Client Appreciation “return on experience” vs “return on investment”

A couple of months ago I was interviewed by Olivia Glauberzon for an article in Investment Executive Magazine about client appreciation events. The article was titled “Create enduring memories at your next client event – High-profile speakers bring media attention, but a low-profile, low-budget affair can resonate with clients, tooClick here for a pdf version.

The article was in response to the impact of the financial crunch on marketing budgets and whether you can still hold client events that are both memorable and cost-effective.

The challenge is to get your client-appreciation dollars to stretch further than they ever have, and to identify the kinds of events that will have clients remembering you in a positive light — and not just for the free food and drinks. Event-planning experts and advisors who hold successful events say you should start by breaking event ideas down into two basic components: place and activity. Next, focus on making each of those components unique and as “outside the box” as possible.

The key points in the article were:

  • Make The Speaker Or Main Activity Memorable
  • Involve The Senses
  • Find A Sponsor

My contribution was that you don’t have to hire a star speaker to create a memorable experience for clients. Think about the “return on experience” vs “return on investment. A good event involves all five senses. It’s important to be involved with the client throughout the event, so they do more than just see and hear you speak.

To create a sensory experience, invite clients to a series of cooking classes, a wine tasting or a private tour of the zoo. Just make sure its an experience that allows you to participate alongside your clients.  These are low-cost ideas that stand out in people’s minds and really make them appreciate the relationship they have with your business.

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