Why Companies Should Host Customer Appreciation Events
These days, thanks to the internet, if your company doesn’t deliver for whatever reason, it’s easy enough for a customer to leave and find another company to go to. Most commonly, it’s because a customer simply doesn’t feel like you care about them. In fact, the Rockefeller Group studied why customers left businesses, and the results appeared to back this up:
This information then begs the question: how do I show clients that I care about them to retain their business? These days, one of the most popular ways is by hosting a client appreciation event.
What is a Customer Appreciation Event?
A customer appreciation event is a much more effective route than just sending a birthday or holiday card and never meeting your client face-to-face. Most times, your client will just throw away that card without thinking twice about your company. But if you invite them to something fun and engaging, they’ll appreciate the attention given.
Another great thing about hosting a customer appreciation event is the opportunity to acquire new referrals. Just imagine: if a friend of yours came back from an awesome event and told you about it, wouldn’t you want to be a part of that company’s fold too? And if you allow your clients to bring friends, they can see how awesome you and your company are first-hand.
What is the Value of Customer Appreciation Events?
Client appreciation events bring a tremendous value to your company and yourself through a variety of ways.
- They build engagement
- They’re a great way to express gratitude for your clients
- Creates happy clients, which leads to a greater possibility of referrals
- They boost you and the company’s credibility
- Increases brand awareness
- Allows your clients to see you as a human rather than just a service
- Creates loyalty – who’d want to leave a company that treats clients well??
- You can generate more testimonials – ask your clients what they like about what you offer and record it!
Planning a Customer Appreciation Event
There are several things you need to keep in mind when it comes to planning customer appreciation events:
First, make sure it’s an activity that both adults and kids can enjoy. The idea is to allow family and friends of your clients to come. This way they’re more likely to attend your event and it shows that you really care about the people they really care about.
When choosing the activity, try to go with something that aligns well with your clients’ demographics and interests. Obviously, if all of your clients are in their 60s and 70s, it doesn’t make sense to go somewhere geared for someone in their 20s or 30s.
Make sure you include food and beverages with whatever activity you choose. Most places will have catering options available, so this shouldn’t be too much of an extra headache. However this is something you’ll want to ensure is available at your intended venue.
When you invite people, don’t just limit it to your customers and their inner circle of friends and family – reach out to people YOU WANT as a customer. Get your prospect list out and start inviting! Overall look into a 75% customer / 25% prospect ratio when it comes to your invite list.
Book at least a couple of months in advance. Not only do you want your customers’ calendars to be open, but you’ll want to make sure that you get the activity/venue you want for the event. Additionally, think about tying your event around a convention when you know that many clients will be in town and ready for some post-convention fun.
Alternatively, look into a collaborative customer appreciation event with a company that may share similar clients to yours. Not only could this increase the available budget for the event, but this also allows for some cross-promotional opportunities with clients that may be not be yours but are in your market.
Bring lots of business cards, but don’t pitch or sell. While we’ve discussed that these events are a great way to attract new business, you want them to be in interested in your company on their own. You don’t want to induce any pressure on prospects during this event. Just have those business cards handy for when someone interested comes up to you. Trust us, if you plan your event right, you’ll need plenty of them.
Make sure there’s opportunities to mingle. You don’t want to spend time with just a client or two. Make sure you leave time to shake hands and mingle with as many of your guests as you can, if not every one. That’s why you’re hosting it in the first place – you want to meet your customers face to face and get to know who they are away from the office.
Optionally, look at hiring a videographer. Videographers will capture the moment and should be able to get some epic testimonials from your very happy customers. A short video of your event and clients gushing about your work is marketing gold and will become your new favorite video on your website.
Best Customer Appreciation Event Idea
Whichever event you go with, make sure it’s something memorable. Some ideas may sound like a nice idea, but whether it sticks in the minds of your clients (or worse yet, prospects) is another story. Just take a look at the following comment in a forum about client appreciation events:
“I was invited to a client appreciation event by my CPA in December. He held it at Shula’s Steakhouse. Although the meal, service and cocktails were top notch, the event was forgettable. About 80 people were seated at 16 tables throughout the room. Nobody knew each other…it was like going to a wedding or just going out to dinner with your wife.
“On the other hand, a neighbor threw a party for his wife’s birthday. She is Brazilian. Halfway into the party, a group of 10 samba dancers in full carnival attire (including thongs) came in and performed. Everyone felt like they were in Rio. That party, everyone will remember for a long time.”
You see, places like brewpubs and fine dining restaurants are nice in their own right. However, these venues can blur together and may not be child-appropriate. That’s why we’re going to help you with a great idea for your event. Have your event centered around indoor go karting at K1 Speed!
A New Breed of Go Kart
Go kart racing is a perfect idea for any customer appreciation event. For starters, it’s an activity that both children and adults enjoy. Children who are 4’ or taller can enjoy our Junior karts which reach speeds of up to 25mph. Our Adult karts, on the other hand, reach a more spirited 45mph. And since these karts are all-electric, the power is INSTANT. No waiting for an engine to rev up here – it’s GO from the moment you step on the acceleration pedal!
Food and Drinks? Check.
Since you’ll want to wine and dine with your guests, you’re going to want some first-rate catering for your event, and lucky for you, we have catering options available! Whether you want something informal like pizza and sodas to a more premier appetizer/main course affair with a bartender, we can make it happen.
Meeting Rooms Available
Our meeting rooms are great for groups that want to socialize away from the track. If you’re really looking to make an impression, then host a buyout and have the whole place for your event!
We hope this guide to customer appreciation events has been helpful. Have you attended or hosted one of these events? Let us know in the comment section below!