If you don’t appreciate your clients, somebody else will. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to organize a client appreciation event.
It can be challenging to organize something that is both appealing and easy to run, but not impossible!
This is an excellent way to make your top clients feel valued and an opportunity to turn prospects into new clients. A client who feels appreciated is more likely to stay with you.
These events can open you up to a stream of referrals, give your clients the opportunity to see you in another light and maximize your own awareness of your brand.
Before you start planning the flashy parts of the event, there are a few logistical aspects you’ll need to consider.
Even though the holidays seem like the best time to throw a party, your clients may have a jam-packed schedule. Talk to your clients to get a feel for when they are free and choose a time that will ensure maximum attendance.
Every person has different preferences and interests—not every event is suitable for everyone. Find any shared interests among clients to avoid hosting an event no one is even interested in.
Always encourage clients to bring family or friends! Make them feel comfortable, I’ve found over the years many people don’t attend events when they think they must go solo.
The only thing you want to “sell” at this event is how great it is to be your client! Don’t bombard clients with “work” talk; this event is all play. If someone does ask you a business-related item, try to set up an appointment time to discuss at a later date.
Don’t spend too much time with one client. Move around, talk to everyone, and make sure everyone feels welcome and worthy of your attention.
Remember that every client will have different tastes, read through and see if one or two events seem like a good fit for the majority of your clients.
Beer, wine, or champagne—Have an assortment of foods and in addition to what you provide you could ask each client to bring one bottle of wine in order to share and exchange.
This can be pricey, but a great and intimate setting for top clients. Pitch something like “Valentine’s cooking class for men” or handmade pasta night, etc. You want to find a chef that will give you the most bang for your buck, so take your time in planning this event.
Depending on the time of year you could easily set up a projector in the park or rent out a movie theater for the night. This event is great for families and you can change the types of movies you do each time, one event a comedy and the next an action.
Everyone loves food and food trucks are very popular right now. Upgrade an outdoor event by hiring a food truck or two!
Have you hosted a client event in the past? What worked and what didn’t? Leave a comment below to let us know about your experience!
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