If your organization offers services to older adults and their families, you probably know that hosting an event for prospective customers is a great marketing strategy. Perhaps you have even hosted such an event but had a disappointing turnout. If you want more qualified older adult prospects and their families attending your events, here are 5 simple ways to increase attendance:
1. Invite your older adult prospects and their families to your event several times. Older adults and their families get invited to countless events hosted by senior living communities, financial planning and elder law firms and organizations hoping to do business with them. People are more likely to attend public events if they have received your invitation more than once. Publicize the event to older adult prospects repeatedly using various methods. This brings us to…
2. Be mindful of generational preference for taking in information. Don’t lump all older adult prospects (or their family members) together in your marketing efforts.
- GI Generation (90+) and Silent Generation (approximately 70-90) are more likely to read your ad in a hard copy of the newspaper, appreciate a phone call or enjoy receiving your invitation in the mail.
- Baby Boomers (approximately 50-70) may read your event announcement in a hard copy of the newspaper or online. They respond well to both paper and e-mail invitations.
- Generation X (approximately 35-50) and Millennials (21-35) are least likely to appreciate a phone invitation. They typically respond positively to well-timed announcements on social media or an e-mail reminder.
3. Publicize that you are offering refreshments. And don’t just indicate “refreshments will be served”. If you are having something unique like a waffle or omelet station, hype it up! But even if it’s just appetizers, you can jazz it up by saying “cocktails, crudité and hot hors d’oeuvres.”
4. Be sure to offer more than refreshments. While older adults (and everyone) enjoy delicious food, qualified prospects want more than just a free meal. When you are trying to engage older adult prospects and their families, events solely focused on food usually miss the boat. Typically qualified attendees come for information about how to avoid a problem: running out of money, becoming a burden on family, or burning out from caregiving. Be sure they are leaving with information from a qualified speaker. Handouts, pamphlets and books are great giveaways to reinforce the information.
5. Follow up with those who attended your event. It’s startling how often organizations put on elaborate, well-executed events and then never follow up with the older adult prospects and family members who attended. Calling or e-mailing to see how you may be of further service is often very welcome during the weeks following your event. It’s also a great way to secure their attendance at your next one!
If you want more ideas on how to offer a successful event to older adult prospects and their families check out: