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Having an extremely busy week being connected to educational events, I just want to motivate those, possibly...See more on the fence about marketing their lab this way; My real 'strength' is networking with 10-20 speakers who will talk and give programs FREE to any dentist group I arrange meetings with.
Most labs have no idea how many study groups are out there seraching for speakers,also its good to get approved for giving out credits.
Last week our lab sponsored Dr Howard Farran (CEO of dentaltown.com) to over 100 dentists and 14 vendors...See more exhibiting; It was ,as usual with Dr Farran, a raving success. Howard is a staright forward power-information type of guy that tells it like it is,and teaches the dentists how to succeed in a challenging economy.
The point is that it is events like these that can build your laboratory. Is it for everyone,of course not. But even if you do not 'want to' or 'cannot' get in front of a group to speak, let alone simply make an informercial and introduce your speaker, then all is not lost: simply have someone do it for you,perhaps your most outgoing tech, an outgoing office staff person,etc. However, I have to tell you, our lab is connected to 100 (yes,100) events a year, with study clubs, county societies, our own seminars directly sponsored & marketed by us, and with specialists looking to build & maintain their referral base.
Think about how long it would take you to be in frontof 20 (let alone 100) dentists and have their attention! Here you can do it, in a most memorable way, and at NO cost to you. (Should I repeat that: no cost to you)
Our lab has been using education honestly not just as a marketing tool, but as a genuine way of upgrading the dental community here in our target market(NJ), sometimes changing dentists lives(yes,I'll explain this in later posts), and filling a true void in continuing education,since we only have one dental school in the state.
I will talk about negotiating with venues,how to select venues,speakers:negotiating and selection, how to market & guarantee you'll fill up your seats, using telemarketing,direct mail,and networking to market your events but in a very cost effective way, and partnering with 'vendors' who want exposure to the dentists at your events! (I hope to write a detailed article for LMT on this)
Over the years our lab sponsored over 1000 events,including week long cruises to Carribean,Alaska and Mediterranean,and several weekend trips to Las Vegas.
Over half our clients come from continuing ed events,and it is also an opportunity to bond and maintain relations by seeing your current clients at these events,
Whether you are thinking of getting started in this arena, or you are a seasoned event planner,I am confident you'll find some pearls in my upcoming posts. But it's pretty late having driven back from an evening seminar tonight so,see you guys soon!
Just like most of you, I believe in getting high value for my well spent dollars, as a matter of fact....that's...See more exactly what our customers are thinking every minute,particularly in today's challenging economy, so...
1. Choose TOP notch speakers for your events(and I will be listing my favorites of course): obviously ask your speakers which companies or vendors they might mention or who has supported them before,contact those companies and 'partner' with them, meaning charge them a small 'fee' for having a display table at your event to help defray the costs.
What costs am I talking about: the speakers' possible honorarium,travel expenses, audio visual rentals, any meals or refreshments, room rental of the meeting venue,marketing costs.
CHARGE money to get in(to the Drs & staff),offer a discount if paid in advance,higher fee at the door,many reasons for this. And charge enough to anticipate your costs,get a feeling how many you expect to register.
2. Choose a beautiful venue,just like most of you, your dentists want to come to a new place, a beautiful hotel, or a gorgeous restaurant that they normally would not stop at too frequently. They want a great meal with top service. In general I don't believe in including alcohol,and depending on the venue there may be a cash bar for those that must have that glass of wine with dinner. Alcohol adds to the expenses, and can interfere with the meeting,I don't see any benefits with that.
3. Partnering with vendors to market your event and offset expenses; Part of the 'deal' in letting other non-competitive vendors at your event is they must also pass out your flyers/newsletter or announcements to prospective registrants,maybe even 'stuff' it in their outgoing packages(particularly if its a big supply house). Or their reps can hand them out on their office visits to Drs.
I will go into many details on the above,including how to save $,how to maximize your marketing dollars, and insure a successful event.
For now, the largest piece of advice, is that if you are going to do this on a continuous basis, seek approval for providing education credits either with CERP (the ADA) or AGD,they are highly recognized by state boards for approving courses,etc and carry a lot of weight, as their 50page application may dictate! They have very high standards and rightly so, as you will be entrusted to provide a very objective service to their profession. But once you are an entrusted provider of continuing ed credits, it will open many doors for you. Again,details to follow. Meanwhile,feel free to comment or ask questions,Sincerely,Marc
(PS) you are welcome to check my website: asteto.com and look under 'resources and see our newsletter for samples of upcoming events,etc.