Client events have a nasty tendency to end up boring and dull — luckily for you, we’ve racked our brains, talked to our friends, and come up with a list of 9 unique client appreciation even ideas that are sure to wow your clients and avoid those boredom tears with which we’re all so familiar.

Let’s face it: Client entertainment ideas often end up as a trip to a local restaurant, and I’m betting not many clients are banging down your doors to attend your seminar at Olive Garden…

And they certainly aren’t likely to drag their friends along — no matter how many rounds of bread sticks and salad you offer. Ultimately, that doesn’t say much for you, and it really doesn’t say much for the appreciation you’re supposedly showing your clients.

First, I’ll give you my go-to list of client appreciation event ideas, then we’ll dive into each one and discuss why it’s so effective:

  1. Have a professional organizer present an organization workshop
  2. Treat your clients to a beer and food pairing
  3. Put on a succession planning session — shark tank style
  4. Tap into your clients’ inner artist with mandala rock painting
  5. Sponsor a local art, literature, poetry, or live-music show
  6. Sponsor a nonprofit fundraising event
  7. Host a class
  8. Introduce your clients to meditation and yoga
  9. Host a plant night

A unique client appreciation event, ideas of which really run the gamut, can be as simple as a group dinner, as pictured here.

Break From the Norm With These 9 Unique Client Appreciation Event Ideas

The simple truth is this: Packaged seminars and workshops are often overplayed, underwhelming, and not very exciting — these client events are boring, and they don’t do much for you in terms of generating leads.

Break from the norm and plan a fun, unique client appreciation event with time for you to mingle individually with your current and prospective clients.

You’ll leave a stronger impression and get to know their individual stories — it’s a lot more effective than standing up and presenting for an hour.

Without further ado, here are those 9 unique ideas for client appreciation events.

1. Have a Professional Organizer Present an Organization Workshop

A large portion of your client base is probably couples in their 40s–60s, couples who have, over their lives, accumulated stuff — quite a bit of stuff. Now that their children are likely grown and out of the house, they may be considering downsizing homes or making more out of the home they own.

Most of them probably face one huge hurdle: What in the world to do with all that stuff?!

Hiring a professional organizer to speak at an event has several advantages. First, you are providing a solution to a problem most people feel they are alone in trying to solve.

And second, by hiring an organizer who works primarily with high-income families, you’re creating a fantastic new referral source.

2. Treat Your Clients to a Beer & Food Pairing

Craft beer is always a crowd pleaser, and so is delicious food!

Check in with your favorite restaurants local breweries to see if they would be interested in tag-teaming an event, or check your own Facebook events calendar to see if there is one near you where you can reserve some seats.

You might also want to check with your local Chamber of Commerce to find a new vineyard other unique business opening in town and partner with them to host an exclusive cocktail hour.

A lot of Growler shops (those refillable glass jugs) tend host these kinds of events to bring more people through their doors and give them a reason to stay.

Whether it’s something unusual (like a donut pairing) or something classic (like BBQ), you’d be curating a unique experience for your clients, have control over the attendance (allowing you to stay in budget), and have the opportunity to make new connections with the local businesses you’re working with, creating new referral sources who are ever so impressed by your creative ingenuity and rad-ness.

Clients won’t feel awkward inviting their friends (your prospects) to an event like this, and once again, you’ll have a chance to talk individually with the attendees in a relaxed and fun environment.

3. Put on a Succession-Planning Session — Shark Tank Style

A primary concern for entrepreneurs nearing retirement is what to do with the business they’ve built.

Host an event for these types of clients, where they can learn about different options and explore retirement ideas. Spice things up a bit and create a panel of experts (attorneys, financiers, serial entrepreneurs) who will listen as your clients present their situation then advise them on ways to proceed.

Advantages: Providing solutions to your clients’ problems while creating new referral sources.

You also just may learn something about how to handle your own business when the time comes!

4. Tap Into Your Clients’ Inner Artist With Mandala Rock Painting

This is a super affordable (yet really relaxing activity) that leaves your clients taking home a keepsake to remember the event (and you!) by.

Working with a local craft store, or even bar, you can reserve some space and enlist an artist or a crafty friend to lead an instruction class on mandala dot painting.

The cost is low — you’re only really paying for the painting supplies, which depends on the size of the class, compensation for the instructor, and the rocks (unless you make it BYOR… bring your own rock).

This kind of art class in a group setting is low barrier, allowing your clients to feel comfortable bringing a friend.

It’s also a calming and meditative activity that’s unique and fun!

Plus, they take home a beautiful keepsake to remind them of the experience — it’s practically content marketing, but in the physical form.

5. Sponsor a Local Art, Literature, Poetry, or Live Music Show

Is there a great local art, music, or literary scene in your area? Or at least a very cool venue to turn into a gallery or a concert hall for a night?

Give back to your community and sponsor local art, literature, poetry, and music. Marketed correctly to your demographic, these events can draw large numbers without much overhead.

Remember, local artists, writers, poets, and musicians who are struggling to get their work in front of the right eyes would jump at the chance to perform, read, or display their art (along with prices).

Even established artists of every caliber would be glad to have a venue where they can meet patrons of the arts and potentially get some financial backing for their works, get a commission, or make a sale outright.

These events are often a draw for the high-earning demographic that you ultimately want to target — you’ll have plenty of chances to meet new potential clients, show them that their values align with yours, and support your community in the process.

6. Sponsor a Nonprofit Fundraising Event

Nonprofits and charity organizations throw events all year round, from 5k fun runs to wine tastings with silent auctions.

Pick a cause that is dear to your heart, and then look at what events these organizations are hosting around town. For example if you are a proud parent to a rescue dog or cat, you may find that your local shelter is hosting a Pints and Paws fundraiser with live music and food trucks.

See what their sponsorship deck looks like and what makes the most sense for your budget (BONUS! It’s a tax write off).

These packages tend to include a certain amount of admission tickets or the ability to purchase tickets at a discounted rate. You can then invite your clients to attend the event and support a cause that means something to you while also making a difference in the lives of others.

It creates a casual environment to come and go while chatting with clients, and it’s an event where they would feel comfortable bringing guests who could become your prospects.

7. Host a Class

Hosting a class, something that’s both entertaining and unique, is a great way to show your appreciation for your clients. Whether it be welding, painting, cooking, pottery, archery, or something much stranger, pick something that resonates with your clients and their interests/needs.

Bring them together, learn something new with them, and encourage them to bring their friends. You can run these events as often as you like and invite different segments of your market.

The benefits? You control cost, you target your audience, and you get to have some fun and really connect with folks in a way that just isn’t possible at a seminar.

8. Introduce Your Clients to Meditation and Yoga

Yoga has taken over, and though your clients may not want to get into stretchy pants (or positions they never thought they would be in), they can still enjoy a relaxing meditation class.

From sound baths using singing bowls and gongs, to mindful meditation or guided meditation tapes, these events can help bring their focus back into a place of motivation or gratitude (hopefully for you and your business!).

Check into local yoga and meditation studios to see what they offer — they probably even offer corporate deal options for corporate client appreciation events.

You can provide some small plate items, maybe some wine or beer, and give your clients some zen. Getting them balanced may get them back on track and reenergized to take their business (or yours!) to the next level.

9. Host a Plant Night

Another unique client event idea for the crafters, Plant Nite is a great way provide your clients with the opportunity to do something a little different while also discovering a new passion.

You can coordinate with a class that is already on the schedule or book one of your own unique, custom, private events. You can even team up with a local juice spot or beer garden to co-sponsor the event and share the marketing efforts.

You’d be surprised how eager your favorite local brewery or coffee spot managers would be to make the event a success for both their business and yours.

Not to mention the new referral source when everything goes off without a hitch.

These Unique Client Appreciation Events Prove Your Rad-ness to Your Clients

Throwing an enjoyable, stress-free, unique client event shows your clients just how awesome you are (and how much you value their time and relationship).

Creating a unique experience they can share with their friends or brag about afterwards is going to make them feel better about doing business with you because you’ve demonstrated your gratitude for their business by giving back.

These events allow you to provide a memorable activity where you aren’t spinning all the plates — you can focus on them instead.

Turn Your Clients Into Raving Fans

Client event ideas are only the beginning — to really spread the word about your business, you need to turn your clients into raving fans who will spread the word, tell their friends, and post awesome reviews of your products and services.

Get our free guide on how to do just that here:

Learn How to Turn Your Clients Into Raving Fans

Read more: How Sponsoring Local Events Can Boost Your Business