5 Tips For Planning End Of Year Client Events
We are officially approaching the end of 2016: changing leaves, dropping temperatures and the holidays! As the end of year slowly (or quickly) creeps up on us it's time to start thinking about thanking your clients and celebrating a great year together. Having planned numerous end of year events for my clients, I’ve put together 5 tips for planning end of year client events and 3 of my favorite ideas to show your clients you care.
- Start Planning Now: Locking down a date early with your clients ensures you are able to get on their calendar before they become too busy to attend an event with you.
- Timing: Consider planning your event on a weeknight or even consider having a lunch. Lunch is a great option because it ensures you have time to thank your clients but it relieves the stress of adding another after work activity to their calendar at this time of year.
- Keep It Intimate: Having intimate events means you get quality 1:1 time with your clients. Small events evoke a deeper sense of appreciation for your clients and are more personal than if you were to throw a large scale event for everyone.
- No Selling or Business Talk: Use this time to celebrate with your clients, thank them for a great year, and ensure they want to continue doing business with you. Don’t burden them by pitching new ideas right before they are leaving for vacation.
- Consider January: Clients are just as stressed as you are during this time. Suggesting you get together after the holidays to celebrate 2016 and kick of 2017 may alleviate stress for all involved; plus you would all have something to look forward to in January.
- Fundraising/Charity Event: Tis the season of giving. Instead of the typical happy hour or dinner, you should consider getting your clients out of the office and working together to give back to your community. Everyone is usually extra willing to volunteer during this time of year and it’s a unique bonding experience that your clients won’t forget.
- Learn Something New: I’m a pretty big fan of anything activity based with clients (you can check my other blog post about that) since activities tend to get everyone out of their comfort zone and learning together is a great way to socialize. Take your clients to a cheese and wine pairing class or a sangria making class so they have a new set of skills to impress their family and friends during the holidays.
- Trivia: Turn the typical happy hour into something more exciting. Rather than just renting out a bar for a few hours, why not rent out the bar and bring in a person to do trivia? You can split up the team’s any way you like and the relaxed yet competitive environment is sure to help alleviate the stress of the holidays.
Whenever or however you decide to celebrate your clients this year - the one piece of advice you should take with you is to make sure this is something your clients will enjoy. It's fun to experiment with new ideas and activities, just pick ones that speak to the personalities of your clients. If these ideas are a little too out of the box or your clients are more traditional, then there's nothing wrong with sticking to a private dinner. Spending time with your clients to celebrate your success and partnership throughout the year(s) is a perfect way to continue your relationship into 2017.