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Start-Ups

7 Unique Ways to Entertain Potential Clients

By Townes Haas   |    January 9, 2015   |    11:50 AM

Affordable and Distinctive Ways to Show Off Your Business to a Lead

Wining and dining potential clients is a necessity when trying to secure new business and grow the company. Many business owners, however, often revert the “tried and true” methods, including taking leads to ballgames or even to an expensive dinner.

If a business, however, wants to stand out from the crowd, then it needs to make a better impression – but not so unique that it breaks the bank. Here are some budget-conscious ideas to make an impact and be memorable.

1.  The local hole-in-the-wall: Oftentimes, potential leads may be new to a city. Taking them to the local bar or restaurant may be an authentic experience that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Plus, these places are typically cheaper than the fine dining downtown establishment. Rank, however, should be considered. This might work well for a lower-level executive; a CEO or other C-suite personnel may expect something fancier.

2.  In-home event: A nice dinner doesn’t have to take place in a restaurant. Hosting an in-home event is more personal and is typically significantly less money. While nice china and silverware may be required, these can be bought once and used over and over again.

3.  Wine, beer or spirit tasting: These types of events are an especially good choice for clients who are known to be alcohol fans. Many cities now have craft spirits, beer and wine establishments that are relatively close to the city. Select one or two, and make a day of it.

4.  Outdoor activities: If the business is located in a city known for its outdoor activities, show these off. Take contacts on a hike in the mountains, fly fishing or even whitewater rafting. These activities are often free or relatively inexpensive.

5.  Meetup: Meetup groups are quite popular among the younger crowds. This could be a fun, “cool” alternative to connect with Millennials. Find a large enough space, and invite a number of potential leads. Bars and restaurants are typically slower Mondays and Tuesdays, and they may offer a discount to the group just to get some business.

6.  Bowling: Everyone’s go-to for physical activity for business meetings is golf. Yet, not everyone plays golf, and many people get frustrated on the golf course. Bowling is a fun alternative, and bowling alleys are usually not busy during the middle of the day.

7.  Community events: Local events provide multiple opportunities for both business and amusement. While perusing the arts and crafts, business owners can talk about their products and services. It’s also another good way to show off activities in the city that the person wouldn’t see otherwise.

The goals of any of these events are to show off the business, but also provide enough of a quiet atmosphere to have a good conversation. Stake out the places ahead of time to ensure that they’re good fits for both the clients and doing business.