Is it Time to Restart Client Events?

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

Now that people are going out more often and it is more normal, we’d like to do a client event. One of our advisors talked about the concern she has for some of our older clients. They have been hunkered down during the pandemic. I am sure most of them are likely vaccinated, I don’t know for sure.

I don’t want to alienate anyone or make anyone feel unwelcome. I also don’t want to avoid making decisions that move us forward because we are afraid of offending some clients.

What are other practices doing right now? What’s the protocol?


Dear A.D.,

I’m not sure there is a set protocol. The advisory firms I work with are taking different approaches to many things. Some are bringing people back full-time this summer, some in September, some are giving the option of the office or home until next January. One of my largest clients has told me no travel and no in-person meetings until 2022. This is up to the firm, its leadership and with their employees to figure out what’s best.

I have not heard of any client who is holding a large event. Many of them are doing smaller events such as lunches in person. It’s the time of the year that in most locales you can do this outside, or indoors with windows and doors open. I have seen a number of these being scheduled and advisors are getting a strong reception to them. Like anything, even pre-pandemic, you have to have a good topic, a nice venue, and be thoughtful about who you are inviting and what the purpose of the event is. I’m not a fan of events for the sake of just getting people together. If you have something of value to share or it is tagged as networking, it’s more appealing than if it is just about seeing people in person.