A Twist on the Classic Client Appreciation Event


November 9, 2018

Last month financial planners David Clarke, Bruce DeBoer, Shane Edwards, Chris Heerdegen, Bob Ruff, and Rich Wurst came together to ask their clients a simple question: “How can we add value to our events?”

Photo of Crowd at Client Appreciation Events

Banquet Hall at Shorty’s Back Forty in Toledo

The answer was almost unanimous. People agreed that formal presentations have their time and place, but what they would really like to see is something more casual and interactive. Not long after, that same client-base started reaching out with questions about the current state of the financial market. Given the similarities they saw among inquiries, the Toledo team saw an opportunity to take their events in a different direction. “We were looking to create a casual atmosphere where our clients felt relaxed and comfortable to ask questions”, said David Clarke. “So we decided to host a client appreciation event in a town hall format.”

Building the Event

A proper client appreciation event is made up of a few vital elements. First, the team needed a welcoming environment to host the event. Our planners decided to ditch the conference room and rented out Toledo-based Shorty’s Back Forty, an event hall known for serving up great bites and beverages. The other necessity is a moderator to guide and curate the discussion. This role was taken on by financial planner David Clarke, alongside special guest Paul Eck. Paul is a longtime friend of the team and an advisor for the Pacific Investment Management Company (or PIMCO), one of the world largest fixed income traders. With decades of advising experience Paul assisted David in illuminating the audience, answering any questions they might have.

Educating with Purpose
Town Hall Moderators present at the events

Paul Eck (left) and David Clarke (right) curating discussion

The success of the town hall format was instantly recognizable as questions came in from every side of the room. “It is crucial that our clients get the answers they need to hear, not the answers we think they need to hear”, Chris Heerdegen comments. This was the driving force behind the event and the audience took to it quickly. Chris went on to emphasize that education and communication is the foundation to sound financial planning. “If we can maintain those two things, then I know I have done my job as an advisor.”

“We received a ton of positive feedback from this event” said David Clarke. In addition to the town hall discussion the team was also able to spend time mingling among the crowd. “We truly enjoy the opportunity to spend time with our clients and get to know them better.” Chris Heerdegen added that this client appreciation event, “will continue to shape how we approach future events”, asserting that the team looks forward to hosting more events like this in 2019 and beyond.

Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC, Member SIPC OSJ: 1760 Manley Road, Maumee, OH 43537. 419.893.9759. 

PIMCO is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC or its affiliated companies.