Planning and executing a profitable event isn’t as stressful and challenging as many hospitals believe it to be. By focusing on the details and truly utilizing resources, even the smallest hospital can host an event that would make a difference financially. The first step in the planning process should be to establish what your SMART goals are and to understand who your target audience is. After you have defined these two things, the rest will fall into place.
Make A Budget and Stick to It
The key to a profitable event is knowing your budget vs. costs. Will sponsors be included to offset the costs? How much will you charge for attendees? Once you know what your potential revenue could be, it is time to create a budget. Your budget will give you a benchmark for venues and other costs.
Get the Conversation Started Early
Pick a date and start sharing! Even if you haven’t fine-tuned the details just yet, start promoting the event as soon as you can. You want your audience to have plenty of time to fit it into their schedules and make any necessary arrangements. Typically, you should give yourself about 6-8 weeks to plan, and promotion should be a high priority from day one.
Put the Event Details Online
Think about how busy your office is. It would be overwhelming to have to answer calls regarding the event while maintaining everyday tasks. Putting the information online will reduce the number of calls to the office by giving potential attendees access to all the content and details they need to be ready for the event. The website page or Facebook event page should match your hospital’s website theme, brand voice, and it should be easy to read. If you need help with this, there are a few people who would be happy to help (the marketing team has been known to dabble in this a bit).
Send Out Reminders Frequently
It may feel like you’re bombarding your audience with emails and posts on social media, but keeping the event regularly in the public’s mind is the best way to boost attendance and awareness. Your reminders are a perfect opportunity to give attendees all the details they need to know like time and place, appropriate attire, and even what the weather forecast is. The more information, the better.
It’s All in the Follow-Up
Your work isn’t done when the event is over. Follow up with attendees to get a feel for what they liked about the event, what they didn’t like, and what they thought was the most important. This feedback will be beneficial in the long run, particularly if you plan on hosting other events. The better your events are, the more your audience will be willing to pay for it. Immediate ROI is rewarding, but retention is even better. Forming long-term relationships is crucial in this industry.
Usually, 80% of sales and registrations will come in the last two weeks before an event, so don’t panic if you haven’t reached your goal by then. By taking the time to plan and utilize your resources, your event will be successful both in revenue and relationships with your audience.