Not every estate planning law firm has a party for their clients, but we think you should give this special event some consideration. Here are some pointers:
Your clients will appreciate (hence the term) being invited. Whether you decide on a summer BBQ at an outdoor venue or a fine dining experience at an exceptional restaurant, they will feel like you are giving them something back.
You might not–but you might–have to invite everyone. This depends upon your clients and your practice. If you are in a small market and everyone knows everyone else, then yes, you do have to invite everyone. But if you are in a large market and you can put your clients into A, B, C, and D categories, and there is no cross-over between groups, you can be selective about who to invite.
Not everyone will attend. Professional party planners know that there will always be a certain percentage of people who do not attend, as well as last minute drop offs. So if you are worried about 900 people arriving for a party, fear not. They won’t all make it.
Win bigger community points: make it a fundraiser. Nothing warms the hearts of clients more than knowing that their estate planning attorney is committed personally to a cause that matters to them. It might be support for the local Alzheimer’s Association, the local art museum or your community’s senior center. Make a donation and invite representatives from the community group. If it’s the case, tell your guests that a donation is being made in lieu of a gift.
Add an experience to the event to make it memorable. One firm held a dinner at a vineyard that is home to a horse rescue program. Before dinner, guests toured the farm and learned about the horses and how they came to the farm. Another event featured a local celebrity chef who presented a cooking demonstration while appetizers were being served. Guests were given recipes from the chef on nicely printed cards that included (of course!) the law firm’s contact information.
Plan it well in advance. The event will reflect the firm, so make sure it is well planned. If you want to do an outdoor event, have a back up if the weather does not cooperate. If you are transporting people to an event, inspect the party bus that will be assigned to your group. Consider hiring a professional party planner if the details might become overwhelming.
You and your team are the hosts, not guests. As the host and the host’s team, your tasks are to make sure your guests are having fun and that everyone has what they need. It’s easy to lose of sight of this when you are the one paying for the party but remember this is a working event and not a personal party.