Despite the widespread reach of social media and the digital revolution, open house patient seminars remain one of the most effective ways to keep existing patients engaged with your practice, and to get new patients in the door.

A program of seminars can be timed around holidays or seasonal themes such as Mother’s Day, Spring Awakening or Bridal Beauty, as well as specific topics, such as Beach Body Tune Up, An Evening of Facial Rejuvenation, and New Year, New Skin. These events offer great ways to highlight all of the new technologies and products that are offered at your practice, and introduce patients to the staff. Consider implementing a girl’s night out that encourages women to bring their friends to find out about available spa services, skin care products and offer attendees complimentary mini treatments, and demonstrations of peels, lasers, injections, etc. Consider a bring your BFF event where current patients can bring a friend to learn all about the latest in body contouring for a fun evening out. Goody bags are also an important opportunity to give guests something to take home in the way of skin care samples, brochures, and gifts.

Open houses can also introduce existing patients to a new product, treatment or technology. In most cases, a brief slide presentation starts the conversation off. Serving wine and cheese, coffee and cookies, or a light buffet breakfast depending on the time of day can give the attendees a chance to relax and socialize. These seminars also give the surgeon a chance to interact with patients and get to know them in a less formal atmosphere, which can help build trust and foster a relationship.

Use eblasts, invitations via Evite and Paperlesspost, and social media platforms to market your seminars and invite patients. Always encourage them to bring a friend too. Consider inviting local media, and referral sources, such as salons and spas, nutritionists, image consultants, personal shoppers, OB/Gyns, dentists, and their clientele also. It has become customary to offer a discount on the procedures discussed to open house attendees, if they schedule on the day of the event. The costs of running a successful event (flowers, invitations, refreshments, gifts for guests) are nominal compared to the dollar amount that you may be able to ring up. Make the offer compelling, such as buy one get one or 20% off specific services. Many practices also invite their vendors to talk to guests about their products. Vendor support can be a big plus to make your events entertaining, informative and revenue-generating.