Open house events are a valuable marketing tactic and they can make your register ring. When positioned as educational seminars, events are a great way for current patients to learn about the procedures and products your clinic offers, and drive awareness. They can range from small and intimate gatherings of people who are very motivated to have a treatment, or a larger group who bring along their friends and family. Venues should be accessible with convenient parking or access to public transportation, but ideally, they are best held within your clinic, if space permits. This keep costs down and fosters a more personal and cozy atmosphere.

Evening hours are the most popular time to host events, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays work best. Invite patients to enjoy wine and cheese, coffee and cake, or crudité and finger foods. Plan your events around seasonal or timely and targeted themes, such as “Brighten up your skin for Spring” or “Take ten years off your face – no surgery required.” This strategy can generate better attendance than themes that are too vague or overly broad. Seminar topics should specifically feature the benefits of what your clinic offers in key areas. For example, use events to introduce new treatments and products, or a group of treatments that work well together, such as toxins and fillers or lasers and skincare.

A brief PowerPoint presentation of 15 minutes approximately is helpful for guests to learn more about what you offer. Doing a demonstration or playing a video of a treatment can spark more interest in the procedures you are promoting. Guests should have the opportunity to ask questions and see photographs of actual patients’ results. They should also be offered the opportunity to schedule a consultation for more information and given goody bags with samples and brochures to take away. Everyone loves a freebie!

Successful seminars require careful planning and seamless execution. Start promoting your event three to six weeks in advance. Post seminar invitations on your website, blog, Facebook events on your business page, Instagram and Twitter feeds, display invitations in the practice, and hand out printed invitations at checkout.

Assign a staff member to check in guests upon arrival. ‘Thank you for attending’ follow up emails should be sent to encourage guests to schedule a consultation or treatment. In some markets, a special offer is promoted at the event, such as 20% off a treatment or product or category of treatments that is paid for at the event for services to be used within a specific period, such as 30-90 days post event.

Seminars can effectively raise awareness of your clinic and generate appointments and referrals, as well as position your clinic as a leader in medical aesthetics in your community. Events will attract new patients to the clinic, and also get existing patients interested in more treatments, which can make a significant impact on clinic revenue and growth.

Want more practice marketing tips? Check out Wendy Lewis’ newest book, Aesthetic Clinic Marketing in the Digital Age (CRCPress 2017), Use PRI15 at checkout to get a 15% discount