In today's technology-driven world, we can undervalue the effectiveness of face-to-face marketing. Too often is the case that we miss opportunities because we're too busy staring at our screens.
Hosting an open day at your dental practice not only promotes your business to potential patients, but it creates a strong bond with existing clients. Build your practice's reputation in your community by hosting a practice open day.
Here are three top tips on how to throw an awesome open day that drives business to your practice:
1. Plan your open day with the patient in mind and determine what you want to achieve
When you're planning your open day think about your clients. Evenings and weekends are usually the most convenient time for people. Host the party in a location that will be easily accessible - the last thing you want is for people to go out of their way to get to your party!
Once you've got the open day planned out, figure out what you want to achieve. Is the goal to generate new business, demonstrate a new product or service, or thank current patients and show them that you value their business?
Whatever the case may be, make sure your staff are aware of the message they will be communicating to the public. Staff are the front-line and therefore will be building a relationship with the people who you will hopefully be seeing a lot of for years to come.
2. Let people know about your event and give them a reason to want to attend
Promote, promote, promote. Figure out what's going to get your customers to arrive and use it to get them through the doors. Utilise social media, local radio stations, leaflets in your lobby, word of mouth – anything to get the message to cut through the masses of marketing that people see and hear daily.
Figure out what's going to get them through the door. For example, if you're using the open day to obtain new patients, offer existing clients a free check-up in exchange for them bringing two friends to the party. People love free things, especially for their kids. Consider offering something that will benefit your younger clients. You'll build, or strengthen, your relationship with the parents and hopefully obtain younger clients that will stay with you for a long time.
3. Use the 'fear of missing out' to your advantage
People use social media to brag about events they've attended - this can be a powerful selling tool. The fear of missing out, or FOMO, can be effective in promoting your message to the masses. Post pictures of the event and make the people who didn't come feel a bit jealous. Show pictures of any competition winners so they'll like and share the content and expand your audience reach.
Follow up with attendees after the event. Send thank you notes, offer prizes to competition winners, send brochures to clients who expressed an interest in a product or service. Make sure the people who attended your event don't think of the experience as time wasted.
At the end of the day, it's up to you and your practice to decide whether an open day is worth the time, money and effort. Make sure you record your successes against your targets and overall spend.
A final and important thought to consider when hosting an open day. Safety first. Conduct a risk assessment before the event and make sure you're compliant when it comes to collecting customer data.
The BDA Good Practice scheme has useful tools to make sure you're being safe and compliant - get in touch if you'd like to find out more.
BDA Marketing Executive
Adapted from an article originally written by BDA Practice Management Consultant, Sarah Cook, published in BDJ In Practice, vol 31, issue 6 (June 2018)
BDJ portfolio: keeping you up to date
The BDJ portfolio includes the twice-monthly flagship academic journal, the BDJ, the monthly BDJ in Practice, featuring news, hot topics and practical advice, the thrice-yearly BDJ Student, BDJ Team, BDJ Open and Evidence-Based Dentistry, as well as BDJ Jobs.