While presentations and town hall meetings still have their place in today’s event landscape there are better ways to host memorable client events. Between choosing a topic, venue, and theme, the possibilities are endless. Even better, with current technology, we’re now able to host virtual events that can be as engaging as in-person ones. 

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of hosting a client event, and then we will cover some creative ways to get your clients and their families involved.

The Benefits of Client Events

Meeting with your clients outside of the office and getting them engaged with your community planning is crucial for establishing strong relationships. Educational, social, and networking events are critical to client retention and each does a different job when it comes to growing your brand. Moreover, each type of event will attract different people and affect their opinion of you. So what are these types of events and their main benefits of them? 

Types of Events

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but events come in a few different flavors each having its own reason for being held. Depending on your end goal, the type of event you’re hosting will affect your success. The amazing thing is that each of these three types of events can be held in person or virtually. As a result, anyone can join in on the fun, no matter where in the world they are.

1. Educational Events

Most financial advisors start with hosting educational events because they are a way to show your knowledge and help a wider array of individuals that may be outside of your regular clients. Whether retirement planning, technology seminars, or education planning, community events are an efficient way to share your experience with others in your community. Educational events also do a great job of promoting yourself as a center of influence in your community.

Even if most of your event attendees aren’t clients, your information could be just the spark they need to ignite their planning journey. Think of client and community events as networking opportunities with individuals and families you might not normally meet with. 

2. Social Events

Hosting events in honor of your clients is another way to connect and show them that you care about their successes. One of the most popular types of events in this category is a retirement celebration, which recognizes all of your clients who have successfully retired. Hosting social events such as these is a wonderful way to show your clients you care about them. Plus, it’s another great way to network.

There are different types of events like these, including family celebrations, high school and college graduations, and business recognitions. The underlying theme, though, is that all these events celebrate your clients and all the hard work they are putting into planning for their future.

3. Networking Events

Lastly, networking events are a wonderful opportunity to meet with other professionals, some of whom might be interested in joining forces with you and your firm. You may want to invite local attorneys, CPAs, or other service professionals that you might be interested in working with. The who point of these events is to grow your network and expand your contact base. The best part is that it’s a win-win because while your network grows, others do too.

These events will grow your practice, promote your brand, and extend your offerings to other individuals and professionals. 

How to Host a Memorable Event

The main areas of client event planning include event promotion, mid-event, and post-event. This section will give you some tips on handling each section.

Step One: Promotion

Getting the word around about the event is the first step to ensuring its success. If no one knows about it, then how are they going to show up? This makes promoting your event important and can be done by:

  • Sending out emails informing of the event and its details
  • Set a schedule with 3 emails highlighting a “Save the Date”, “Register Now”, and “Last Chance to RSVP”
  • Promote on all social media
  • Work with partners, and see if you can make it a co-hosting event
  • Have a catchy even title that will make people want to come

Step Two: Mid-Event

Now that you’ve done a successful job of promoting the event, it’s time to ensure that it runs smoothly. But most importantly, making sure it’s memorable to those attending. Some of the best ways to ensure that are:

  • Make the greeting personal, this could include using their nickname, greeting them with their favorite drink, etc.
  • If there’s going to be food, make sure it’s good
  • Create a “Wow” factor, this could include the food, the venue, or the things that happen during the event
  • Just make sure it’s fun or interesting

Step Three: Post-Event

You’ve successfully hosted a great event that everyone loved. The food was great and the conversations were even better, but what do you do now? You may think that you’re done, but that’s not true at all. Once an event has ended it’s a great idea to do these things to further increase its impact:

  • Make social media posts with images that tag attendees thanking them for coming
  • Send out an email thanking everyone for coming and hinting at upcoming events
  • Create an email to those who couldn’t attend saying that you hope to see them next time

10 Client Event Examples to Inspire Your Own

No matter where you live, there are so many ways to host an event your clients will remember. After understanding the different types of events and their benefits, think about what kinds of events your clients and network would enjoy. Do you have a lot of foodies, art buffs or adrenaline junkies on your hands? Every client will be different, but here are some unique event ideas you can try out:

  1. A walking tour of all the art galleries downtown with food and drinks along the way
  2. A food “crawl” with a bus or van to charter your guests to their next destination
  3. A seasonal event, such as pumpkin picking, sleigh rides, Easter egg hunting, or others
  4. A local destination like the zoo or aquarium with live music and food
  5. A local sporting event
  6. A technology class that teaches your clients how to use their smartphones and social media
  7. Golf lessons from a local golf pro followed by lunch at the club
  8. Wine tasting and dinner at a country inn
  9. A movie theatre for popcorn and a show
  10. An in-person or virtual cooking class where everyone helps make and eat dinner

Editing note: This article was originally published on October 9th, 2016 and has been updated to ensure consistency.

We suggest hosting four events a year, which can be educational, social, or networking events. For example, you might want to host semi-annual seminars, during which you talk about the nuts and bolts of retirement planning, and semi-annual celebrations when you honor those going through significant life changes.

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