Honestly, it’s a close call, and it would probably come down to points – no KO in the 8th round between these two. Let’s look at the stats:-
With a choice of corporate hospitality facilities, you’re bound to find something to suit your needs. Choose from the Skyview Suites (private butler and chauffeur, anyone?), the Gatsby Club and the Fairway Village – but don’t forget the possibility of Debenture tickets. These give you access to a number of options for eateries – from traditional afternoon tea, fine dining, bistro style and even self service restaurants. The flexibility is great, and we mustn’t forget how important this is when working with “challenging” budgets!
You feel the atmosphere the minute you walk through the gates. Making your way past ‘Murray Mound’ (or ‘Henman Hill’, depending upon your age!) on your way to your own private piece of the Wimbledon experience, allows you to really feel part of the occasion. Witnessing how total strangers bond over the tension, and on any patch of spare grass they can squeeze onto, is rather special.
There is something that runs a bit deeper within Wimbledon’s personality. Despite the exclusivity and luxury that the hospitality options provide, tennis remains very accessible – everyone can pick up a racket and have a go – even if it’s just in the back garden. Somehow this can help us to warm to this contender, and in a closely matched fight, every little counts.
In the gold corner – Royal Ascot
Over the years it’s become a bit more purpose built (new state of the art conference centre) but it hasn’t lost its unique feel, especially when you get up close and personal. The parade ring side restaurants, such as the old paddock, are a particular favourite as you get to see the beautiful beasts before they race. If you have more of a need for speed with your amuse bouche, then you may prefer one of the track viewing restaurants – how about a touch of French elegance at The Balmoral restaurant, featuring the culinary icon that is Lenôtre?
There is no escaping the fact that we need to talk dress code. This can absolutely add to the sense of occasion, but it’s important to consider what this means for the guests – not everyone is comfortable in a situation that requires a top hat – and it’s not enough to simply have your name down – if your hats not on, you’re not coming in. The betting is great fun, adds to the overall experience and can be built in to your itinerary and budget. Do check, however, that the client is happy to include a betting element during the day – you never know what their policy may be and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of a left hook from your client’s legal team!
So, we have two seasoned pros, with distinct personalities and styles. Both have the form to put up a good, clean fight and are equally attractive to both male and female guests. So it comes down to a points decision, based on individual preference and the unique peculiarities of your particular audience. For us, it’s Wimbledon – if it’s done right.