shutterstock_314450846While the good ol’ presentations or town hall meetings still have their place in today’s event landscape, there are more ways than ever to host a memorable client event. Between choosing the topic, the venue, and the theme, the possibilities are endless.

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

There are many benefits of meeting with your clients outside of the office and getting them engaged in your planning community. Educational, social, and networking events are critical to client retention and promoting your firm’s brand. So what are these types of events and the main benefits of them? 

Educational Events Promote Yourself as a Center of Influence in the Community

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. Be it retirement planning, technology seminars, or education planning, community events are an efficient way to share your experience with others 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 a network opportunity with individuals and families you might not normally meet with.

Social Events Show Your Clients That You Care

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.

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.

Networking Events Grow Your Network

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.

These events will grow your practice, promote your brand, and extend your offerings to other individuals and professionals. Now, let’s talk about the fun part — how to host a stellar event!

Set Your Event Apart

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 out1:

  • A walking tour of all the art galleries downtown with food and drinks along the way
  • A food “crawl” with a bus or van to charter your guests to their next destination
  • A seasonal event, such as pumpking picking, sleigh rides, Easter egg hunting, or others
  • A local destination like the zoo or aquarium with live music and food
  • A baseball or soccer stadium for a family night out
  • A Valentine’s day brunch for your couple clients
  • “Breakfast with the Boys,” where you treat your male clients to breakfast at a local cafe
  • A technology class which teaches your clients how to use their smartphone and social media
  • Golf lessons from a local golf pro followed by lunch at the club
  • Wine tasting and dinner at a country inn
  • A movie theatre for popcorn and a show
  • A cooking class where everyone helps make and eat dinner

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.

1Some ideas are from http://www.financial-planning.com/opinion/creating-perfect-events-can-produce-perfect-clients