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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Mystery buyer: What goes on tour stays on tour – or should it?

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Mystery Buyer
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Mystery buyer: What goes on tour stays on tour – or should it?

Having recently returned from a hosted trip, I have started to think about the line ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’, and whether we really all sign up to a commitment that condones behaviour that goes way beyond that of acceptable practice. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing against having the opportunity to party late with a like-minded group of new sociable friends. I’m writing about the fact that while you are being entertained at a cost to the supplier, you are still representing your company and should demonstrate a level of professionalism.

It may be a Fam (familiarisation) trip or hospitality evening, but all events provide an ideal opportunity for buyers and suppliers to network, offer new business opportunities and extend career advice. So while you should be able to ‘let your hair down’ and accept the hospitality and enjoy the experience, why is it that some people over step the mark?

Today, with ever increasing demands on companies to demonstrate ROI–return on investment – acceptance of events should come with a degree of responsibility and commitment. Not an exercise to fill the diary with social appointments that can be cancelled on a whim. The host also needs to ensure that their programme has the right amount of content and interest, along with a good calibre of guests invited to ensure maximum enjoyment and usage of everyone’s time.

So when did this all change, and should we question what constitutes good business practice? After all, we should always be mindful of how we represent the values of our businesses. In conclusion, responsibility should lie with the invited guest to provide their commitment, appreciation and constructive feedback. At the same time, the hosting company should ensure they have appointed a good representative with the right experience – and ensure this person possesses the right calibre to perform this important business development role within their company. 


No Left Turns (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I’ve heard – and seen for myself – many a tale of excess & inappropriate shenanigans at hosted corporate events, by buyers, agents and hosts alike!

Naming no names, but top-selling star agents from around the world were being hosted at a fabulous hotel in St. Petersburg. The first night there were State opera singers, orchestra and ballet dancers – and beautiful samovars made of ice and filled with finest vodka…

The next day was a busy schedule of presentations and seminars, by the hosts. Well, it was an ashen-faced lot of agents, but at least they turned up! Some didn’t come down from their rooms at all, and some kept slipping away throughout the day for “power naps”….

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