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How to Totally Fail at Hosting an Event in Your Optical Practice

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Nov 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM
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At some point or another you've probably thought about, or held, some type of event in your optical practice. There are a number of different events a practice can hold - anniversary parties, customer appreciation days, grand openings, or even a staff party. Today we want to talk about a specific type of event many eyecare practices host - trunk shows.

There are a lot of different strategies and ways that your practice can go about hosting a trunk show, and no matter what you decide there is going to be a lot of work and planning that goes into it. It can be easy to skip some steps in the process, or forget about an important detail, so we put together a list of mistakes to avoid when planning for your next trunk show!

Avoid These Event Planning Pitfalls in Your Optical Practice

Not Starting with a Game Plan

Planning for a big practice-wide event is not something
that you can easily just whip together in a week optical practice eventsand cross your fingers that it works. There is a lot more to it than that. If you don't have experience planning parties or events, it can be easy to forget some of the small, but important, details. Don't let this happen to you!

First you should pick a date and time for your event. Choose a date that is 2 to 3 months away so that you can ensure you have enough time to prepare and promote the event. Make goals for the event. What is the main reason for hosting, and how are you going to measure success?

During the planning stage you should determine which products you're going to be promoting, and if you'll have a sales rep present. Your team also needs to be prepared, so make sure that you'll have all hands on deck and that roles and processes are considered to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Blowing Off Marketing

You can't do something as simple as putting up one poster and expect people to show up to the event - you need to actively and consistently spread the word. Once you have your plan laid out you can be consistent in your messaging across all channels. Remember, you want to have a practice brand that is recognizable, so try and keep things like your logo, colors, and fonts the same so that people can easily identify your practice.

Check with your labs and your sales rep to see what type of discounts you might be able to offer at the trunk show. Your sales rep might also be able to supply you with some free patient giveaways for the day of the event.

There are a lot of ways to get the word out to the community. Some ideas include handwritten personal invites, flyers in other local businesses, radio ads, newspaper ads, email invites, postcards, social media, word of mouth, advertising on your practice website, and a hold message on your phone line.

Ignoring the Sales Rep

If you're bringing in a sales rep for the trunk show they will most likely have plenty of ideas of things they have seen at other events that have proven success. Pick their brain and see what cool new ideas you can come up with together!

Not Making Your Practice Shine

We know it can sometimes get busy in your practice and the dust has been known to pile up. Make sure you take care of this before the show - you'll want your practice looking its best! You can either split up cleaning duties among your team, or hire a service to come in the night before to make it shine.

Forgetting the Follow Up

What happens after your event is almost just as important as preparing for the event itself. Send out quick thank you notes to those who were able to make it and include an additional discount on future purchases. Keep posting photos of the event to your social media pages to create excitement and buzz for future events. Last, but not least, meet up with your sales rep and your team to go over the things that went well and what you could improve for the next show. Were you able to measure and attain the goals that you originally planned?

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Topics: Tips for ECPs, Practice Management, Industry Pulse

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