Feb 202015

Corporate hospitality at Everton FC’s Goodison Park ground is so popular that the club will have to introduce a waiting list for next season.

Match packages are already sold out for the remainder of the current season, meaning the club is having to outsource around 150 fans each game to Liverpool’s Hilton Hotel because the Goodison Park lounges are packed out.

Guests are bussed to the ground after pre-match dining, and bussed back to the Hilton for a post-match service.

The club’s hospitality team has picked up several awards recently, including Chef Team of the Year 2013 in The Football Hospitality Awards, under the guidance of head of corporate hospitality Gary Wilton.

Last season the Blues had 990 lounge members, and this season there are 1,255.

It is already anticipated there will be more than 1,300 lounge members for the 2015/16 season, which will lead to the creation of a waiting list, as well as external hospitality offerings.

Mr Wilton said the club had come from a low base due to the financial crisis, but he added: “The higher sales shows the confidence people have in the local economy now and they are more likely to spend.

“Also, we have a team that people are extremely proud of.”

Mr Wilton acknowledges that he and his team cannot influence what happens on the field, but the quality of their corporate hospitality offering is clearly a winning formula.

He said London Premier League clubs can boast some of the City’s big hitters among their corporate clients, but Everton caters just as well for corporate, and individual clients: “We like to provide a relaxed environment for our clients.

“We try and make sure the experience is so good people come back. We entertain people and have former players as match-day hosts.

“We get to know our members and know when their birthdays are and when their children are coming. It’s the personal touch that gives us an edge over other clubs that might be a bit more corporate.

“We’re always looking to target businesses, but lots of our members entertain their business contacts, as well as family and friends.”

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 Posted by at 6:13 am

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