Marketing event strategies should include both educational and experiential events, particularly when attempting to attract significant new leads or increase the engagement of existing leads. As mentioned previously, the goal of an educational event is to attract those who love to learn more; whereas, an experiential event is a time just to have fun.
There are two key components of successful educational events:
- Send an engaging invitation (Read more about our Creative Services )
- Offer a relevant topic
Thank you to Sean Roarke, Marketing Manager at Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kansas, for sharing his creative design for a guest event invitation.
Some educational topics are so interesting that attendees will respond solely because of the topic; whereas, other topics tend to be dry and bland. The event offer is your first opportunity to create interest, so spend time developing an engaging invitation. Much like a news story with “a hook” to entice people to read further, an event invitation needs “a hook” on its cover. This might be an image that prompts the reader to wonder about the picture’s relationship to the topic, such as a wishing well or genie lamp representing a message about planning for the future…. rather than wishing for health. The copy can further explain the image and provide details of the event.
It is essential that topics be relevant to people who are 68+ years of age. If you are uncertain what topic may be effective, ask your wait list for a list of subjects that interest them. If you are planning an expansion or greenfield, consider a series of events about selecting a senior living community to assist prospects in narrowing the vast array of retirement choices they must navigate. After 10% deposits are secured, offer a second series that addresses different types of transitions, from de-cluttering to move management to real estate. For an attractive and less sales-related topic, consider using a title such as No Nursing Home for Me, which could address fall prevention with opportunities to cover your community’s wellness and home-health programs. Myriad lifestyle, finance and health care topics could be of specific interest to older adults.
Experiential events are valuable to both interested prospects and post-deposit future residents because they marry the richness of hospitality with the lifestyle offered by your community.Involvement in experiential events can increase retention during months or years of construction or other waiting periods.The opportunity to socialize with peers and potential neighbors solidifies the bond the depositor has with the community, sales counselors, and newly discovered neighbors.Some ideas for experiential events include: Decadent Desserts, Cruise Into Wellness, Casino Night, and Around the World with Foodies.
Retirement DYNAMICS would love to partner with the sales counselors at your community to create a plan for both educational and experiential events that will increase the engagement of leads or assist with depositor retention.Just give us a call.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.