Hosting your first client event can be scary. What if no one comes? What will you talk about? Will it be worth the time and money?

With careful planning and thought-out presentations, hosting a client event can be memorable, productive, and fun. Let’s look at 10 steps you will need to do to make your event one for the books.

  1. First, define your audience. Just like all marketing efforts, the first step is to define your audience. Look at your client base and decide who is most likely to enjoy a firm event. That might be your clients planning for retirement, those just starting out with your firm, or families preparing for their children’s education. By narrowing down the audience, you will be more likely to deliver useful information.
  1. Once you have your audience, you can decide what type of event you will have. There are three main types: educational, social, and networking events. Depending on your audience, one type of event will be more appropriate than others.
  1. Now, you will need to set your budget. As a financial professional, you likely know how important it is to set aside a detailed budget and define it ahead of time. Think of all the aspects of your event such as venue, food, transportation, and favors.
  1. Next, you may want to consider a theme for your event. This isn’t necessary, but can set your event apart and make it fun for your attendees. For example, you could do a “Gone Fishin’” theme for your clients approaching retirement or a “College Football” theme for an education planning seminar.
  1. Hammer out the details of your event ahead of time to ensure smooth sailing on the day of. Where will your event be held? Will there be food and drinks provides? How long will your presentation go, and how long should guests expect to stay? These are just a few questions to get started with the details of your event.
  1. Prepare and practice your presentation! This might be the most important step because it will be the meat of the event. Ideally, you will have your presentation perfected weeks before the event so you have plenty of time to run through it.
  1. Next, invite your guests and share your event on social media. This may include creating an “Event” on Facebook, Tweeting to some clients that you would love to have there, and sharing a post on LinkedIn with some tidbits of what they will learn by attending. Social media is your friend when it comes to advertising your event.
  1.  Also, use your website’s “Blog” or “Event” feature to add the event to your site. All of our FMG sites make it easy to update new events regularly.
  1. Engage with local businesses and thought leaders to promote your event, too. You probably know some local bloggers, accountants, or coffee shops that would love to promote your event. Network wisely and you will reap the benefits.
  1. Take a breath and enjoy your hard work! So many times financial advisors get so wrapped up in the planning of their event that they forget to enjoy it. When the big day comes, revel in your planning and enjoy the day.

It’s unlikely that you won’t face any hitch or hurdle when your event comes, but by carefully planning out your event in advance, thinking about your audience, and presenting your best material, your event will be one to remember.