Client appreciation events make clients feel appreciated, and appreciated ones are more likely to stick around. Arranging client appreciation events is important for financial advisors as they help them in getting more referrals from a strong and more loyal client base, improve their credibility, increase awareness about their practice and services, and gives the clients a chance to see them in a different light.  These are also great opportunities for relationship building, prospecting and marketing.

Holiday theme

These are great events to do, if you’re in the family or retiree market how about “Brunch with Santa”, this saves your clients from waiting for hours at the mall and the photo will remind them of Santa and you- their advisor.

Other great holiday events are Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day or Easter.

Beer or Wine Tasting

If you have clients that love wine, bring in a sommelier to do a wine & cheese or book a tour of the local winery. If your clients aren’t into wine- there are a ton of craft-breweries popping up so you might want to host an event at the brewery.

Cooking Class or Chef’s Table

If you have clients that love food, why don’t you host a private cooking class? Make sure it’s an intimate event since you’ll be eating dining on your food after.

For your top client’s host a chef’s table and make it a first class event with exclusive dishes and wine.

Make sure you ask your clients to tag you on Instagram or Facebook during the event.  This shows your clients’ friends and colleagues that working with you is not just about “financial advice”.

Movie Night

For advisors in the family market- this is awesome, rent out the entire theatre (Don’t forget the popcorn!) and treat your clients to the latest flick.

This is a great event where you can invite families and have them invite other families to join.

Golf Clinic or Tournament

This is one I’ve hosted in the past and it’s definitely a lot of work but lots of fun if you love golf. Bring in a pro to help each person with their swing. Get in touch with the local golf course and they’ll have some ideas to help make your tournament fun like “hole in one” or in some cases ask your wholesaler to sponsor a hole. Tie it in with a barbecue afterwards and you’ll end up with a great day.

Make sure you get your clients to “Tweet” about it and post pictures on LinkedIn.

Shooting Clinic or Hockey Game

How Canadian can you get? Host a shooting clinic with the local pro, or if you can manage it- perhaps a retired NHL player or even a current one.

You can book a box/suite with your favourite team- this can get pricey though so watch your budget or ask for sponsorship.

Another option is to host a “Playoffs party” where you provide the food and a giant screen or party at the local pub to watch the game.

The scale of your appreciation events should be either small and intimate or large with dozens of people as something in between can be uncomfortable and awkward. If you plan on inviting a large number of people, you will have to seek help from event planners. A phone call will help increase attendance in such events as it gives the invitation a personal touch which may not be achieved through emails and social media invites. You can also use these events to invite your prospective clients to show them what you can offer. You should plan out these events well in advance, preferably two months or more so that you have the time to promote the event, and any invitation on a short notice may not have much participation due to your clients and prospects other commitments.   

Sometimes, sponsorship is also available from the insurance or investment companies as well. In some cases, they can provide you with a featured speaker that can speak about the economic forecast or an insurance topic.

One last tip, make sure you have fun at your event!