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Secrets to the Perfect CAE from an Industry Insider

Client Appreciation | December 7, 2017

Client events are one of the best ways to build a solid referral program. Not only that, they give you the opportunity to re-engage and make face time with your existing clients.

There are so many ways to make a good event, but there are a lot of ways to make a great event. As a financial advisor, your specialty lies in advising clients, not necessarily hosting and executing a top-notch event for them.

For that reason, here are some insider secrets and tips and tricks to consider when planning your events:

COST REDUCTION
Become a repeat client. Using the same event space for all your events can work to your advantage, since you can probably leverage a multi-event discount with the owner or manager of a space you really like or have had success in. When you’re planning your year ahead, make a budget for your quarterly and monthly events and talk with the venue on waiving fees or getting a lower price.

Share menus to save on cost. If there’s another event going on at your venue the same day as you, consider menu sharing, which means both parties are taking the burden of the cost by getting a higher quantity of food vs. multiple food items.

Partner with vendors. Build relationships with key vendors and give them repeat business. The better the relationship with your vendors, the better the quality of service you will receive. And the more you work with these vendors, the more they may throw perks your way.

Strong vendor relationships mean it’s easier to barter for reduced pricing , which includes trading price reduction for vendor endorsements, like mentioning the venue or chef’s name on your client invitations and other assets.

QUALITY CONTROL
It’s all about process. Create a process for each event so that it runs as smoothly as possible. Do your research, and plan ahead of time.

Make sure you have the contact information for the venue’s POC, and to make the event flow better, and consider hiring an MC so you can mingle with the guests.

Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. You need time to dig in and make sure the event is everything you want it to be. Make sure you’re providing your clients with YOUR vision. When you’re rushed and pressured, you’re just hoping to get it out and done. If you’re not rushed, you can create a quality event.

Think to yourself, “If my client attends this event, what do they need before they know they need it?”

Also, make sure to consider what feeling you want your clients to have when they experience your events. It should be personal, almost like a family reunion, with no detail left uncovered.

On the day of the event, double-check everything. For any event, large or small, you or someone from your staff should do a walkthrough of the event beforehand at the venue. Do what your guests will be doing so you can identify problem areas. This will give you an opportunity to catch glitches or miscommunications. Make sure you know answers to questions like, what time can the doors open and what time are apps being served.

You may not be able to catch everything a professional could, but you will be able to experience what your guests experience and take the opportunity to make it better before the event happens.

And don’t forget to taste the menu! Make sure the food is the quality you want it to be, and find out what time the appetizers will be ready.

BOTTOM LINE
Create the partnerships with vendors. Don’t be arrogant, don’t be too busy, and don’t boss people around. Form relationships with these people. Make sure to tip sales managers and banquet captains. Take care of these people, because when you do, they will take better care of your guests.

Written on December 7, 2017 by:

Lori Burton

Lori Burton Lori Burton is the Principal Planner at Impact, managing all aspects of anything needing planning, including all advisor events and anything fun! She strives to provide our advisors with an exceptional experience, whether it's to a training event or overseas as a reward. No detail is too small. She was part of a dance team that performed at the Super Bowl when it was hosted here in Atlanta.

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