While presentations and town hall meetings still have their place in today’s event landscape, there are better ways to host memorable 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. Many advisors need more ideas for customer appreciation events.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of hosting events, then cover how you can create, promote, run, and celebrate your event with clients and prospects. 

What are the Benefits of Hosting Events?

Meeting with your clients and prospects outside of the office is critical to establishing strong relationships. Different events can help you connect with different audiences and accomplish various business goals, from improving client retention to building relationships with prospects.

How to Create Memorable Events for Clients and Prospects

Creating a memorable experience for a client or prospect does not need to be difficult. At FMG, we make the process easy by providing the tools and resources to simplify promotion and planning. Below are six steps to help you run your first event, recommendations to make it effective, and 15 event ideas to inspire your own.

1. Plan Your Event

Before you dive into your event details, you’ll want to set a few goals. Consider the following:

    • Set a budget. Will guests be allowed to bring others? This can be a great way to connect with new prospects. But it could increase costs.
    • Who is your audience? What are their interests? You will want to ensure the event you select aligns with their personalities.
    • Does your event align with business objectives? Is your goal to increase client retention? Encourage referrals? etc.

2. Select Your Event Type

Next, you’ll want to select your event type. Consider your goals and whether you wish to engage clients, prospects, or both, then find the event type that best meets your objectives:

Client Appreciation: Host a social event for your clients and invite them to bring their friends.

Benefits: Shows your clients and their friends that you care and understand their interests.
Examples: Barbecue, movie night, wine tasting.

VIP Client: Invite your top clients to an exclusive event where they can bring worthy referrals.

Benefits: Encourages your high net-worth clients to stay with your firm and encourages valuable referrals.
Examples: Dinner party, golf, art exhibit.

Education: Host a public event (in-person or online) to discuss top finance topics.

Benefits: Shows your financial expertise and maximizes the opportunity to attract prospects with a public event.
Examples: Social security webinar, retirement talk, tax plan Q&A.

Personal Social Event: Offer to host a special event for a client’s milestone.

Benefits: Strengthens relationships with that client while reminding them of how your office can help with the milestone.
Examples: Sixtieth birthday, retirement party.

Networking: Provide a space for clients from the same industry to network

Benefits: Encourages clients to bring colleagues and proves your value as a member of their circle.
Examples: Fintech, biotech, higher education, meetup.

Charity Event: Support a charity that aligns with your values with a fundraising event.

Benefits: Shows your commitment to the community, provides a PR opportunity, and attracts like-minded clients and employees.
Examples: Fun run, gala, auction, community service project.

3. Promote Your Event

You have a solid plan in place, and your goals are clear. Now it’s time to get started.

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

4. Run the 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 for 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

5. Send Post-Event Comms

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

15 Event Ideas for Financial Advisors

No matter where you live, there are so many ways to host an event your clients and prospects will remember. After understanding the different types of events and their benefits, think about what kinds of events your network would enjoy. Do you have a lot of foodies, art buffs, or adrenaline junkies? 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 attendees 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
  11. A sponsored networking event
  12. Workshops (such as a paint-n-sip)
  13. A one-day leadership conference
  14. A local networking group, for example, a women’s networking group that regularly invites new people
  15. A trivia night at a local restaurant

How Many Events Should You Host?

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.

Create and Promote Your Events in Minutes

Whether you’re planning a virtual or in-person event, it’s a lot of work. FMG has made it easier by handling all the promotional communication and registration for you!

Find Out More Here