When you’re planning to host a corporate event, your priority is likely finding ways to impress your existing and potential clients. You might start out with simple things like a fancy table setting, gourmet food, and expensive wine.
However, there are several more ways to create a strong impression.
1. Be Intentional With Your Live Music
Live music has a way of bringing people together and making people feel good. Live music also creates a certain atmosphere depending on the genre. While there are many reasons to be selective with your music, creating the right mood should be the most important.
Although there are many music styles, jazz is the best genre for corporate events for several reasons. Jazz appeals to the widest range of demographic groups, it makes excellent ambient music, and it projects sophistication.
Music shouldn’t be a distraction; it should actively generate the atmosphere for your gathering. When you hire a jazz band for your corporate event, your clients and other guests will be able to enjoy the music and enjoy each other’s company as they wish.
2. Provide Familiar Food With Some New Foods
There are two general ways to impress your clients with food: offer familiar foods that make them feel comfortable, and provide new foods to capture their interest. Doing both at the same time is ideal.
You’ll want to provide enough familiar food that your clients don’t need to experiment just to get something to eat. However, providing a decent selection of new, gourmet, and interesting foods will give them something to think about and show them your thoughtful, creative side.
Some interesting food options can include:
- Specialty seafood appetizers with crab or lobster
- Ethnic foods that are easy to eat
- Expensive, gourmet foods
- Specialty sauces and jams, including unique and unusual flavors
Remember that impressing your clients with interesting food requires ensuring they aren’t forced to eat anything that doesn’t appeal to them. Try a ratio of 75% familiar foods to 25% interesting and new foods.
3. Always Offer to Open Glass Bottles
It’s great to have buckets full of ice and glass bottled beverages, but if they require a bottle opener, your clients might get frustrated trying to find one.
Clients and potential clients will be impressed when you have someone standing by your beverage bins, ready to open beer bottles and soda bottles that require using a bottle opener. It’s a small, yet simple gesture that will go a long way to impress. It’s impressive because it shows clients you’ve thought ahead and want to make things easy for them.
Most people focus on the big things like food and entertainment, so the more you focus on the small details, the more impressive your event will be to your potential clients. However, be aware that your clients will expect the same level of care in your business relationship. Don’t set the bar higher than you can deliver in your professional relationship.
4. Have a Sommelier Serve Your Wine
If you’re going to serve wine at your corporate event, make sure you hire a dedicated sommelier who is trained to serve wine professionally. Don’t just hire someone you know. Serving wine is an art form and your clients will know the difference.
For instance, a professional sommelier will present the wine bottle with the label facing the person they’re serving, cut the foil with a proper knife, and place the foil top in their pocket before using their corkscrew. They’ll also use a professional corkscrew, not the “butterfly” style tools that pop the cork out quickly.
Once the cork is out, they’ll set it on the table to be inspected to ensure the wine was stored properly and that the cork served its purpose to keep air out.
Serving the wine takes the experience to another level. Your sommelier will pour a tiny amount of wine in the glass for your guest to taste. Once the wine is accepted, they’ll begin serving all guests.
If you can’t get a sommelier for your corporate event, you should probably skip the wine. You won’t impress your clients by serving wine casually. Beer, on the other hand, is fine to serve more casually.
Follow Through With Your Commitments
Although you can impress your clients and potential clients with food, entertainment, and classy music, make sure you follow through with your commitments. Above all, honoring your word and following through with your promises is the ultimate way to generate the positive impression you’re after.