1) Pick a theme that would compel a senior to leave the comfort of their home, spend $4.00 a gallon on gas to drive to your retirement community and want to invite a friend to enjoy the experience with them.
2) Organize your event, so every first impression is excellent. Have someone out front directing parking, greet them at the door with a registration table, train tour guides, your community should be spotless, have an exciting program and maybe most important – present excellent food and beverages for their enjoyment.
3) The goal is fill your building! If you are going to have live entertainment, there must still be a 10 to 15 minute program with a resident testimonial. Or maybe you are going to have a Power Point of your benefits and what differentiates you from other senior living communities? Don’t be boring…
4) You only have the senior’s attention for about 1½ hours maximum, so if you spend the time feeding and entertaining them, they will be too tired to tour your community. Strategize out every minute they are going to be in the building.
5) Invite them to come back and spend more time, so they can get a better feel of your retirement community. It’s hard for people to decide in 1½ hours where they are going to spend the next chapter of their life.
6) There should be at least 1/3 new faces at your event.
7) Some senior living communities draw new prospective seniors best by advertising with direct mail, others with newspaper and still others work best with a combo.
8) After spending all the time, money and staff resources on a great event, don’t forget to call them the next day. Invite them back…
I had two events this week for Continuing Care Retirement Communities; one drew 85 seniors to RSVP in a rural area and the other had over 100 seniors RSVP in a metropolitan area. This traffic will help fill the building for the next two months.
Do you want more information on how to put on a great event? Chapter 6 of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” offers a step-by-step approach to successful events and many ideas for compelling themes. Good luck and please share your success…
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com. If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Web: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/