9 Proven Ideas for Client Appreciation Events
On average, 20% of clients leave an advisor within their first year. The reason? The vast majority of clients leave due to poor communication, whether that’s not returning phone calls or not being proactive when contacting clients.
There are a few ways advisors can combat this challenge, including operational adjustments such as automation and risk assessment tools to prioritize communication. But there’s one effective method that is often overlooked: client appreciation events.
A client appreciation event offers a fun, proactive way to communicate with clients while demonstrating your commitment to their overall well-being. This approach emphasizes that your client isn’t just a number to your firm, thus boosting client retention.
Registered financial advisors and brokers can leverage several types of events to engage their clients and thus boost retention and loyalty. Let’s take a look at these top 9 client appreciation event ideas—and go over some essential best practices.
9 Proven Ideas for Client Appreciation Events
1. Exclusive Educational Workshops
Your existing client base is likely to have similar interests when it comes to investing in education. Retirees want to understand how to optimize their savings and estate planning. Younger clients may want to know more about high-growth investments and need advice related to career movements.
Providing exclusive workshops lets you provide clients with in-depth knowledge relevant to their interests. There is no need to pitch services, as with public events, leading to more nuanced conversations and stronger relationships.
You can also bring in guest speakers to address topics adjacent to wealth management. For example, you could bring in a lawyer to discuss trusts or an accountant to answer questions about tax mitigation.
2. Tasting events
A winery or brewery visit is a popular client event option, as you can socialize with clients without focusing on finances. However, these aren’t your only options for tasting events. If any of your clients don’t drink, or if you want an alcohol-free event, you may be able to find local non-alcoholic drink tastings. There are also food options, such as chocolate, fudge, or candy tastings.
3. Brunches, Lunches, and Dinners
Having a one-on-one or group meal is a utilitarian and considerate client appreciation event, especially for clients with busy schedules. Inviting clients and their spouses or other family members makes it easier for you to build stronger relationships not only with your clients but with those important in their lives. Furthermore, you can offer to extend the invitation to any plus one. In this way, clients may bring close friends or another individual who could be a prospective client. However, it’s important not to talk about investing in finances. This meal is about appreciating your client, not highlighting your performance.
4. Sporting events
Hosting or attending a sporting event also offers the opportunity to bond with clients. The event you choose can be based on client preferences, and there’s a wide range of options. Golf, baseball, football, hiking, fishing, and skiing are just a few examples. However, unlike meals, workshops, or tasting events, these may require more thought and preparation. This is especially true for engaging in sports like golf or fishing, as opposed to attending a game.
5. Milestone celebrations
Birthdays, marriages, and graduations are key life events that you can use to show appreciation to your clients. The easiest way to engage in this kind of event is through surprise meals. But you can also throw a party with a client’s friends and family, particularly for big events like marriage anniversaries, promotions, or retirement. These don’t have to be big or drawn-out affairs, but they are a great way to stay involved in your client’s life.
6. Holiday parties
Another great group event is throwing a holiday party. And there are many options to choose from: Christmas, Easter, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving are just a few. The flexibility and availability of holidays make this easier to plan.
7. Craft workshops
Similar to taking clients to a sporting event, hosting or attending an arts and crafts workshop taps into a client’s hobbies. You can build a stronger relationship with a client while at an easel or pottery wheel, among other options. The key here is to hone into client preferences.
8. Charity events
Most individuals have causes they care about, whether they are local challenges or international issues. You can host a charity event for clients to attend. The charity can be one you are passionate about or one that a client is involved in.
There are also many variations of this kind of event: Pancake breakfasts, silent auctions, fun runs, galas, and murder mystery parties are just a few ideas.
9. Local festivals
If most or all of your clients are local, you can invite them to a local festival on a one-on-one or group basis. Most cities offer art, music, and food festivals, giving you are range of options based on client preferences. Furthermore, some clients may participate in these festivals, such as maintaining an art booth or competing in a BBQ competition. Meeting them at these events can demonstrate how you support them in their personal life outside of the serious stuff.
Best Practices for Client Events
Appreciation events are an excellent way to connect with and retain current clients. But it’s important to adhere to a few best practices to ensure you’re building long-term relationships. For example, you’ll want to:
- Not talk shop — unless a client brings it up.
- Tailor events, especially one-on-one meetings, to a client’s preferences.
- Always invite a client’s friends and family.
- Spend a little time with everyone at group events.
- Send reminders before the event and follow-ups after.
More ways to build client engagement
Client appreciation events offer a fun and interactive way to build stronger client relationships, drive client retention, and potentially generate referrals. But there are other ways to boost engagement. Check out our list of client engagement strategies for more actionable insights.