As you already know, the success of your business rests in the hands of your clients. While providing a quality product and excellent customer service can go a long way in retaining your customers, it’s sometimes necessary to find other ways to show how much you value their continued business. If you’ve never held one before, planning appreciation events can seem like a lot of work, but the benefits can be well worth the effort.

Choosing a Date for Your Event

When planning appreciation events, the date you select is among the most important aspects to consider. Because your goal is to have as many of your key clients in attendance as possible, you’ll want to avoid times of year when people might be out of town or have family staying with them. Possible times of year to avoid may include:

  • December
  • July
  • Last two weeks of November
  • Spring break
  • Week before school starts

It’s also critical you consider the day and time of your appreciation event. Beyond being a traditional date night, Friday evenings are busy for most people. Depending on the time of year, sporting events might demand the attention of clients with school age children. The rest of the time, people are often too tired from their week to attend an optional event.

If your clients are mainly near your office, you might consider hosting a lunch event near the middle of the week.

Deciding on Food for Your Event

In general, people are more willing to stay for an event when they have something to snack on – especially when they may have to delay a meal to attend. The food you select for your appreciation event can determine whether people mingle or keep to themselves. To promote a festive atmosphere:

  • Avoid foods that require two hands
  • Provide breath mints
  • Skip sticky or messy foods

As far as drinks go, the choice of whether to provide alcohol or wine is yours. Even if you do, make sure you offer a non-alcoholic beverage like sparkling water or iced tea for people who don’t drink.

Picking Entertainment for Your Event

For some appreciation events, you won’t need entertainment because you or a member of your staff will be speaking to attendees. Other times, it’s beneficial to have something going on in in the background. Soft music can help set the tone for an appreciation event. The key is to find music the majority of your clients will enjoy. And keep it quiet enough that your guests don’t have to shout to have a conversation.