Event Promotion and Strategy Part 2: Customer Appreciation Events
Why hold a Customer Appreciation Event?
Customer Appreciation Events are a fantastic way to retain business, impress new clients, and thank loyal customers. Just like other marketing events, a successful appreciation party requires smart planning and agile coordination.
Your event should be a celebration of your business and its clientele. It’s not a time to up-sell clients or pre-sell a new product. An exceptional event will solidify your relationship with your customer base, and it will remind them why they do business with your company in the first place.
How can I create a memorable event?
Planning – Start planning your event at least three months before the event date.
- Define your goals and ask yourself why you are having the event. Will you be celebrating a holiday, a business milestone, or making a big announcement? Even though you are thanking clients, it helps to plan the event around a secondary theme or cause – charitable or not.
- Find collaborators – either professional or within your organization – to help you coordinate every detail.
- Set a budget and the date.
- Hire a professional photographer and videographer.
- Decide on whether or not you would like to bring sponsors into the mix to augment prizes and giveaways.
- Select the venue, caterer, and decorator (if necessary).
- Choose what role you want your employees to play. Will they mingle with the guests or will they serve as hosts?
Advertising – If no one shows up, the event will be a bust.
- Prepare the guest list. If you can afford it, ask clients to invite friends. Inviting suppliers may also be astute; they will sing your praises as they mingle with guests.
- Hire a skilled company to design your invitations. We recommend sending both printed online invites point guests to a link on your website to RSVP.
- Send out reminders for the event – at least two – so that no one forgets.
- Design giveaways and thank-you gifts that are cohesive with your business and branding.
- Send out thank-you notes after the event to show your appreciation.
Flow – Even the best venue can have bottlenecks when it comes to moving clients throughout the experience you have planned for them.
- Make sure that every person encounters the event in a way that makes sense and targets special places.
- Put gifts and other marketing materials in spots that are visible and easily accessible.
Entertainment – Most venues don’t come with their own entertainment. When hiring an act, make sure that you keep your client demographic in mind.
- Think outside the box. Customers have different tastes in music, so it’s often best to find another method of entertainment. Consider wine or beer tastings, scavenger hunts, carnival games, or a movie night.
Tracking – If you want to know if your event is successful, you have to set up a way to track its return on investment (ROI).
- Require RSVPs. If you don’t know who is coming, then it will be impossible to judge your ROI.
- See how sales stack up with guests who attended the event every quarter versus those who didn’t.
- Record new customers that stemmed from friends brought to the event or through referrals of attendees.
Customer Appreciation Events are an integral part of every marketing strategy. Just be sure to make a good impression! Bad events can turn customers away just as easily as good ones can make clients loyal for life.
Checkout the 30th Anniversary customer appreciation event we helps to organize and promote for Sunrise Landscape + Design … it was a lot of fun!