Open houses aren’t just for prospective home buyers – they can be for prospective patients too! People like to try before they buy, and hosting an open house at your practice is a great way to introduce yourself and your services to interested patients.
To make the most out of this marketing opportunity, follow these 7 steps for success:
1. Determine your goal
Before committing to any marketing endeavor it is very important to establish a goal. There may be several reasons for hosting an open house, so you need to decide which one best matches your current situation.
The overall goal of an open house for most practitioners is to expand their patient base, but it is also important to pay attention to secondary, more immediate goals, as they will help you develop and refine your messaging.
For instance, if you are opening a new practice, you may want to host an open house to introduce yourself to the community. On the other hand, if you have an established practice and a new technology, like a therapy laser, you might host an open house with the goal of generating interest in your new product. The long-term goal of both events would be to attract more patients, but the short-term goals of practice and product awareness are different and will therefore be marketed differently.
Here are some short-term goals to consider that will encourage growth of your patient base:
- Increasing practice awareness
- Introducing a new product
- Introducing a new service
- Introducing a new staff member
- Showcasing a new facility
- Building a community relationship
Whatever your reason for hosting an open house, make sure you are clear what results you expect so you can both market effectively and measure your success following the event.
2. Define your target
Another crucial step in hosting a successful open house is deciding whom you want to invite. You should choose your target audience to match your goal.
If you are hosting an open house to highlight a new product or service, like laser therapy, invite people who are good candidates for the service or are likely to purchase the product. If your goal is to grow your practice in general, you should consider targeting a unique subset, because having a smaller target audience will help you to better define your messaging.
To determine which groups to target, look at what you are trying to treat. For a clinician that offers laser therapy, for example, pain relief and inflammation reduction are going to be key factors. Here are some examples of niche demographic groups such practitioners should consider targeting:
- Post-surgical patients
- Migraine patients
- Fibromyalgia patients
- Post-herpetic neuralgia patients
You should also invite some of your best patients – the ones that rave about you and tell everyone they know. They can help drum up excitement and attendance before the event, and your guests will appreciate the opportunity to speak with them during the event.
3. Plan your event
Now that you know why you’re having an open house and who you’re inviting, you need to plan your event.
Having demonstrations of services and samples of products is great interactive way to show people what you have to offer. Depending on the service or product, you can either demonstrate on a willing staff member, or on guests themselves.
If you’re hosting a niche group, come up with some useful information to offer them. For example, if you’re inviting athletes, consider giving a presentation on a relevant topic involving a product or service you offer. If you offer laser therapy, a talk on “5 Ways Laser Therapy Can Help Keep You In the Game” would be both informative and useful for attendees.
Here are some additional event extras to consider:
- Food and drink
- A special speaker (ie. a local politician or celebrity)
- A raffle or prize
- Coupons for future purchases