Client Appreciation Events: A Guide For Every Financial Advisor
By Jordan Collins
Tucker Advisors Senior Digital Marketing Specialist
Table of Contents
Click the links below to jump to a client appreciation event page section specific to your needs.
Why Throw a Client Appreciation Event?
As a financial advisor, you have a lot of business to take care of. Between meeting with prospects, building your business, and finding the right solutions for clients, the calendar is incredibly full.
Why throw a client appreciation event if there are so many more important things to be done?
If this is something that’s crossed your mind, we have some important information for you. Throwing a client appreciation event can create trust with current clients, lead to referrals, and give you common ground with your local community. These values can’t be understated when you are looking to build your business.
Not only will an event put you on the top of their mind, it will also show that you are offering value that is supplementary to your advice. In the digital age that we live in, it is crucial to humanize yourself and connect with clients. If you are looking for a guide to throw an event, you’re in the right place. We will arm you with tips for your event and a robust guide download.
What Makes a Good Client Event?
The first step to a great event is choosing dates that people are able to attend. Planning for a date where there aren’t major holidays, poor weather conditions, or a large local event is important to increase participation from clients. We don’t just want our clientele showing up, we want their family and friends to attend! When scheduling an event, you also need to take lead time into account. If you send out invitations with only 2 weeks notice, you’re unlikely to have a lot of attendees. If you send out invitations with 8 weeks notice, you are much more likely to find that people are free for the night.
Inviting friends and family is a great way to put attendees at ease socializing and mingling with others. For many adults and kids, going to an event alone can be a large source of anxiety and will detract from your attendees’ interest in coming. Another reason you want additional guests is this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to potential referrals. You never know who could be joining your event! Put your best foot forward as your event could be an olive branch to provide value for them.
If you have a staff, bring them in on your plans early. Planning, inviting, attending, and following up are all important steps to ensure a seamless experience. Many events involve eating, drinking, and activities and you’ll need all the help you can get to pull it off. With that in mind, be sure that you account for the number of people attending. This is where your staff’s invitations and follow up can help you anticipate how big or intimate your event will be.
If you are a smaller office, we’d suggest playing to your strengths and doing something small like a round of golf or hiring a chef for an intimate home-cooked meal. There are times where less is more and the right environment will be more effective.
Lastly, you can go as big or as small with your event as you’d like but one thing you don’t want to do is plan poorly. Your value to clients relies on the idea that you are able to strategize and plan for their future. If you can’t plan a party, it will not reflect positively on your ability to plan their finances.
Defining Your Event Objectives
You may be asking yourself “why am I defining objectives if this is just a client event?” The answer is because your event represents you to your attendees. If you want to build trust, you’ll have to know what you’re trying to accomplish.
In our research, we’ve seen two sets of objectives. You have your soft-skill objectives and your hard-cost objectives. An example of a soft skill objective is to meet five people that you didn’t know at the beginning of the night. An example of a hard cost objective is to receive referrals from current clients.
As you can probably tell, finding a balance of the two is crucial. You aren’t throwing this event to go table by table and review balance sheets, but you are a financial advisor whose clients are getting together for a night of fun; at some point, a financial question will surface.
This is an opportunity for you to show your expertise and how you’re a grounded community member just like everyone else. You shouldn’t sell or pitch at this event, as it is not the right time or place. If you’d like to say a few words thanking everyone for coming or giving out business cards to have someone contact you, this is far more appropriate. You want to build excitement and get more people to attend your next event! Don’t make your valued guests feel like they’re being sold.
Measuring the success of your event is rooted in how you defined your pre-event objectives. If you set the objective of having more than 10 attendees, you have a very clear idea of whether you reached your goal. The big idea is that without setting goals, you won’t know if you were successful.
You will want to sit down with your staff and define what success looks like so each member knows and understands their role. If the only goal you set is to delight your guests, you’re on the right track. Remember that this is not a one and done event in the same way that you are not a one and done advisor. Be a great host, show the value of your work, and your clients will talk positively of you.
Client Event Examples
This is not an exhaustive list of every possible client event but we hope this will give you ideas for what your community will enjoy. Remember that you want to choose an event activity that will fit your goals. If you want people to be socializing and talking, don’t choose an event where they’re encouraged to be quiet or not speak.
You will also want to think about what your attendees have in common. If there’s a common thread between them, there may be a unique opportunity to personalize the event. As a host, you want to create an atmosphere that will lend itself to open conversation, making memories, and having your guests inviting friends to the next event. Choose wisely! There are more event ideas in the PDF download.
- Cooking Class
- Professional Magic Act
- Family Bowling Night
- Boat Cruise
- Backyard Barbecue
- Scavenger Hunt
- Day at the Zoo
- Dinner & Dancing
- Golf Excursion
- Hawaiian Luau
- A Day at the Races
Client Event Follow Up
Before the end of your event, be sure to thank your attendees for coming. Once your event has concluded, handwrite a personal thank-you note to each couple who attended. If you are writing to a referral, be sure to mention the name of the friend who brought them and thank them for attending.
Do not procrastinate and wait until weeks have passed to send out your thank-you notes. You want the event to still be at the top of their mind. If that means writing some of them in advance, take the time to do it. If you are following up with a phone call, be authentic and personal. Track how your communications go and benchmark them against your other events.
Once you’ve completed a number of events, you will have an idea of how to test and tweak your event planning to reach more people and position yourself positively with your clients and prospects. For a more thorough guide to client appreciation events, be sure to download the Tucker Advisors Client Appreciation guide shown below.
If you are looking for more ways to market your financial advisory practice, see this presentation from Tucker Advisors CMO Justin Woodbury.
If you would like more information on digital marketing strategy, visit here.
For Financial Professional Use Only. NOT INTENDED FOR VIEWING OR DISTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLIC. Insurance-only agents are not licensed to offer investment advice.