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impeccable hostMy father always warned me that a person who finishes a sentence with trust me, is one who can never be trusted. Which is why a product or a service that guarantees to do anything fills me with a sense of foreboding. Thus the quote on the front of this new book claiming a guaranteed ‘return on investment from your corporate hospitality events’ immediately creates uneasiness.

However I pressed on, I liked how the book was laid out as it allows you to study the areas that apply to you, for example I skimmed through the first couple of chapters on setting up your corporate event and got straight into the thick of ‘personal traits and skills of impeccable hosts’. This gives the book a great advantage over many others in that it acts not only as a useful development book, but also an essential guide to have to hand in the office when planning and organising any hospitality events. Another feature I found useful was the use of illustrations that are used throughout the book, allowing you to review your progress as well as expand on the authors thought process. This causes you to stop and think how the information and advice can be applied to your hospitality events and ultimately assists your retention of the advice on hand.

The chapters are short, concise and to the point, which makes reading and absorbing the information more enjoyable compared to other personal development and instructional books I have read. This is partly down to the skill Mark has with words, his writing makes you feel as though he’s sitting across the table from you, teaching, helping and guiding you through to becoming The Impeccable Host!

I found the chapters on corporate hospitality fascinating as Mark seems to guide you through all the pitfalls and general annoyances that one experiences at so many corporate and/or press events. Yet Mark lays out the costs and benefits of the solutions to all these issues in such a simple way, it makes you start to believe that after finishing the last chapter you will emerge a new man, an Impeccable Host.

One example of how The Impeccable Host can circumnavigate one of these potential pitfalls is with additional meals on standby. We have all been to events where for some reason a guest who has certain eating requirements has either forgotten to tell the host, or simply the host has forgotten to ask when requesting the RSPV. This leads to all sorts of trouble as the guest gets very upset at not being able to join in the meal, causing negativity not only towards the host due to their lack of understanding, but also because the ruckus has normally causing you to look up at the wrong moment and spill tomato soup down your crisp white shirt. Yet the solution as Mark so diplomatically puts it: ‘have a number of extra meals created simply to have on standby in case of such an incident.’ Now I hear you cry “think of the budget” to which the simple answer is that the tiny (in terms of overall event costs) extra cost of preparing a number of additional meals to have on standby is far outweighed by the benefit of having all the delegates happy and content with their food, not to mention the amount the host will save on guest dry cleaning bills!

The Impeccable Host also has many useful tips and tricks that will benefit the reader even if they are outside the hospitality industry. I personally took away a number of networking tricks that I utilised to great effect at an event a few days after finishing The Impeccable Host.

The first of which was in placing my badge on the right lapel rather than the left lapel. Seems a very strange thing to do doesn’t it? Yet there is method in the madness, we all struggle with names and there is nothing more embarrassing that forgetting a persons name when you try to start up a conversation with them, hence the name badge. However this is not normally enough as most people will greet others with a right handed handshake, which turns their left lapel away from the other person making the name badge in its usual position harder to read at a moments notice. Hence by putting the name badge on the right lapel it allows the person greeting you to easily read the information of your badge if they require to, preventing embarrassment and awkward questions.

Lets take the handshake for another example, a simple physical interaction that can go so wrong in so many ways, which in turn portrays you and therefore your company in a manner which may be detrimental to your future career and damaging to your company. A limp handshake immediately makes you feel the other person is uninterested and weak, whereas a ‘bonecrusher’ handshake portrays feeling of aggression and dominance. Neither of these aspects are likely to win you any favour with the other party who you are trying to conduct business with. Thus there is an entire chapter dedicated to handshakes, how to position your hand correctly, how to judge how much pressure is needed, how to deal with sweaty hands and the proper physical etiquette to use when networking with Ladies.

The answer to all these questions and more reside within The Impeccable Host, so if you want to advance your corporate hospitality events to the next level, increase your interpersonal and networking skills or guarantee a return on investment from your corporate hospitality events, then its about time you ran down to your local Waterstones and picked up a copy of, The Impeccable Host. It’s also available on amazon

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