Whether you’re trying to impress, wanting to keep them as clients or merely wish to say “thank you for your loyalty” entertaining clients and business guests is a sure way to get the message across. Taking them out for dinner is a safe option; providing the venue, whether a restaurant or cafe is up to your guest’s expectation and will suitably impress them. Going somewhere exotic can be nice, especially if it’s not somewhere your guests are likely to have been but be careful if you’re not terribly familiar with their likes and dislikes.  It could end up as a dismal failure. If you can afford it, aim for something that is a cut-above average.

The better option, however, would be to find out what your client likes and dislikes. A sumptuous dinner will be the bee’s knees for some, but others might find them boring and unimaginative. If your client is more active, or perhaps a bit of a risk taker, try something totally different.  Have you ever thought of taking a client on a hot air balloon ride, swimming with sharks or skydiving? Wine tours and tastings can be fantastic for relationship building and generate “non-office” discussion, but remember not to drink and drive.  Book a driver for the day (that would be me!)

Ultimately, where you decide to entertain your business guests and clients is dependent on three main factors:

  1. What is the purpose of the entertainment?
  2. Will business discussion need to be had?
  3. What does your client like to do?
Sky diving might make your client go “Wow!” but is not terribly conducive to nutting out a contract. On the other hand, sitting opposite someone who is clearly bored and would much rather be scaling a rock face isn’t much fun either, and won’t do anything for your relationship with them.

Most importantly, whatever it is you decide to do, make sure you have booked and made the appropriate reservations, and have covered all possible external bases – is accommodation required? Who pays for parking or travel? What else do you need to do?

Get to know your clients a little more and think outside the box … then WOW them!

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