Savvy senior living sales and marketing teams have long counted on events to help build their pipeline. Inquiry events build and further relationships with prospective residents and their family members. Continuing education and other networking events allow you to do the same with professional referral sources. But if you are struggling to build momentum with your senior living marketing events, maybe you are making one of these three mistakes:
- You aren’t planning far enough ahead. Even you are able to secure a quality speaker with minimal notice, you want to advertise at least a month ahead of time. Unless you already have a following of “regulars” who are on the lookout for your event information, it’s likely to be a tiny audience if your lead time is short.
- You assume prospective guests only need to hear about your event once. You know how fast-paced the world is. Don’t assume that one mailer will get the attention of your perfect audience. You want your ideal attendee to get sick of hearing about your event! Do e-blasts. Drop off flyers where your prospective guests congregate. Advertise in newsletters, newspapers as well as on social media. Ask non-competing industry partners to share with their networks. Make sure your guest speaker is engaged in this process as well.
- You aren’t ready when they show up. If the room in which your event is to be held is still being set up, your guests notice. They also notice if there isn’t someone from your community on hand to greet them when they arrive. If food is to be served after your speaker presents that’s fine– but at minimum beverage service (coffee, iced tea, water, etc.) should be available when guests arrive. A good rule of thumb is to have your room and refreshments ready at least 30 minutes before start time. And make sure you (or somebody) from your community is able to say hello to those early birds.
If you plan ahead, market the heck out of your event and are bright-eyed and organized when your senior living event guests arrive, you will be on your way to building your senior living event momentum!
Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.