Technology might enable us to be more connected than ever, but trust and engagement is best built through face-to-face communication.
Statistics from the YouGov Affluent Perspective 2017 Global Study show that only 23 per cent of affluent users of financial advice would consider using robo-advice in the future.
There is clearly a value in face-to-face advice, and part of that is down to regular engagement and contact.
However, setting up an event is not as simple as pouring a few glasses of wine and throwing some crisps in a bowl, particularly when it comes to events that are, in essence, about people’s money.
Events take many different forms: they can be focused on relationship building, knowledge building, or even just an opportunity for your clients to connect.
However, no matter the event’s purpose, one thing needs to be the same: the event and its content must be in your clients’ best interests.
This requires the utmost care and attention to detail, as one false move and it can either serve as an illustration of incompetence or, worse, an example of unscrupulous marketing.
Worse still, they could be considered a ploy solely to drum up revenue without taking into account the client’s individual needs.
I believe events are best aimed at existing clients, as they have already engaged with their adviser and the firm.
One type of event is an annual ‘meet the manager’ which, as the name suggests, is an opportunity for clients to meet and directly question the men and women who run their money.
Over the years, they can become similar to an AGM. Clients get an opportunity to hold their wealth managers, and some of the fund managers that run their money, to account.
My experience is that clients really want to understand what has been going on in both the business, as well as the market. They want to hear that the firm is an ethically and responsibly run business that has an eye on the future and puts clients at the heart of everything it does.
An event should be memorable for the right reasons and who you choose to sit on your panel of experts, or give a speech, is usually crucial to an event having a lasting impression.
Speakers can be the riskiest part of an event – get this wrong and, however good the canapés are, the people at the event will only remember the speaker.
Whether you are looking to hire an external speaker or get experts from your business, there are three things they always need to be: engaging, topical and thought-provoking.
Someone might be an expert in their field in day-to-day life, but put them in front of an audience and at best they can be unengaging; at worst, you could lose clients.