Trips to the movie theater – one of the simplest things taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature of most movie theaters means close proximity, so even with restrictions loosening almost every movie venue in the Region is still shut down. There is one big exception – the 49’er Drive-in in Valparaiso. Oak Partners Inc., one of the Region’s leading wealth and retirement planning firms, invited clients out to the drive-in for a free night at the movies watching classics like Despicable Me and Happy Gilmore.
Oak Partners makes a point to understand, engage, and bond with their clients. Their calendar is usually packed with dinners, parties, and other outings, but COVID-19 put all of that on hold. They started hosting virtual events and lessons for their clients, but while those are helpful and informative, they are not quite the same as having a night out.
“We had to get a little creative with how we service our clients, so we’ve been doing economic market updates via zoom,” said Crystal DeHaven, Director of Client Experience at Oak Partners, Inc. “Unfortunately, we had to skip over the fun events that we usually do. We started thinking about what we could do to bring those back, while staying safe, so we sent a survey out to our clients to gauge their comfort levels.”
Their survey found that 80 percent of clients felt comfortable with an event as long as took place outdoors.
“We brainstormed about what we could do that’s outside and socially distanced,” DeHaven said. “The 49er Drive-in came up in the conversation right away, and tonight is the first time we’re out here doing this!”
For many of the staff and clients it was their first time experiencing the 49’er theater.
“I cannot believe I’ve never been here before,” DeHaven said. “I’m really impressed. It was a seamless check in process and it’s got a really fun atmosphere. It’s exciting!”
Michael Hadt, Partner and Wealth Advisor at Oak Partners Inc., had been to drive-ins back when he was 11 or 12 years old, but had never been to the 49’er. He was excited about the experience, but noted that the best part of the evening was getting to see his clients again.
“Normally, we’d have done 30 events by now,” he said. “It’s great to get out and we strive to do things like this. It’s important to see people outside of the office or a zoom call, and not from behind a desk. Maybe we get to meet their kids or grandkids, it’s just great.”
Oak Partners is planning on finding more ways to engage with their clients, and still has a number of virtual updates planned.
“We do have about four more economic updates planned for the month of August, so we’re excited about that,” DeHaven said. “We’re going to keep providing education to our clients even in this challenging time. But tonight, it’s just great to see some smiles – even if they’re socially distanced.”
To learn more about Oak Partners Inc., visit them at www.oakpartners.com.
Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.