Monday, April 25, 2011

Local Sporting Event – Client Appreciation Ideas

Sporting events are a great way to break away from the office, nix the suit in favor of shorts and jeans, relax, and enjoy the moment.  Consequently, creating a Client Appreciation Event out of a sporting event can be a fun way to connect with your clients and prospects at a fairly reasonable cost.

Peggy B., ChFC, a Scottsdale Arizona Financial Planner, recently organized a successful event at Salt River Fields, the spring training facility at the Talking Stick Resort in Arizona.  Here's my interview with Peggy regarding the success and lessons learned from the event.

How many clients did you invite to your Client Appreciation Event and what was the cost?
We invited 47 clients. We sent invitations and then following up with a phone call.
We had approximately 70 people RSVP for the event including friends that clients wanted to bring along. It was a family event. Some clients brought children and some brought friends and coworkers. Tickets cost $10 each and we spent about $7 for each person's concession tickets.

How did the event play out?
We had 70 people on the lawn. I prepared ten blankets so that we could sit on the grass.
We told everyone that the first ten people to arrive would recieve a gift - we had ten Vineyard Financial baseball hats to give away.
We also raffled off a jersey.
We give each person tickets for hot dogs and drinks at the concession stand. We were  able to spend time with clients and experience the event.
This event was strictly a "Thank You" to our clients.
We told clients, "Wear jeans, we'll be on the lawn. Children will be running around."

What did clients like most about the event?
It was unique because we were at a brand new ball stadium. Everyone wanted to see the stadium since it was written up in the newspaper and was quite a novelty. The fact that we had seating on the lawn made it even better because it was a relaxed environment. You could talk to anyone, not just to people next to you.

How do you think the event benefited your firm?
We measured success on a few different levels. We earned "good will' and received several referrals after the event. Plus it showed that we were capable of running an event and made it look effortless.
We took pictures and sent them out with an email thanking the attendees.
The ballpark put our firm's name up on the board for all to see, so that was exciting.

What would you do differently next time?
We would follow up right away - within a week while the event was still fresh in everyone's mind. Get on the phone and call to thank attendees. I would also send a card with photos of the event.

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Suzanne Muusers

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