As a private practice physical therapist, getting foot traffic in your clinic should be a top priority. And hosting special events is a great way to do this.
Perhaps you’ve recently expanded your clinic space. Maybe you’re celebrating a milestone anniversary. You have probably been wondering, “should I offer a free workshop for athletes? Seniors? Chronic pain sufferers?”
Or maybe you simply just want to meet your neighbors, rub elbows with referral sources or show appreciation for your clients.
There’s rarely a bad reason to throw open the doors to your clinic for the sake of celebration, education or networking. In fact, hosting events at your clinic is a great way to literally open up to your community – to show them who you are, what you’re all about, and how they can reach a greater potential through physical therapy.
That’s the good stuff.
But as anyone who’s ever hosted a neighborhood barbecue or holidays with the in-laws knows, planning a successful event – one that’s well-attended and achieves what you set out to do – takes some work. A lot of work.
So if you’re going to make the effort, you definitely want to get the most marketing mileage you can throughout the process – from planning through execution. That should go without saying.
Fortunately, we’ve worked with several private practice physical therapists through the years in promoting a whole host of events at their clinics, from open houses and ribbon cuttings to special programs and workshops. And we’re here to help.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most mileage, and marketing success, when hosting events at your clinic:
Thrown together events tend to feel … well, thrown together. But quality aside, planning your event early opens the door to more promotional opportunities. Pull your clinic team together a good two to three months before your event to start the process of planning, prep, promotion and coordination.
Get creative with invitation channels
Sure, you may want to send special hand-held invitations to your closest colleagues and referral sources. For the rest? Think digital. Send invites through your clinic’s email list, create a Facebook event page and invite your social contacts, post and share from your blog, and create special shareables and headers to use throughout social media.
Host with a partner
Coordinate with a neighboring business, one that provides a complementary service, or a networking organization like your local chamber of commerce. Such a partnership not only eases (slightly) the burden of planning and hosting, but it often also means you can tap into their email list, social media platforms and other valuable channels to further promote your event.
Contact the press
Get your event on listed for free on community calendars in your local newspaper, radio/TV station websites, etc., by sending them a simple press release (or even just an email) about your plans. Tell them when and where your event’s happening, who’s involved, who’s invited, why people should attend, if there’s a cost, and how people can RSVP or find more info.
Take names, take pics
During your event, absolutely make the effort to take photos, jot down a few notes and anecdotes from the experience, and get the names and email addresses of those who attend.
(Don’t require personal info, but certainly request it – perhaps for giveaways or special promos.) You’ll need this stuff because when the event’s over, you’re work still isn’t quite done.
Keep the momentum going even after your event is over. Blog about it, post pics and success stories on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and send thank-you notes via email to those who attended.
Want more info about hosting and promoting special events at your clinic? Let us know. Give us a call, Tweet us, or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to send you some resources and help you feel good about opening your doors.