Client appreciation events: tips from the experts on #prowebchat

By Lauren McNitt

ProducersWEB


In this week's #prowebchat on Twitter, we discussed client appreciation events. Read on for tips from some social media-savvy industry experts on successful types of events, venue suggestions and promotion strategies.

Q1: Do you host client events to entertain, show your appreciation or to educate? What types of events? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Client appreciation events that allow clients to invite guests are the most cost effective prospecting campaigns .

    @paulwatpweb Is it best to allow clients to introduce you to guests in order to avoid the appearance of ulterior motives? #prowebchat

    @CharlesHGreen @paulwatpweb --as long as you're clear about providing value before asking for it, motives can be transparent #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB No reason it can't be all three. Whatever the format, relationship- and trust-building should be the goal. #prowebchat ^KK

    @laurenatpweb @KestlerFG Do you have any tips for trust-building while keeping it entertaining and fun? #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @laurenatpweb Solid advice, responsiveness, and remember the little things, e.g. narrow the gap between advisor and client #prowebchat ^KK

    @CharlesHGreen I try to be the paid entertainment for others' events. Next best is unpaid, then comes webinars; we've only done 2 hosted events #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat The top client appreciation events are movie premieres and sporting events with private seating areas.. Guests love them.

    @CharlesHGreen Hey I'd take courtside seats over listening to me anyday, @brokersalliance! #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Small gifts for children and grandchildren at client appreciations are a big hit.

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Door greeter handouts like a rose for women.

    @CharlesHGreen Seems to me the event and accoutrements are the excuse; the real relationship building is meaningful one-on-one conversation #prowebchat

    @Jeff_Howerton @ProducersWEB I have had success taking top clients to dinner and enviting them to bring a friend #prowebchat
Q2: How do you entice your clients (and guests) to come? How do yours stand out from the rest? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Entertainment is good, but edutainment is even better, especially when the attendees are unaware of the education.

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB A personal, verbal invite works wonders and sets the tone for what a good event will be like. #prowebchat ^KK

    @CharlesHGreen I learned a great value-add from @stewartmhirsch: be a matchmaker. Introduce people who'd benefit from knowing each other. #prowebchat

    @CharlesHGreen Goldman does HNW [high net worth] programs a cut above: in addition to GR8 entertain/schmooze, they always offer Top Content/Info #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG It's certainly forfeiting a great opportunity if you don't provide some kind of *quality* information. #prowebchat ^KK
Q3: How often should you host an event? Where do you host them? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat If the events are hot, then four a year

    @laurenatpweb #prowebchat What about venue? D you ever host from your office, or do you prefer hotels, restaurants, clubs, sport arenas, etc.?

    @KestlerFG @laurenatpweb I think neutral turf is a good idea. If the venue is public, private seating helps keep the group cohesive. #prowebchat ^KK

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat We did a huge BBQ at the office complex with a local country band and a bit of dancing. It was great!

    @paulwatpweb #prowebchat And following Lauren's venue question, any places/event types to avoid?

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat No swimming pool events.

    @paulwatpweb @brokersalliance You had me at BBQ. #prowebchat
Q4: How do you market your event/invite attendees: email, personal invitations via snail mail? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat marketing events target women on Face Book. there is no cheaper way to play in advertising.

    @laurenatpweb @BrokersAlliance But could something be said for personal invites on stationary sent through the mail? Or is that passe? #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat We use Send Out Cards, but face Book Rules.

    @ASJonline @BrokersAlliance: How much more successful have you been at targeting women than men via Facebook? #prowebchat

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Women are the event schedulers. They run the show. I just go with the flow.

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB The event should be personal, so should the invite. Higher rate of success there as well. #prowebchat ^KK
Q5: What other strategies do you employ to show clients you appreciate them? #prowebchat
    @CharlesHGreen @ProducersWEB I am blown away by the few occasions I get a handwritten note. Moves me like nothing else. #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @CharlesHGreen SendOutCards is great for automating those (bday as well), but personalization can be lacking. #prowebchat ^KK

    @bill_coffin @ProducersWEB I have always wondered how well pure swag works. Free flash drives, nice mugs, etc. It sure works on journalists. #prowebchat

    @laurenatpweb @bill_coffin Agreed-love getting free coffee mug! I wonder if that works 4 advisers' clients or if edu materials r more useful? #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @laurenatpweb @bill_coffin If nothing else, branded swag can be a constant reminder "I'm here if you need me." #prowebchat ^KK
Don't forget to join #prowebchat next week at 3 p.m EST on Twitter. Just search for #prowebchat and join the conversation!