SPOTLIGHT: MKTG Hospitality & Events

In the latest MKTG Spotlight Q&A, we’re featuring our Hospitality & Events team. This 40-person team manages high-end hospitality experiences at sports and entertainment events. The group also plans and executes incentive programs, meetings, and employee events.  They work closely with clients to create, produce and execute uniquely memorable attendee experiences that capitalize on their business objectives and attendees’ affinities, resulting in long and profitable relationships.

The team has hosted small, intimate gatherings for 20 guests to larger audiences of 2,500, from customers and C-Level executives to employees and prospects – bringing the same level of excellence to each:

-Hospitality strategy & asset optimization

-Full event coordination

-Executive hosting

-Meeting planning

-Incentive program development

-Influencer & media events

-Ticket management

-Digital communications & registration

-Ground transportation


-Talent procurement & management


What this group is known for:

-Understanding VIP and C-Level programming specifics

-Delivering for clients with high standards

-Ability to innovate and refresh repeat programs

-Building impactful event programs that resonate with the target audience

-Delivering exceptional concierge-style service

-Impactful brand integration

-Location, property and venue expertise

Q: Tell us a bit about your team and what you do:

A: Our team is made up of 40 event pros who live and breathe hospitality, including our senior leadership team that represents a combined 75+ years with MKTG.  You’ll find our team at major sporting and entertainment events in the US and beyond, entertaining our clients’ stakeholders – whether that be senior executives, customers, employees, and beyond.  We combine client business objectives with live hospitality experiences that provide deeper connections between brands and event attendees.  We always say that we sweat the small stuff, so that our clients don’t have to.  But we also pay equal attention to the larger strategy behind hospitality, the WHY of what we’re doing with every event that we execute.

Q: Who are your key clients?

A: IBM, FedEx, Toyota, Mars, Charles Schwab, Dow, Lexus, AIG, Otis, ARRIS – the first four of whom have been with us for over a decade!  Our work for these clients varies greatly.  For some clients, our work is centered around hospitality tied to our clients’ corporate sponsorships.  For others, it may be their internal or external incentives, their board meetings, their employee training programs, or other bespoke events created from the ground up.

Q: Tell us some tentpole events you work at each year and what you do:

A: Name a marquee event and it’s likely that we’re there, executing hospitality for at least one client, if not multiple – Super Bowl, Daytona 500, Grammy’s, Masters, NCAA Final Four (men’s and women’s), Tony Awards, US Open Tennis, TOUR Championship, Summer and Winter Olympics. At these events we are facilitating the guest journey from start to finish – from the minute they first receive an invitation or hear about the event, through the onsite experience, and finally through post-event communication and event measurement.  For any given event, that could include lodging, transportation, décor, food and beverage, evening functions, in-venue hospitality, guest communication, signage and collateral, gifting, client branding and messaging, and more.  No two events are the same!

Since a lot of our events are tied to client sponsorships, we also spend a lot of time maximizing assets and budgets through the integration of sponsorship assets into the event experience.  What assets does the client have available that might enhance the experience?  Whether that’s backstage or all-access passes, athlete or celebrity meet and greets, inclusion of celebrity chefs, or behind the scenes venue tours – we’re always looking for those moments that take the experience from great to once in a lifetime!

Q: NASCAR events are huge for your team. Can you explain to us how you support clients at NASCAR races. Who are the guests? What do you do for the guests? Are the programs the same week-after-week?

A: Just like the players on the PGA TOUR and the drivers who compete in NASCAR, our team is on the circuit replicating the hosting environment and experience around the country for important customers in our clients’ local markets every week.

The objective is to deliver an immersive brand experience of the same quality in every market, week in and week out, regardless of the location.  That involves not only the logistics of getting our hosting supplies and staff from place to place every week, but also working with different third-party vendors each week on inventory management, menu planning, gifting, scheduling athlete appearances, providing special access for guests (such as “inside the ropes” at a golf tournament or pit and garage passes at a NASCAR race), and a myriad of other items that bring to life the client’s vision.

While we may execute similar events each week, we understand that it may be the first (and sometimes only) time for our guests to attend – so it’s up to us to make sure that we deliver in a way that seems fresh and exciting, regardless how many times we’ve executed the same event before.

Q: How many event days do you think you execute each year?

A: In 2017, we executed over 400 events days and hosted over 25,000 guests.  That’s about average for most years.


Q: What are you best known for by your clients?

A: We are honored time and time again when our clients comment on our white glove treatment. We have a way of making every guest – whether the CEO of a Fortune 100 company or a line-level employee – feel catered to and appreciated, like every aspect of the event was designed with them in mind.  We are all about the small touches that make an event truly memorable for our guests.

We are also known for how we integrate business messaging into the fabric of our events – in a subtle way that is very authentic.  Our clients do have a business objective they are trying to meet with their events…and while building relationships and human connections is always at the top of the list, they quite often also want to share information related to their business…whether it be a new product or service to showcase or general business messaging they want to share with customers.  We spend a lot of time finding the right ways to do this.  The sweet spot is when our integration of the client’s brand, product, service or technology can actually enhance the event experience for guests – that’s when we know we’ve hit a home run.

Q: What are a few of the biggest requests you’ve faced over the years?

A: One is refreshing repeat events.  Frequently our clients are hosting in the same venue in the same city year after year – sometimes for the same guests – so we are tasked with making it fresh and different every year.  What can we bring to the event that makes it seem totally different from previous executions while still staying true to the client’s brand and objectives?  We love the challenge that this request brings to our team and believe that it’s when we do some of our best work.

Another is being increasingly more responsive to individual guest needs, regardless of the ask. We have some fun stories to tell there – most of which we’ll never share.  From a guest not wanting a hotel room with a certain number in it to hunting down a tattoo artist to create a custom tattoo for a guest while they were at an event, and everything in between, we’ve heard it all…and delivered.  It goes back to that difference between great and once in a lifetime.  If there are small things we can do to cater to individual guests, we’ll always do it.  And we’re finding that being able to deliver on those types of requests, in an age of customization and personalization, is more important than ever.

Q: Finally, share with us some trends you’re seeing in the business of hospitality.

A: Hospitality has certainly evolved over the years and client expectations have too. A few of the top trends we are seeing right now include:

-The integration of social causes and thoughtful use of resources into events (including using local resources whenever possible…whether that be ‘farm to table’ culinary offerings or other local vendors for various event elements)

-An increased level of guest participation – interactive, engaging activity that is experiential in nature.  No more old-school cocktail parties.

-Use of non-traditional event spaces and venues, as well as locally-themed functions and activities

-Use of social listening to better craft events that will resonate with audiences

Contact Emily Spiegel ( to learn more about our Hospitality & Events team!




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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

May 13th, 2018 at 5:04 pm

with one comment

Posted in Experience