Planning events is like trying to organize chaos, which is why I am here to help! So you want to throw a client event to show your appreciation? Maybe you want to thank them, maybe you’re trying to woo them, but regardless, this has to be memorable and it has to set you apart from your competition.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is “What are we hoping to accomplish with this client event?” That answer becomes your base for everything else. If the rest of your event doesn’t point to the answer to that question, don’t do it. For example, here at Vaco we just put on Geektoberfest, an Oktoberfest-themed networking event for our tech clients that illustrates how appreciative we are to work with them. For events like these, the goal is to host an event that’s fun for the client and allows them to get to know our team better.
Once you know your goal, you have to pick a theme. Picking a theme always makes events more special because it differentiates them from other events that may have otherwise been super similar. Plus, it helps the event to kind of plan itself. Once you choose a theme, it’s much easier to pick out decor, food, suggested attire, design for invites and rolling screens, etc. Your theme doesn’t have to be as dramatic as Oktoberfest, though. It could be as simple as music or growth or autumn.
Beyond just a theme, establishing something that’s out of the norm for your type of event will ensure the whole thing is unforgettable. For example, it would be expected to have Oktoberfest beer at Geektoberfest right? But what’s unexpected is walking into an office building that has evolved into a German village with our employees in full lederhosen and dirndls.
So what could that be for you? Do some research. Find out what kind of experiences you can bring in within your budget to spice up your event.
And finally, make sure you realize how your clients are going to feel at each moment of the event. First ones there? They’ll probably feel awkward right? So station someone as a greeter. Prep your team to look out for people who may seem uncomfortable so they can swoop in and help them feel right at home. Nothing is worse than attending an event where no one seemed to notice your presence.
Choosing a theme and deciding on a “wow” moment while paying attention to the individual will set you up for success in throwing a client event. Hopefully this can help you navigate through the chaos of planning an event and keep it low stress for you and high enjoyment for your clients!