It’s time for a reality check — no one reads the Christmas cards that banks and other institutions send to their clients every holiday season. While the cards are a nice gesture, they end up being discarded along with the junk mail. If you want to use the holidays to express your appreciation for your clients, then you need to think bigger than Hallmark moments. Throw them a party they’ll never forget!
Throwing a party for your clients is much different from throwing one for your employees. While the atmosphere at your event should be lively and enjoyable, you want to maintain your professional relationship with your clients. Continue reading to get some tips to help you throw an office party that’s sure to impress.
Prioritize your clients.
Office Christmas parties are a great way to show appreciation for your team members and let them have some fun on the company’s dime. However, when you throw a Christmas party for your clients, your goal should be to treat them like the guests of honor that they are.
For example, Prabir Purohit, an avid tennis player and a financial executive for Entergy, likes to bond with clients over friendly games of tennis. As much as Prabir loves winning games of tennis, he doesn’t allow his zest for competition to override the relationship he’s trying to forge with a potential client when on these outings. You can entertain your clients, but make sure you keep your priorities and maintain your clients as your top priority.
Keep it classy.
Your Christmas party is a chance for your to wow your clients and strengthen your relationship with them. Keep the event formal, and make sure your employees understand that it will be a working party and that they should be on their most professional behavior. It would be prudent to keep the drinks light and set a consumption limit for all attendees. Also, go with champagne and wine instead of opting for harder liquor.
The dress code for your event should be formal, but you should also encourage extravagance. Christmas is the season of slick tuxedos, green and red gowns, and petite formal dresses. It’s a formal affair, but don’t be afraid to go a little Great Gatsby!
As far as your decorations, the best thing you can do is keep it modest — you’re hosting adults, so there’s no need to have Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph illuminating the front of your office building. White outdoor Christmas lights will suffice — they’re both elegant and festive. Lace them around trees, entrances, and canopies. You may even want to roll out the red carpet at the entrance. After all, it is a black tie, red flare dress, champagne glass type of affair.
Tie up all loose ends.
Remember, everything that happens at the Christmas party will reflect upon your company. Your clients will either remember the night fondly or with disappointment, but they will remember it. Technical difficulties can be the thorn in the side of any otherwise good party. You should hire a professional to handle your AV for the event so they can be on-hand to quickly solve any issues with electronics.
Your guests’ comfort has to be one of your top priorities, so have HVAC contractors inspect your heating and cooling system as part of your party planning. It would be pretty embarrassing if at your party the drinks were warm, the food was cold, and the desert was melted, so make sure that all of your appliances are in working order, as well. Have one of the appliance repair companies in your area inspect your appliances and take care their maintenance.
The most important thing to remember when planning your party is to have fun. Don’t get so wrapped up in the preparations that you become a regular old Scrooge. You’ll be glad when the planning part is all over, but you should be the most excited when the party is just getting started!