Big-impact, low-cost client events can help make 2011 your best year ever. But before booking an event, listen to what a focus group of our ideal clients told us about event planning:

  • Educational events, such as tax, economic and financial change updates, ranked at the top of their list. Detail specific tools and steps you are taking to help clients stay up to date. They also say social events are a great idea, but, first and foremost, they hired us to be their financial professionals. And not every event has to be expensive and elaborate. Save the lunch and dinner seminars for events open to the public.
  • Partner up. Strategic relationships not only offer valuable material for presentations; they can discuss strategies that have an impact on financial decisions, which the advisor can discuss on a one-on-one basis with clients after the event. Plus, these partners can also help cover the cost of the event. Both professionals can both invite their ideal clients, and by picking partners wisely, it can be a great compliment to all involved.
  • Support a cause. Do free press releases and public speaking in coordination with local organizations. Don’t forget to invite clients and ask them to bring others. Keeping the topic specific can make it easier for clients to identity potential people to bring to the events.
  • Small versus big events. Although big parties are a lot of fun, they are also a lot of work and don’t allow the advisor enough time to connect with everyone. Group clients together based on their interests and invite these groups to smaller events. Think about community events. Find out about free or low-cost events in your area coming up, such as festivals, sports, parks and gardens, arts and music, and exhibitions.

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Nolan Baker is an investment professional and founder of The Retirement Specialists, home of The Retirement Guys. Baker can be reached at nolan.baker@nextrep.com.