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ROC Weekly Marketing Minute
Hosting Low-Cost Events To Promote Your Drug Treatment Facility
Hosting an event can enhance marketing, increase engagement, and help you network with others in the field. Remember, it is not the amount you spend that is important; it is how you use the money you have to make the biggest impact on your guests, your community, and your rehab facility.
Tips for successful event hosting
Here are nine tips that you can use when planning your next event:
Plan ahead and send invitations in advance: Be sure to plan the event and invite attendees well in advance so they can fit it into their schedule. You can use a registration app to track replies, send reminders, and streamline adding the event into attendee calendars.
Add meaning to your event by setting clear objectives: Setting an objective for your event can help you plan other details and allow you to measure the success of the event once it has passed. Having a main objective or goal can also help you divide your tasks into milestones throughout the planning process.
Tailor the event to your target audience: Think about the purpose of your event and who you hope to attract. Consider their lifestyles, interests, and concerns as you plan the event.
Determine when and where it will occur: Consider when your target audience will be available and what might work best with their schedules. You can also consider the location of your target audience and try to hold the event in a location that is near or central to them.
Consider the logistics: Account for food, seating, restroom access, audio/video equipment, event branding and decorations, and any other component you, your guests, and your speaker may need.
Provide service: Be sure that you have enough people available to greet and tend to your guests, tidy the venue as the event takes place, and be available to answer questions as needed.
Create interactive activities: Help keep your attendees engaged by involving them in activities throughout the event. This can help them stay focused, learn more, and gain feedback from others and the speaker. Having attendees wear name tags can also help encourage conversations and reduce anonymity in the group.
Gather contact info and follow up after the event: Try to gather the contact information of attendees to follow up with them after the event. You can delegate someone to work the door and have everyone sign in when they arrive. Be sure to make this process quick and easy as nobody likes to wait in line. Following up includes networking with other professionals, or connecting with potential clients and their loved ones. You can create campaigns to stay in touch, whether by email, social media, or with a phone call. Be sure to thank the speaker and any staff that helped during the event.
Carry on the connections: Once the event has passed, you can continue to connect with attendees by sending videos and photos of the event or requesting feedback. This includes attendees, speakers, and staff.
Cost-saving ideas for your event
Here is a list of cost-saving ideas you can use for your next event:
Avoid events during meal-time
By scheduling your event in the middle of the afternoon or into the evening, rather than across lunch or supper time, you can eliminate the expectation of a meal being served. If you offer hors d’oeuvres, place the less expensive ones near the back, like cheese and crackers, and pass the more expensive ones around of trays.
Say no to swag
Instead of handing out items to attendees, focus on the experiential aspect of the event. People typically do not need (or want) another magnet, coffee mug, or lanyard.
Go digital and avoid paper
For invitations, reminders, sign-ups, or promotions, use email, social media, and online apps instead of paper to reduce costs and increase the chances of the event being shared with more people. Event tracking apps like Eventbrite and Facebook are easy to use and can help make your event look more professional. This also helps you reach out to attendees after the event.
Choose a free (or low cost) venue
You don’t have to rent an expensive venue to host a great event. Consider the spaces you own or have access to, or host your event at an outdoor public space.
Ask people you know to take photos
Instead of hiring photographers, ask a member of staff or a personal friend to take pictures and videos of the event. Most phones have high-quality cameras, and specifically delegating this task to someone can help ensure you have photos of the event without having to spend money on a photographer.
Ask for volunteer speakers or entertainment
You can ask influential, skilled, or talented people in your life to speak or entertain at your event. This can help you save money on one of the most expensive aspects of hosting an event.
Example of low-cost event
Asana Recovery recently held an open house to celebrate the grand opening of their new outpatient facility. They hosted speaker Robert Owens, named “the most interesting triathlete in the world” by Triathlete Magazine. He spoke with attendees about his approach and techniques for success.
Tickets to the event were sold on Eventbrite and volunteers were present to help at the event.
In total, the event cost Asana Recovery about $1000, including food and books, helped to promote the opening of the new facility, gathered people interested in the industry and speaker, and helped the facility gain exposure in the community.
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