Client events have always been the most effective way to increase client and prospect engagement, providing the opportunity to express appreciation while strengthening personal connections. It has always been a challenge for financial advisors to keep their clients engaged and their prospects enthusiastic, more so during the pandemic, keeping everyone at a virtual distance. Now, with the pandemic waning, client events should once again stand as a key pillar in advisors’ marketing plans.
Well-conceived client events can be game-changers for advisors, spurring business growth by bringing people together in a celebratory environment. The keys to a successful client event are they need to be fun and memorable without any hint of a sales pitch. Done right, you will be top-of-mind for all who attended the event and can expect to hear from clients and prospects who have been sitting on a need or concern that needs discussing. Truly great events are likely to result in the golden ticket—referrals.
As you plan your next client event, try to think outside the box for a venue or concept that will have your clients and prospects talking about it for months or years to come. Here are some ideas proven to be highly successful for advisors.
Remember: The success of your client event, and your Financial Advisor for that matter, depends heavily on your soft skills and your ability to execute the basics. Check out our training program ‘Become Brilliant at the Basics: What They Don’t Teach You in Training’ – available as a self-paced course (always open) or as a 12-week coaching program (open only a few times a year).
1. Ice cream social
Ice cream socials are always well-attended, especially when the temperature runs hot. Hire a local ice cream vendor who can cart in a wide variety of flavors. You can make the event more participatory by adding some raffle prizes and setting up games, such as a cornhole contest. Be sure to encourage your attendees to invite friends and family.
2. Cooking classes
Cooking classes are always popular, especially when they are designed around a theme, like Spanish Tapas, pasta making, or Italian cooking. One advisor set up a sushi rolling class that had his clients talking about the event for years. Because the number of attendees is usually limited by space, cooking classes are a more intimate event, which is perfect for your top clients.
This type of event is easy to set up. All you need do is hook up with a local chef or restaurant and let them supply the food, utensils, and recipes. You bring the wine.
3. Beer tasting
Beer tasting is another great summer event, or maybe for Octoberfest. Local breweries love to put on private beer tasting events, hosting up to a hundred people. Be sure to put out appetizers, so people aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
4. Golf clinic
Golf outings have always been popular, but hosting a golf clinic could spur more interaction among your attendees. Everyone is looking to improve their golf game, so hosting a clinic at a local golf club with the club pro should be well-attended. Consider opening the clinic to club members as a way to increase your exposure..
5. Movie night
Movie nights are a fun family event. Some movie theaters offer packages that include a movie, snacks, and drinks. If you really want to impress your clients, rent out a movie theater for a premier showing of a new release—much more expensive but definitely worth it.
6. Private tour
Make your clients feel special with exclusive access to a museum, art gallery, or zoo. You can arrange a private tour of these venues giving your clients an “inside” look they won’t forget. Cap it off with an appetizer and wine buffet.
7. Charity event
Most people are willing to support a charitable cause. Hosting a charity fundraiser or event is a great way to show your clients and prospects you care about matters outside your business. Get local businesses and willing clients to donate products or services that can be raffled off and maybe even hire an auctioneer to auction off big prizes and trips—with all proceeds going to the charity.
8. Community improvement event
Many advisors have had great success hosting a community improvement event, such as a beach cleanup, graffiti removal, or tree planting. It gets clients and prospects involved in their community and puts you in a positive light. Get local leaders engaged as they would love the opportunity to connect with influential constituents. You can hire a couple of food trucks to feed participants.
Sending out birthday and anniversary cards is a great way to connect with your clients, and they are considered obligatory. But nothing can create top-of-mind impressions and build lasting relationships better than well-conceived client events. Successful advisors know how to optimize their client event marketing by being creative and stringing together several different events throughout the year. For them, client events are a critical cornerstone of their marketing plan. Make it yours.