7 Ideas for Your Next Client Event
As an advisor, clients are the lifeblood of your business, and whether virtual or in person, client-focused events offer the opportunity to deepen relationships, show your appreciation, provide education, and build your referral business.
There are seemingly endless options for the type of event you could plan, but your focus should be both knowing what your clients would be motivated to participate in and how you will define success. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. Host a Holiday Gathering
Goal: Show your appreciation.
If your clients are local, a holiday gathering can be a great opportunity to connect, engage, and show your appreciation for their loyalty and business. Your budget can help dictate the type of event (cocktail reception versus plated dinner, rented venue versus in-office gathering, etc.) and who you’ll invite (all clients, clients and a guest, top-tier clients, etc.).
December can be busy for a lot of people, so consider celebrating an off-beat or unexpected holiday for a bigger turnout, like a party to kick off the summer, an Oktoberfest, a Spring Fling – any excuse to celebrate!
2. Plan a Mother’s Day Brunch or Tea
Goal: Engage your female clients.
Although it may be typical for the male head-of-household to take responsibility for most financial decision making, it’s not always the best scenario for nurturing relationships or helping your clients achieve their collective goals. A female-focused event offers an opportunity to get to know the spouse you may have less interaction with. The potential benefits are vast – creating more avenues for referrals, educating and empowering your clients to make better financial decisions and understand the value of your services, and giving them the confidence to take an active role in meetings.
If a majority of your female clients are mothers, a Mother’s Day brunch or tea could be a simple, fun way to show your appreciation. But you can also consider lunch-and-learn events with guest speakers, a golf clinic or outing, or a happy hour with a sommelier.
3. Offer Up Some Family Fun
Goal: Show your appreciation.
If your clients are largely young families, a family-focused event can draw a crowd. You could:
Be sure to give your clients plenty of advance notice (and consider a rain date for anything outdoors, if possible).
4. Host an Educational Seminar for Young Adults
Goal: Engage your clients’ adult children.
Getting to know your clients’ millennial or Gen Z children can be helpful when it comes to building a pipeline of potential clients and ultimately retaining assets through generations. Many young adults are making major life decisions, with significant financial implications, and could be open to a timely seminar to help guide them.
Pick a specific financial topic to cover or plan to touch on a variety of financial topics that a young adult should be prepared for, like the financial implications of buying a home, getting married, starting a family, taking care of older parents, etc.
Given that your clients’ children may not reside locally (and likely prefer virtual over in-person events), a web-based event would probably result in the highest turnout. Just remember to keep it short (60 minutes with questions), test your technology in advance, and follow up to stay top of mind with additional resources.
5. Organize a Shredding Event
Goal: Reinforce good financial practices.
Help your clients dispose of their sensitive financial information with a shredding event. Spring is an ideal time of year based on tax season (sensitive information abounds) and the “spring cleaning mentality.”
Be clear about what clients should bring to shred (and what they shouldn’t, like spiral-bound materials or flash drives), as well as how much they’re allowed to bring. Offer some light refreshments, make sure you have the right equipment (you can even rent a mobile shredding truck!), and send out an invite! You might be surprised at how popular these events can be.
6. Plan a Charitable Program
Goal: Give back to the community and demonstrate your firm’s values.
If your business is primarily local, a charitable event can show that you care about your community. When it comes to selecting an organization to showcase, get your clients involved by asking them to submit their favorites or by running a poll with a few options, or your team can select an organization based on past experiences or current needs.
One option is to host an in-person, volunteer-based event in partnership with the charitable organization – cleaning up a local park, stuffing backpacks for back-to-school, organizing a food pantry, etc. Another option is to host an event that benefits the organization through raffles, fees, etc., like a golf outing or pickleball tournament. Either way, offer a mechanism for monetary donations in the event someone wants to participate but can’t attend. Also, take pictures to share on your social channels to engage your community there too!
7. Offer Insight into a Trending Topic
Goal: Provide education and network.
Don’t wait for your clients to ask you about financial headlines, address their questions, concerns, and curiosities with a timely virtual townhall. The faster you can plan and execute the event, the better – before your clients are inundated with think pieces and nightly news stories that will fatigue them or convince them they fully understand what’s happening.
With the large capacity enabled by a virtual event, encourage your clients to invite family and friends to help grow your network. You could also consider running the event in partnership with an accountant, real estate agent, tax planner, long-term care specialist, or other Center of Influence to reach a wider audience and offer more nuanced insights.
It can be easy to focus solely on the day-to-day aspects of running a business, but client-focused events should be a key pillar in your service model. Offer education, expand your network, plan some fun – your clients will take note and the impact on your retention and pipeline could be significant. What’s stopping you? Start planning your first (or next) event now!
Harbor Capital Advisors
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