Home > Uncategorized > The Importance Of Client Entertainment

The Importance Of Client Entertainment

There are many areas, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, in which a Suit can add to the quality of an Agency’s Creative output: he (or, obviously, she) can know the brand or product better than anyone else involved in the process, helping to finely hone the brief or proposition; she (or, indeed, he) can manage the timings to within an inch of their life, getting the brief to the Creatives that crucial week earlier than they might have expected; he (or, naturally, she) can work so closely with the BACC that even they are surprised to see what they let you get away with on air; the list goes on.

But there’s one area in particular to which everyone in the Agency looks to the Suit – and that’s when it comes to managing the Client. And so – the importance of the Client/Suit relationship.

This relationship can define the work that a partnership (important word) produces – and, of course, it’s based on many things: trust; respect; genuinely liking each other; all of these are hugely important. But for this quick post, I’m going to focus on the most important element of all – Client entertainment.

Now, sadly, the days when this meant days that started with lunch at the Ivy and ended with the ingestion of a miscellany of class As from a plethora of prostitutes’ backs are, for the most part, gone. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t fun to be had. In my time, I’ve Lunched (a capitalised ‘Lunch’, incidentally, must never last less than four hours) in vineyards all over the world, I’ve indulged in some of the finest wines known to humanity (I mean, seriously – there’s a bloke in New Zealand who ended up sitting with us while we finished off the last bottle of the day, a bottle he thought he’d “never sell” – he still sends a Christmas card), I’ve been involved in some of the most ludicrous nights out, where… no, I can’t go there. Sorry.*

But all this is important – because while the wine, the food, the etc, is all a lot of fun, the key point is that you’re building a relationship with the Client that goes way beyond ‘the guy who tries to sell me ads I don’t want to by’. You’re getting involved in their real lives, and they in yours. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Clients who have ended up as genuinely good friends, and these lost afternoons/nights/weekends/months have played a crucial part in all of that. With these relationships comes trust, the sort of trust that leads to conversations that begin, “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but…” and with that trust comes the ability to get the best work through – and that’s something that  benefits EVERYONE.

So, as my dear friend Dave Knockles would probably say, get the fucking beerz in. We’ve got shit to talk about.

(Incidentally, I’ve got some amazing stories that I can’t share on here. If you want to hear them, well, you’re just going to have to get the beerz in. See you at Pied A Terre?)

*I’ve also been to the worst Christmas party of all time – like a nightmare wedding reception in the deep South of the US, directed by Wes Craven. But that’s another story.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Martin
    January 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Accounts questioning the expense claim again?

    • January 31, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      A good Accounts department will always question the expense claim. And a good Suit will ALWAYS have an answer…

  2. Ed Warren
    February 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    ‘That’ Christmas party wasn’t that bad, if I remember ALS, you sang Tom Jones karaoke…oh wait.

    • February 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

      We were reviewing the video from the train the other day, funnily enough. Happy times…

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