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Customer Appreciation 101

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Customer appreciation events, like special sales, lunch & learns or breakfasts, can build excitement about your offerings and foster customer loyalty. Are they a good option for your business? Here’s what you need to know.

Who Should Hold a Customer Appreciation Event

Customer appreciation events can work for many types of businesses — if there is an event or sale you envision throwing to bring in your customers and show them you appreciate them, chances are it’s an idea that can work for your business. Customer appreciation events are popular in the food and beverage industry because they offer an obvious showcase for the products, but I’ve created events for law firms, retail stores and oil and gas companies as well. If you have clients, it’s appropriate to show them what their business means to you, and inspire them to keep coming back.


A customer appreciation event is special — not something that happens several times a year. You might make yours an annual event, or it could even be only two or three times in five years. A lower frequency creates excitement.

Your event might be centred around a grand opening or re-opening, a seasonal event, or the release of a new product. Just be sure that when you choose the date and time of the event, you keep in mind other events in the city. Do a bit of research to make sure that there is not another event that overlaps with your clientele. If you’re throwing a family barbecue and fail to notice that the Beakerhead festival is happening that same weekend, your attendance may just be abysmal as a result.


The first step is to consider your message. This may seem like a trick question, but in most cases the answer is simple. It might be the announcement of a new line, or simply that you want to thank them for being loyal customers.

Once you know the message of your event, it’s time to consider the timing and the venue. Is it a family event? If it is, during the day on a weekend will likely work best, and you might consider renting out a special attraction like the Calgary Corn Maze or Heritage Park if you don’t hold it at your own venue. For events just for adults, just after work on a weeknight works well, especially if it’s downtown. Catch people after work, before they leave the core.

No matter what the nature of the event, it’s essential that you serve food and drinks. The drinks don’t need to be alcoholic, but there needs to be something — food and drinks entice people to attend and are essential to your event’s success.


It’s nice to send your customers home with some sort of favour that will remind them of your business or the occasion afterward. This can be as simple as a candy, magnet, or even photos from an on-site photo booth. They don’t need to cost much — be creative!

Need help planning an event? At Tenato, we do that! Get in touch, and we can plan a customer appreciation or another type of event to suit your needs.

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About the Author - Lynda Greuel
Author Lynda Greuel has been planning events for 30 years, but it took her a few decades to realize event planning could be a profession! A graduate of Event Management at Mount Royal University, Lynda has pursued her passion professionally for the past 10 years. Lynda believes Live Events Matter – you never get a second chance to make a good first impression! She is the VP of Membership with ILEA (International Live Event Association), Calgary Chapter.