|So many senior living and healthcare organizations are suspending in-person events indefinitely. Many organizations say they won’t even consider having an event until there’s a vaccine!|
Virtual events can be just as impactful, but what are the best practices?
If you are trying to stay in touch virtually with clients, patients, referral sources and other customers during this challenging time, check out Jennifer L. FitzPatrick’s video on coordinating a successful virtual event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqwEHVmQP4o&t=393s
My team and I have offered virtual presentations for many years. Prior to the healthcare crisis, many of our wonderful customers and partners preferred to have us speak at their in-person events rather than attempt online programming. But since many of them have been forced to cancel onsite events, they are now enjoying the benefits of marketing and hosting virtual events.
Here are just a few benefits hosting an online marketing event for professionals or prospective clients, residents or family caregivers provides:
- There is a lot less work for the host. There are much fewer logistical hassles because you don’t have to arrange a conference room, provide refreshments or worry about parking!
- Different geographic locations and/or divisions of an organization can collaborate because people can join the event from anywhere across the country (or even in the world)!
- You will reach potential customers who have never attended an in-person event. A family caregiver who is juggling a demanding career, kids and a frail aging parent may never have found the time to drive to your in-person support group. But if she can log on from the comfort of her home office, you now have her participation. The same goes for professional referral sources. Maybe prior to the healthcare crisis that hospital discharge planner would never have been able to attend your lunchtime CEU event because he “just couldn’t get out” at lunchtime. But now that he can join at his desk, he’s excited to earn credits and learn more about what services you may be able to offer his patients.
Personally I can’t wait until we start doing more in-person events again! But in the meantime, virtual events can help you get the word out about your services in a new, creative way. In fact, there are so many benefits, you may just want to keep them in the rotation once in-person events are again considered “safe.”
This morning around 7 a.m. I stumbled down to the lobby of my hotel in search of caffeine. Imagine my surprise when I encountered John–who checked me in yesterday afternoon—serving at the coffee bar. “Do you live here!?” I asked him. He smiled and said, “Sort of.”
It’s happened to all of us. We treat our patients, clients and family caregivers as fairly as possible. Then they complain to our boss or worse yet, our boss’s boss. Suddenly someone we report to has made an exception for the patient and we feel disrespected and confused.
No, the patient doesn’t have to pay that bill. Yes, there can be eight family members in the hospital room when there’s supposed to be no more than two. A boundary that the organization set—and an employee enforced–has been overturned.
So often caregivers claim there is nobody to help them. But it’s important to remember that for nearly every condition a patient may face, there is a corresponding non-profit organization offering free and low-cost assistance.