Hosting client events can be a great way to show your appreciation for your clients and build stronger relationships. Satisfied clients are less likely to leave your practice for a different firm, and they may be more inclined to refer you to friends, family members or coworkers. Researching the best client event ideas for financial advisors can help you decide how to say “thank you” in a memorable and meaningful way.
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Understanding Client Events for Financial Advisors
Client events are opportunities for advisors to meet with their clients in an informal setting. Financial advisors can host client events to show their appreciation, foster deeper connections with their clients and solidify their brand identity. These events are a chance for advisors and clients to interact on a more human level, versus the typical client-advisor meeting which is focused on financial planning only.
Investing time and money in hosting client events can yield dividends to advisors in different ways. For one thing, these events can help to encourage client loyalty. That’s important because you want quality clients to stick with you for the long haul. A client who knows and trusts you has less incentive to move on to another advisor.
Client events can also help you gain referrals, which can be instrumental in scaling your business. A client who’s impressed with the level of detail and thought that goes into your events you plan may be eager to tell their friends, family or coworkers about you. Generating referrals organically through client events may produce more leads than asking clients for referrals outright.
10 Client Event Ideas for Financial Advisors That Produce Results
When planning a client event, it’s helpful to consider what other successful advisors are doing. At the same time, it’s important to create an event that’s likely to leave a lasting impression on the clients you serve.
With that in mind, here are 10 client event ideas you might use to grow your advisory business:
Food or wine tastings. Hosting a dinner party for clients might seem too formal, but a food or wine tasting can help keep the mood casual. You don’t have to stick with the traditional wine tasting either. You might host your event at a microbrewery or choose a whiskey tasting at a local distillery instead, depending on the preferences of your clients.
Cooking class. A cooking class hosted by a local chef is something your foodie clients might appreciate. You can host the event at a local restaurant that’s willing to accommodate you, a private rental home or your own home. Cooking with your clients can be a fun, casual way to get to know one another and learn some new skills.
Golf or tennis clinic. If your clients are athletically inclined or have expressed an interest in picking up a sport, hosting a mini-clinic with a local pro can be an excellent event option. If your clients already play, you might book a round or two at an upscale course or reserve a few courts for an afternoon.
Trivia night. Trivia nights can be a lot of fun and you can get creative by choosing a theme that speaks to your target demographic. If most of your clients are older millennials, for example, you might do a 90s or Y2K theme and encourage guests to dress accordingly. And you can offer a gift card or another special prize to the winner.
Escape room. Escape rooms put critical thinking and teamwork skills to the test while giving you and your clients lots to talk about once you’ve made your way out. Most escape rooms take an hour to complete so they’re not time intensive. Bookings are usually limited to groups of two to 12 people, so they’re perfect if you’re hoping to plan an outing with just a few clients.
Murder mystery party. Hosting a murder mystery dinner party is similar to an escape room, as it’s a test of your thinking skills. You can purchase murder mystery kits that you can use to plan an event at your home or book an evening at a local restaurant that hosts whodunit events.
Deep sea fishing. If you live near the coast, you might splurge on a day of deep-sea fishing for your clients. If fishing isn’t your clients’ thing, you might suggest a different beachy activity like dolphin or whale spotting or taking a sand sculpture class with a local expert.
Family day. One of the secrets to longevity as a financial advisor is being able to serve the current generation while keeping an eye on the next. Hosting a client event that the whole family can participate in can be a good way to start building bridges with younger family members who may need your services someday. If your clients have younger children, then a day at the park or a zoo might be appropriate. If your clients have adult children, you might choose something like a movie night or a block party instead.
Arts and crafts classes. Making art or crafts together can create a relaxing environment in which you and your clients can get to know one another better. You might try making pottery, taking a watercolor painting class or trying your hand at something completely different, like glass blowing. Exploring a local museum together is another way to share a love of art with your clients without requiring them to get hands-on.
Holiday-themed events. Holidays can provide lots of inspiration for different events. During the winter holidays, for example, you might host a hot cocoa and s’mores party for your clients or plan a New Year’s Eve blowout.
Tips for Planning a Successful Client Event
The last thing you want is for a client event to be a bust. Before you invest time and money into planning one, here are a few tips to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch.
- Plan events that speak to who your clients are and what they’re interested in.
- Think about what kind of tone you want to set and what the overall mood should be.
- Consider choosing an event that reflects a little of your personality.
- Give clients plenty of notice ahead of the event so that they can plan their schedules accordingly.
- Don’t make the event about you by turning it into a sales pitch.
If you’re still stumped for client event ideas, you can always try the direct route and ask your clients what kind of things they might be interested in doing. You can send an email letting clients know that you’d like to plan an event to show your appreciation and that you’d like their feedback.
That can help you get some ideas for client events. The number of responses you can get can also give you an idea of how many of your clients are likely to attend, which can make it easier to narrow down the list of ideas.
Periodically hosting client events can be well worth the time and effort you put in if it encourages stronger bonds with the people you serve. The options included here can be a great starting point for generating your own list of client event ideas.
Tips for Growing Your Client List
- Prospect strategically. Looking for new clients can take up a sizable part of your day as a financial advisor. You can save time and make prospecting easier by using an online lead generation service like SmartAdvisor instead. With SmartAdvisor, you can get qualified leads delivered to your inbox, freeing you up to focus on other activities that can help grow your business.
- Take your marketing online. Investors are increasingly turning to search engines to help them find financial advisors to work with. If you’re not taking your digital footprint seriously, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect. Establishing an advisor website or blog, marketing to target clients on social media and leveraging email are all ways to make yourself more visible.
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