Client appreciation events are an important way to demonstrate an important message to your clients; that they mean more to you and your organization than just a name and a number on a balance sheet. It gives you and your representatives an opportunity to build rapport and trust in a natural way. Client appreciation events also pay a huge compliment to your clients. The loyalty that they build is a measurable way to create business growth. Here are some tips for client appreciation events.
4 Reasons to Have a Client Appreciation Events
- Your clients want to know that you value their business, they really want to feel appreciated. This one reason alone may help you hang on to clients for years without doing anything other than a periodic phone call.
- Clients who feel appreciated are far more likely to stay with you through a down market and are more likely to give you referrals!
- If sending an impersonal birthday or holiday card is all you do to keep in contact with clients throughout the year, it is past time for you to step up your game.
- Want to reach next-generation clients? Invite your clients’ family and friends to attend your events. There’s no faster way to make a good first impression than when your clients are happy, relaxed and personally engaged with your firm.
The 3 R’s for Your Client Appreciation Events
The goal of any client appreciation event is rapport, retention and referrals.
- Rapport- Give yourself a chance to strengthen rapport and build on relationships in an easy environment. The conversation gets a lot easier if there is something else to talk about besides business.
- Retention – It is incredibly important to make an emotional deposit into a client’s mental bank. By far the best thing to be associated with is a fun, pleasurable evening.
- Referrals – The most powerful way to build on a business is through referrals. Clients will freely offer up your name to friends and family with just a little push from you.
What kind of event should you have? 4 great ideas
- Happy Hour or Cocktail Party – Happy hour events are fun and if your clients partake in alcoholic beverages, they have a way of loosening people up to a degree that allows engagement. Plan a two to three hour event where you can offer two drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It is a nice relaxed environment making it easy to move around the room, meet people and answer questions. I regularly perform strolling magic for a client who holds an event like this on a regular basis at an upscale hotel lobby bar, which is the perfect ambiance.
- Coffee and Dessert Party – Desert parties can be a perfect solution. They are great if you have a clientele that is a bit older or maybe wouldn’t participate in a happy hour. They’re informal, inexpensive, and fun and because the environment is relaxed, attendees don’t feel pressured or awkward and are more likely to open up. Spring for some special desserts, something out of the ordinary. Again a hotel or a nice restaurant with some ambience would be great for this type of event. A Mystery Party guest could definitely liven it up.
- Wine & Cheese tasting – A classy event where you can mix and mingle with your clients. A lot like the happy hour. Have a table where the wine is served and explained. Keep it casual instead of a full blown wine class.
- Dinner and a Show – This is a wonderful way to really show your clients how much they mean to your organization. Start with a cocktail hour and then dinner. After you make a short presentation an hour of standup comedy magic that ends on a high, positive note will send everyone home raving about your event and will be sure to garner referrals. This can be a perfect holiday event.
3 Ways to get the word out about your Client Appreciation Events
- Newsletter – Make sure you let your list know about your event in the newsletter. It needs to be in at least two editions and make sure you ask your clients to RSVP.
- Website – A blog post or a page on your website with a form for clients to RSVP is a great place to direct interested parties.
- Phone Calls – Make sure your most important clients get a personal invite.
Be careful you can’t invite everyone. You want them to feel special and having a huge crowd won’t accomplish that goal. Somewhere between 50 and 100 will make a manageable group, this way you can spend some time with everyone. It is better to have two or more events than to have a group so large that there will be clients that you never get to.
Make your event something they will want to tell their friends about. A great event will make it easy for them to mention you the next time they talk to their friends and family. “We went to an event that our (your firm’s name here) put on and it was amazing! It was so much fun that I can’t wait for the next one.”
If you are searching for someone to wow clients at your event, please get in touch to learn more about how I can help you at your next client appreciation event. Click here and fill out the form for more info.