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Your 2021 Client Event Lineup

Now is the time to double-up on your virtual events and start thinking about holding in-person ones later in the year.

In a relationship business, making plans for 2021 can be challenging. After all, the way you interact with clients, prospects and COIs in Q1 will likely be different than how you interact with them in Q4.  

Think about client events for example. These gatherings of clients and prospects play a special role in relationship development. While your initial events this year may be largely virtual, we’re hopeful for in-person events to make a return by year-end. When that happens, we think they’ll return in a big way. We want you to be there to capitalize! 

Virtual Events

Let’s start by looking at the opportunities of today, which are largely virtual. These can range from small roundtables to large gatherings, from educational sessions to social events. Our best advice is … do them more often. By doing more of them, you naturally get better at: 

  • Finding event ideas that resonate with your audience.
  • Leveraging higher-end video-conferencing technology.
  • Inviting clients and prospects for maximum attendance.
  • Following up in a manner that generates new business. 

If you did two virtual events last year, shoot for four this year. If you did four last year, shoot for eight this year. It’s a relatively low-cost, low-risk way to be visible with your best clients, prospects and COIs. 

The added bonus for 2021 is that the available experts (you, experts at your firm, speakers from mutual fund and annuity companies) have all gotten better at virtual programming over the last year. This is true from a fun event standpoint as well. We know an advisor who’s working with a laid-off chef who’s built a business around virtual cooking classes.

In-Person Events

I’m sure we’d all love to get back to in-person events when the timing is right. These can be fun or educational and they’re a great way to connect with your clients and their friends. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about the event possibilities later this year. In fact, by planning now, you’ll be way ahead of the competition.

As you begin brainstorming, what are some events that are versatile in nature? For example:

  • Wine-tastings that can be done indoors, outdoors or virtually 
  • Theater offerings that can be done in-person or by video
  • Bourbon tastings with inside or outside options
  • Golf, tennis or shooting clinics
  • Educational programming that can be done in-person or remotely  

There are so many options to consider. It really comes down to your target market. What would they like to attend? As we enter the year filled with so many questions, it’s a great time to be visible.

Stephen Boswell is a partner with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell

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