Entertaining Clients in Lincoln, NE – 2018
At Strictly Business Magazine, we know that good customer service isn’t a perk, it’s an expectation. That’s why, throughout the year, we invite our clients to join our team at a variety of fun events, like airboat tours, fashion shows, comedy shows, and theater productions. This is how we ensure our clients know that we value our relationship with them.
In our experience, the art of entertaining clients can be broken down into three main components: Being intentional, creative, and exclusive.
Be Intentional: Know Your Client(s)
If you have a large, diverse clientele, you might want to host a large event and open the invitation up to your entire customer base. Just make sure you book a venue that has the space to accommodate everyone. Matthew Rogge with the Talon Room has a lot of experience with this type of event planning.
“The time and money a business invests into showing their clients that they care about them is always worth it. At Talon Room, we have a liquor license and the capabilities to provide a full-service bar at any event. So, even if you decide to entertain your clients at your place of business, or any other off-site location, we can bring our beverage catering services to you.”
Rogge also adds, “With the welcomed return of Husker football, consider hosting a tailgate for your clients to attend. Corporate tailgates have become a popular trend, and if you really want to make yours stand out, the Talon Room offers a great Husker Tailgate themed event. Plus, since we are located downtown, your guests will enjoy the convenience of a short walk to the game after the tailgate party.”
Speaking of tailgates, there ain’t no tailgate like a Blur Parties tailgate! “Gameday tailgate hospitality is our specialty,” reports Stacy Leners with Blur Parties. “For these types of events, it’s best to know your guests’ interest levels ahead of time; things like music preferences, food and drinks favorites, and if they enjoy playing games. Take the time to get to know your clients so you can host an event to remember!
With Blur Parties, everything is pre-arranged and pre-paid so that all clients have to do is invite their guests and show up! Blur Parties can create the entire game day experience for you and your guests including not only the tailgate, but arranging game tickets, transportation and lodging!”
At Strictly Business, what we’ve found is that it works best to cater our events to the clients we plan to invite. For example, when we know a client of ours would enjoy including their kids, we’ll invite them to join us for a family-friendly activity.
“If you’re thinking about hosting a fun outing for some of your clients, 48 Bowl, Inc. centers, Hollywood Bowl and Parkway Lanes, provide unique settings for groups, both large and small,” notes Jennifer Davis-Korn with 48 Bowl. “Especially if you have clients who enjoy lively, engaging atmospheres. We have something to entertain everyone in your group—music and PA system, fun lighting, WI-FI connection, projector screens, and of course, BOWLING! We recently added more large-screen TV’s and upgraded the sound systems throughout both centers as well.
At Hollywood Bowl and Parkway Lanes, all reservation packages can be completely customized to include bowling or not, as well as food and beverage. Both venues have meeting/party rooms, along with full-service bars, that can be rented separately by the hour if your group doesn’t want to include bowling.”
On the flip side, you might have clients who prefer something a little bit more relaxing after a really stressful work week. How thoughtful would it be to send them a certificate for a free massage? Or better yet—you send the massage therapist to them!
“I find that a lot of business people, especially those that sit at a desk all day, experience lower back pain from postural stress,” notes Erin Lange with 5 Elements Massage. “Work is stressful in general, no matter what type of work you do. This stress can cause muscle tension and even health issues. So if you’re thinking of ways to show your clients that you value them, invest in their well-being by sending them my way. Therapeutic touch can change your world in many positive ways, which could be exactly what your client needs. I can also go to businesses to do chair massages—just 15 to 20-minutes has the power to revitalize a person. I am looking to expand and bring on some new massage therapists in the near future, so I’ll have more availability to help you achieve your client appreciation efforts.”
Be Creative: Make a Lasting Impression
Keeping the client’s interests in mind, the more creative you can be when entertaining, the better. For one, your client will be able to tell you put thought into it and it will be an experience that they’ll associate with you and your business for years to come.
“Need something different to do with your clients or your team at work? Our new Friends and Flowers event can’t be beat!” Exclaims Gary Tharnish with Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers. “Spend quality time with your clients while learning some tips and tricks about flower arranging and then make an arrangement that you can take home with the help of an expert. You can do a private booking for you and up to 11 colleagues.”
Gary has been arranging flowers for 40 years. He is personable, vibrant, and full of information. This will definitely be a memorable hour and a half. Gary will teach you everyday tips for arranging and decorating. So not only will you be offering your clients a fun, interactive activity, you’ll be enriching their life with a new skill.
If you think your clientele is too “sophisticated” for playful activities, allow us to challenge your thinking a bit. We’ve already suggested bowling, but after you hear from this next expert, you’ll see bowling in a whole new light.
“Have you ever heard of HyperBowling? It’ll make your head spin!” Claims Brian Kleinknecht with Sun Valley Lanes. “There is no need for a fancy approach or perfect curveball, just hit the colorful targets and level up. HyperBowling combines the fun of bowling with video game-like play to create an action-packed and fun new way to bowl. Your clients would definitely find this nontraditional twist on bowling very amusing and it’d be hard to forget. In fact, Sun Valley Lanes is the first bowling center in the entire world to offer this game! At Sun Valley Lanes, we can customize our offerings to fit your needs and your budget for groups of 10 to 384. We have a lot of food and drink options available as well.”
Eric Pomajzl with Venue Restaurant & Lounge also shared something to consider when planning an event for clients. “When entertaining clients, never underestimate the power of music. Music can be a powerful tool that sets the tone for any occasion or event you’re producing. Have you ever arrived early to an event where the crowd is sparse and the silence is deafening? I have too. It makes for an awkward start. It’s all about timing, selection, and level.”
Be Exclusive: Make Your Client(s) Feel Special
Exclusivity creates a sense of significance. You want your clients to know that they are getting special treatment because they’ve chosen to do business with you.
Tom Benes with Graduate Lincoln notes, “In my experience, you can’t build relationships with someone over email. It takes human interaction to build real trust and connect the dots. My advice is to mix it up and customize the experience. For example, we had a guest traveling with a pet, so we surprised them with dog treats waiting in their room upon arrival.”
Tom also informed us that later this month they will be opening three Top Golf Swing Suites in their hotel. With Full Swing golf simulator technology, guests can practice or play against friends or pros.
“This is definitely an exclusive opportunity, considering we’ll be the first official Top Golf location in the state and one of only four Graduate Lincoln properties nationwide to offer this exciting new amenity. Our Swing Suites will be available to rent for corporate events and business gatherings, so be sure to reserve a suite so you can be some of the first people to check out these Top Golf simulators. The bays will include seating, as well as food and drink from the hotel’s restaurant, John J’s.”
Another way to impress your clients, specifically those visiting from out of town, is by providing them with transportation services.
“Providing transportation for your client shows that you’re taking care of that client on all levels,” comments Lori Hiebner with Leisure Limousine & Sedan. “I definitely recommend arranging a meet and greet at the airport upon arrival—people love it! When alcohol is included in the plans, having transportation on stand-by ensures that your client gets home safely.
When your company selects Leisure Limousine & Sedan, we become a part of your support team, reflecting the high standards and proper corporate image you require. Corporate accounts can choose from our vans, luxury sedans, full-size SUVs, limousines and limo bus, and our entire fleet is accessible through our online reservation system.”
If you’re looking to go the classic “wine and dine” route, we recommend MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante. Their intimate private dining room can seat up to 24 guests, great for entertaining multiple clients or a key client who likes to bring their entourage. With a made-from-scratch philosophy and farm-to-table concept, MoMo boasts authentic Italian dishes along with the finest wine selection in Lincoln.
To review, try to be intentional, creative, and exclusive when it comes to entertaining your clients and making them feel valued. These three ingredients are a recipe for a strong, long-lasting relationship.