Planning an event to show your customers how much you value them is only half of your task. You also want to make sure that they walk away feeling valued and not wondering why they came.

You’re the host – make everyone feel welcome

When hosting customer appreciation events, it’s important to get face time with each of your guests. Although this is a common sense strategy for most party hosts, it isn’t always easy to employ. In fact, some hosts don’t even realize they’re making this crucial mistake.

You may naturally gravitate to your favorite customers. These are the people we’re never too busy to make time for on our most hectic days. These are the people who remember to ask about your family instead of getting straight to business. For all intents and purposes, these customers may be more like friends than business associates.

Be sure to make it a point to spend equal time with your guests. You can always catch up with your best clients at the end of the event or over lunch another day.

Let others tend to the details so you can talk to everyone

Roaming from group to group to ensure everyone’s having a good time is perfectly acceptable. The problem occurs when you get so hung up on hosting activities that you forget to have any interactions of meaning.

It’s true that someone must deal with the caterers or entertainment, but that person doesn’t have to be you. Ask members of your staff to stay for the event to help you with all the behind the scenes work. That will allow you to be the good host with your guests – the good host who actually talks to them for more than 30 seconds at a time.

Avoid talking about work or work-related issues

A major downfall of hosting customer appreciation events at your office is that even with a festive atmosphere around you, there will be temptation to talk nothing but business with your customers. Try to avoid this trap unless you want your customers to feel like you’re only trying to sell them something, not celebrate their value to your business’s success.

Another potential problem with hosting your event at your office is that it’s your office. Once you have things set for the event, it’s tempting to catch up on paperwork. After you make the rounds through the first batch of guest arrivals, you might just pop into your office to send out a quick email. If you aren’t careful, you’ll turn around twice and realize the event’s over and you barely spoke to anyone.

Above all else, remember the purpose of your event and let it guide your behavior. If you can do that, you’ll find that everyone enjoys the event, including you.