An Event to Remember
As healthcare marketers in the new value-based provider world, we need to be emotionally intelligent and proactively focus on relationship building to attract new target patient populations and retain current patients. While traditional advertising and social media outreach are still key, strategically-focused event marketing complements and advances those efforts.
Events allow you to educate, engage, generate leads and express your brand identity firsthand. Through events, you share your ideas, thoughts, assets and name in the exact manner you want to present them. A good event leverages in-person engagement—so a two-way conversation vs. a lecture is paramount to success.
Here are some ways to use event marketing to reach your communities:
Market new service lines/offerings.
Unveiling a new wing, service or piece of equipment? Hold an event for patients and the community, with tours and Q+A sessions. An experience is a great way to inform attendees about the benefits of the new offering and create top-of-mind positioning. Hint: think of it like a press conference for your non-media audience.
Be the healthcare thought leader in your community.
Establish your organization as the local go-to source for public healthcare education and personal health information. Seminars, conferences or even a series of related events will drive awareness and serve to position your physicians and other providers as subject matter experts. Recently, the South Bend Clinic took this approach with their Century Speaker Series, holding three educational events that were free and open to the public. The marquee event featured a former NBA player who shared his experiences living with diabetes, which was a winning way to promote the Clinic’s position as the top local resource for diabetes services and support. (Full disclosure: the South Bend Clinic is a Villing & Company client.)
Engage patients and prospects.
You’ll be viewed as a potential partner if you connect with current and future patients. Offer maternity tours and promote on your social channels, host a Facebook chat with a physical therapist or live stream a special event or speaker on Facebook Live. Need some themes? While Heart Month probably gets the most attention from providers nationwide, you can easily find other health-related observances and event ideas to make your own and align with specific audience segments.
Most people attend events to be educated. No matter what type of event you present, it is critical to impart knowledge that the audience will value—and that sets your organization and providers apart. By creating opportunities to interact with both current and prospective patients, you can build favorable impressions and long-lasting relationships.
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