June 11, 2019
Events are a mainstay of most aesthetic surgery marketing efforts. But I often see practices making the same mistakes over and over that prevent them from maximizing the impact of their efforts. With a little planning and preparation, your practice can avoid all of these missteps, and have much greater success.
1. Confusing party with purpose.
The purpose of a successful event is not just to throw a fun party, but also to strengthen patient relationships and build new ones. Every event should have specific business goals. “Come learn about our services!” is unfocused and can’t be quantified. But a goal such as “Schedule 25 new laser treatments in September and October,” or “Fill Dr. Wonderful’s July and August surgery schedule to 90% capacity” are smart and specific.
2. Scheduling too little time to plan.
Deciding to do a Valentine’s Day event on January 20th is a surefire way to fail. As the old saying goes: Act in haste, repent at leisure.
Ideally, you need three months from date of decision to date of the event. A hastily (and usually poorly) conceived invitation and inadequate guest list building are two of the errors you’ll avoid with proper planning.
3. Choosing the wrong facility.
Don’t insist on holding the event in your office to “save money” if space is limited or if the office design is not well suited to a group presentation. And, even if the space is not an issue, holding an event in a boutique hotel or private club may be a more elegant and exclusive approach.
4. Inviting “everybody.”
If the invitation is posted to Facebook and blasted to everyone on the email list, no one feels special. It’s a cattle call and your invitation will compete with everyone else’s in people’s already-overcrowded inboxes and feeds.
Be selective about who you invite. Perhaps everyone who has had facial rejuvenation surgery or all those prospective patients who are interested in it. Exclusivity drives desire. You’ll add appeal to the event by not inviting “everyone.”
5. Amateurish invitations and graphics.
Both show a lack of sophistication and don’t convey confidence about your attention to aesthetic detail. Use a graphic designer or professional design tools like Canva or Adobe InDesign.
6. Outsourcing too much planning to the reps.
Many practice staff say they are “too busy” to plan, and delegate critical steps to vendor reps. Although reps can be helpful, remember that their interest is in their company’s product. Yours is in the relationship with patients.
7. Poor orchestration and execution.
When the manager doesn’t delegate well or details aren’t completed until the last minute, staff is in the dark about what’s going on and what to tell callers and guests. If no one sets expectations for what staff is to do or say at the event, they’ll spend too much time looking at their mobile devices instead of interacting with guests.
Be sure you are organized and prepared, and the entire team understands all aspects of the event so execution feels effortless.
8. Failing to capture critical information from guests.
If it’s no one’s job to collect complete demographic information and email addresses from every guest, or have a computer or iPad available for guests to apply for CareCredit, you are missing huge opportunities.
9. No planned follow up.
So often, the day after an event it’s business as usual. No one is assigned the task of calling or emailing guests, or taking action. How the team follows up with patients and potential patients after the party’s over must be part of your planning, with specific action steps and timelines that ensure things get done.
10. Tracking ROI is nobody’s job.
The point of having this event is to build relationships that are meant to last and increase scheduled surgeries and treatments. If you don’t calculate ROI, you have no idea if you have succeeded.