Dummies’ guide to events
Events can often be suggested by company reps looking to sell more products, but what’s in it for you and your practice?
Well, they can be a great way to concentrate patients’ minds about a specific treatment and a specific benefit. Examples of events that are likely to be successful would be a short-term orthodontic event with an offer if they go ahead with treatment on the day, or perhaps discounted teeth whitening.
So, what will make your event truly tremendous?
Eight steps to a successful event
- Hold it on an evening or even better, a Saturday. If you want the public to attend then you need to plan it for a time that suits them, not you. In terms of evenings, Wednesdays or Thursdays are best
- Check diaries for major sporting occasions, TV that can’t be missed and local events – avoid
- Run the numbers so that you know how many people need to attend and then convert to make it worthwhile. As a rule of thumb, you will need 30% more who say they will attend as around this amount are likely to drop out
- Why should they come? A few oral health goodies are frankly not going to cut it. If you want them to allocate their hard-earned money to something they may have been considering in two years’ time now, it is going to have to be worth their while. I believe that a discount of 10-15% is about the right level
- Obviously you need to tell people about the event. Make sure that you:
- Send three emails to your existing patient database
- Have posters in the practice and signage/A-boards outside
- Have you told the team about the event? (Don’t laugh – I am aware of this not happening) They need to help promote it
- Consider a local leaflet drop
- Use social media and Facebook advertising to get your message out there
- Set up a specific landing page on your domain for the event that allows visitors to register
- Plan meticulously for the day. Pay particular attention to how visitors will be greeted, signage and what they will take away with them. Your team need to be on their ‘A game’
- I am sure that you will have made the event a massive success on the day. However, don’t forget those who dropped out, failed to attend or didn’t go ahead. They should be put into a campaign that will send them a series of emails over the following months with the aim of enticing them back
- Good follow up is so often overlooked and yet it is almost as important as pre-event activity. It is really only once the follow up campaign has run its course that you can decide whether or not the event was a success. If it was, when’s the next one?