7 Essential Goals for Client Entertainment & Reward Events
Client reward ideas NYC
Last week I wrote an article on the do’s and don’ts of employee entertainment. Today, I’m going to discuss something just as important for business who wish to remain competitive in the current economic environment: client entertainment in New York City and beyond.
It’s a trend I’ve definitely noticed in almost 10 years of creating NYC corporate team building activities, and one which I have come to understand as absolutely vital in the modern business world. When I first started my own company, TrivWorks, in 2009, I did it with the intention of helping managers say “thank you” to their staff for a job well done – but the requests for my live trivia parties services for entertaining customers has really exploded, and I think it’s important to share with you what I’ve learned about these valuable events, as well as what you should seek to get out of them:
- 1. Let Them Know You Appreciate Them – The simple act of inviting a core group of valued clients – be they long-term or brand-new – lets this audience know the type of brand you are: one which truly wants to build a relationship with them which lasts longer than a simple transaction. If the group is small relative to your overall customer base, attendees at your event will also feel a sense of “elite” status, making them feel special. Speaking of which…
- 2. Make Attendees Feel Special – These are the most-valued consumers of your product or service, and as such you should make every effort to ensure that they feel important and valued. A well-planned and produced reward experience will help ensure that they know how much you value their business
- 3. Let Them Know You Reward Loyalty – What does your brand do to let your most-loyal clients know how much you love them? Think of ideas in which you can display this in ways large and small: special discounts? Reward points? Invite-only experiences, including networking and entertainment opportunities? The sky is truly the limit, however it is incumbent on you to send the message to your guest, and ensure they receive it: we take extra-special care of those who have remained faithful to us.
- 4. Don’t Skimp – I’ve seen this happen, and it’s unfortunately not pretty. Why go through the trouble of creating a client reward experience, only to have it ruined because you tried to do it on the cheap? I say either do it right, or don’t do it at all; the old adage “you get what you pay for” comes in to play here: book a venue which adequately represents not only you and your brand, but reflects the value which you place on your top customers’ business. For the entertainment, again – don’t hold back. I’m not saying you need to spend lavishly, but do you REALLY want to go with the least-expensive thing you can find? An event like this is worth the money, no matter what form of amusement you plan to bring in.
- 5. Create Evangelicals for Your Brand – No, I don’t mean that in a religious way. I mean, turn your key constituents into ambassadors who will shout your praises from the rooftops. Yes, keeping this core group loyal and happy is vital to your business, but so is developing new leads and bringing in new clients. Word of mouth has always been and shall always be the best form of marketing, and who better to spread the word about you than the people who have come to your well the most?
- 6. Make the Experience Valuable for THEM – You are asking people to take time out of their day (most likely after business hours, time which could be spent at home with their families) to be with you. Make the experience one which has tangible benefit, beyond just a fun time! I’m a strong proponent of turning events such as these into networking opportunities, allowing people who wouldn’t normally get to know one another a chance to do so. Ask yourself: who would truly benefit from meeting? If a strong connection is formed at YOUR party, that can only help you in the long run as well!
- 7. Don’t Send Them Home Empty-Handed – You want this group of customers to keep thinking about you after the event, and favorably so. To help ensure that, make sure they go home with something in-hand which helps keep you top of mind; a branded piece of “chum” or something of practical value, like a gift card (or in my business’s case, lip balm). Just make sure that there is some form of residual experience to hang onto afterwards (for more on this, I highly recommend Jonah Berger’s bestselling book Contagious).
The more effort and attention you put into an event designed to build loyalty and deepen the relationship with your best clients, the better the result will be in terms of continued business, as well as potential new business. Before you book a date or spend a single dollar, ask yourself: what do we REALLY want to get out of this?
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