide business hospitality at the venue has been given permission by Ticketmaster to sell tickets individually rather than in blocks of 10. Some corporate tickets are still available to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, medal sessions of the Athletics, Track Cycling and Swimming, all sold out to the general public.
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