In this episode, Barbara and Samara discuss:
What changes in rules and regulations have impacted event planning
How can doctors effectively host educational events
Why collaboration with other professionals is important

Key Takeaways:
“It really is about recognizing potential and seizing the opportunities that come your way” – Samara Beth.

Connect with Samara Beth:


Connect with Barbara Hales:

Facebook:   https/
Business Website:


Content Copy Made Easy
14 Tactics to Triple Sales
Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist



Welcome to the Marketing Tips for Doctors podcast, where you’ll discover the secrets to attracting more patients ready to schedule their first appointments to grow your practice, without spending hours and hours away from your practice or home. Hear how to boost your online presence, and develop a strong rapport with each one to increase patient compliance, while adding value and growing revenue. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Barbara Hales, America’s leading medical strategist.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today, we have with us Samara Beth. She is a luminary in the realms of event planning, destination management, networking, and public relations, celebrated not only for her exceptional talents but for embodying excellence in every facet of her professional journey. With a career adorned with accolades such as two prestigious NACE Best Team Awards that over $100,000, and the Crystal Icon Award for best social event under $50,000, Samara’s dedication to creating unforgettable experiences has solidified her status as one of Houston’s top event planners, a title awarded by the Houston Business Journal after three years of owning Celebrations by Samara. Her innovative spirit and meticulous attention to detail have enabled her to leave an indelible mark on both the industry and the hearts of those who experience her events. This, combined with her robust background in public relations, marketing, destination management, and event production, has facilitated fruitful collaborations with numerous Fortune 500 clients when working with a top New York City event production company, as well as a strong network of professional relationships across the globe. Beyond her tangible achievements, Samara’s influence extends into the media, where her insights and wisdom have been featured in Ciao Bella Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, Herald Voice, Modern Luxury, and more. She has also shared her expertise through experiences and appearances on ESPN Radio and various podcasts, offering invaluable advice on sales, networking, and proactive engagement, illuminating the path for aspiring professionals. A champion of community service, Samara’s leadership and commitment to giving back have been recognized with the Volunteer Spirit Award from her religious community, where she has led initiatives to foster community engagement and fundraising as vice president of the sisterhood. Her ethos of excellence, which she describes as not just a goal but a way of life, underscores her commitment to surpassing expectations and making a lasting impact. Samara’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of passion, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence. As she continues to pioneer within the event planning and public relations domains, she remains a beacon of inspiration, guiding both colleagues and clients towards achieving their own pinnacle of success. Welcome to the show.

Samara Beth: Thank you. Thank you. Wow, I think I gave you my long bio.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Well, very impressive. Tell me, how did you get into that? Not everybody grows up as a child saying, you know, this is what I want to do with my life. So, how did this happen?

Samara Beth: So, I kind of grew up that way because my mom plans conferences, actually for near-death studies. And so, I was very organized. I was the girl whose sock drawer was color-coordinated her whole life. I was very much OCD, type A personality. So, my mom had me helping organize her files or office. I was selling books and tapes back then, for the conferences, and then we always entertained—we entertained a great deal. I was very active in doing events, from proms to ski trips to all kinds of organizational events, and was always very active in that, even back in high school. So, it really is who I am and has always been who I am. My big start was in New York City in the ’90s for an event production destination management company. Name’s Empire Force Events; still, they’re going strong. Shout out to Jacqueline Bernstein and Robert Housemeyer, who gave me a chance before I even graduated from the University of Maryland. I was a senior. And they gave me a chance when everyone else closed the door on me because I didn’t have three years of experience. So, the key is to find somebody who will give you a chance because they recognize the potential. And then you just jump in and you work a lot.

Dr. Barbara Hales: What was your experience working with the medical community?

Samara Beth: So it’s interesting because the medical community was a big part of my clientele in New York. And then that continued throughout my career journey. So many of my clients, not most but many, were pharmaceutical companies and medical companies, insurance companies. And so, we would do their meetings, whether it’s shareholders’ meetings or pharmaceutical rep education or doctors’ meetings for certifications, where they have to keep updating with their certifications annually, or however it works. So, we were there to help along the way. Now, when I started out working with doctors and pharmaceutical industries, they didn’t have all the rules they have now. So, it has changed a great deal. We used to have a lot of fun with it. Now, it’s definitely changed a lot, financially.

Dr. Barbara Hales: So it’s not as fun anymore?

Samara Beth: It’s not as fun. Anyone who has been around that long will tell you it’s not as fun as it used to be. They’ve got a lot of caps, a lot of things you’re not allowed to do—more things you’re not allowed to do than what you are allowed to do. And a lot of that is for reasons, of course. Some people take advantage. It was considered bribery, I guess, back then. So, yeah, that’s how it is. But the thing is, if you’re a doctor—not a pharmaceutical rep, but if you’re a doctor—you might have different rules to follow. So, you just have to research that, look it up online, see what your state laws are, what your federal laws are, and just abide by those. And know that it might be a $125 cap for a dinner for a presentation with the venue, or it might be $150. You might be allowed alcohol; you may not be allowed alcohol. There are a lot of different rules.

Dr. Barbara Hales: What types of events can doctors themselves host?

Samara Beth: Doctors can host educational events. Depending on their specialty, retreats really tie into what they’re doing. When you hear the word “retreat,” you might immediately think of wellness retreats, as that’s where most people’s minds go. But now there are business retreats, networking retreats, and experiential retreats. What it boils down to is creating a memorable experience. You’re not just bonding and networking; you’re also learning together.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Does it involve girls?

Samara Beth: With doctors, yes. Many times it involves golf because their tennis arm isn’t what it used to be. So, there are a lot of golfing events tied to nonprofits. And that’s where some tricks of the trade come in for all companies when you’re working with businesses. They have safety budgets, networking budgets, and budgets for education and professional development—whatever they call it. There are many different budgets you can tap into. Additionally, a lot of companies require philanthropic tie-ins throughout the year, especially towards the end. So, I find that we organize many of those types of events, like team-building or charity events, towards the end of the year or throughout it. And when you’re incorporating this into your retreat as a doctor, there are so many creative ways to help children, the elderly, or those who are homeless. The possibilities are endless. The need is everywhere.

Dr. Barbara Hales: What are the best tips for medical professionals to host successful retreats that you could give?

Samara Beth: So, some of the tips I actually teach in my course, called Paid to Vacation. I present it as a blueprint, making it easy for people to follow. It’s known as the TRIPS retreat blueprint. It offers insights into what you need for a successful retreat. The “T” stands for transforming. You’re transforming your business, but you’re also transforming other people and their businesses as well. This usually applies to B2B. However, it could also be B2C, where you have customers or clients attending a retreat. So, it depends on your target audience. But transforming them is incredibly important.

And then, recharging those guests is key. You want to ensure they have time for downtime and networking, to recharge, and to find charging stations. You don’t want them running to their room to grab chargers or losing their phone. And to ensure they’re having bonding experiences too. For example, when recharging, you could organize spa treatments together or do meditations or yoga. Instead of saying, “Oh, it’s at six o’clock, if you want to go, show up at the gym,” make it a group activity where it’s all in one place.
Also, especially important in marketing, is identifying your key clientele. You really need to know what your value proposition is. Understand the value you bring to the table. Creating your value proposition also helps identify your target audience. This is crucial because you wouldn’t want to target married couples going through marriage challenges if your target is single people. And for mental health, you wouldn’t want to target individuals who are suicidal if those people are on certain medications but not because they’re suicidal. So, you really need to be very conscientious about that.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Thank you for joining us today. I’d love to give you a free checklist of side hustles that are available to you. Simply request it at A copy of this domain will be listed in the show notes. Now, back to our regularly scheduled show. So, would you say that retreats are a good way to introduce services and products that you may have as a sideline in your medical field?

Samara Beth: Absolutely. And so, when you’re planning your schedule for your retreat, you want to ensure that you’re marketing so people can possibly use it, especially if it’s medical equipment or something new and helpful, like a medical app. Then, have people use it throughout the experience. This way, you’re transforming them, and they’ll remember it. Plus, they’ll know how to use it. You know, how many apps have we downloaded only to never use them because no one really showed us how? So, if you have medical professionals utilizing different apps, structures, components, equipment, or whatever, really make that a part of your retreat. Do this instead of just handing it out as people leave.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Okay, you mentioned that you offer a course on this topic. Can you tell us a little bit about your course?

Samara Beth: Yes, indeed. “Paid to Vacation” was designed to assist primarily two types of people: those who may not be able to afford an event planner for every occasion, and those who already have a list, a lead generation system set in their CRM, and the people they want to invite, but just don’t know what to do next. They’re eager to learn how to manage it because they aim to cross-market themselves and want to do this on their own schedule. So it’s called “Paid to Vacation” because it literally teaches you how to get paid to go on vacation. The great thing about producing your own retreats is that you get to choose the destination. Then, you can involve your family by having them work the event. After the hard work, you spend the rest of the week vacationing in that spot. So we work hard, and then we play hard. We’re at Samar, Banco. And, not to worry—it’s not a downside at all. It’s a six-week course to launching your own retreat. That means we meet every week, and there’s one starting in April when I return from GrowthCon. What happens is we meet weekly, and there is some one-on-one time where we strategize to talk about what the client is looking to achieve. This allows me to have a better understanding of where they’re coming from during the course. Although I might teach similar content to everyone, it’s very personalized and customized when I’m speaking with the clients. They learn how to produce these retreats and take it from there themselves. So by the end of the six weeks, they will have a concrete retreat plan. They might need to work out more details, like the itinerary, but at least they have a foundation. They might even change the dates; that’s okay too. They know what they’re doing, have the resources, budget, spreadsheets, and all. So, we’re really in this together, and then they can always opt for more one-on-one time if they need it.

Dr. Barbara Hales: This course is conducted virtually. It’s a virtual course.

Samara Beth: So, it’s international. It’s via Zoom. And there are a lot of bonuses, like extra benefits to doing these types of programs. First of all, I want the people in my programs to know how it works. So, what happens is, let’s say we have a lot of people from wellness or doctors who sign up from this interview today, and I have a special discount link, by the way, just for your listeners. So, don’t let me finish without telling you that at the end here. But you might have a bunch of doctors who decide, you know what, this is more than I want to do on my own? Do you want to collaborate with me, Rachel, hey, Joe, you have a great practice, you’re a chiropractor, you’re a Pilates instructor, you’re an occupational therapist, whatever, let’s get together, let’s do a retreat together and target similar audiences that have back problems, neck problems, whatever. And then kind of come together and do a one-on-one retreat, where they’re getting some of the services. They’re learning how to live with it. They’re practicing with the tools, and they’re getting to meet other people. It’s almost like a group mental health circle because people can say, “Oh, God, when I moved my neck, if that it didn’t…” They can talk to each other. And, as we say in Yiddish, “video each other’s heads with it.”

Dr. Barbara Hales: But you know, it’s a really great idea because it really takes the pressure off trying to fill up the events.

Samara Beth: That’s exactly right, Barbara. Cross-marketing and collaborating are huge with lead gen. So when you’re doing lead generation with less, it’s about bringing more people into each other’s email lists and newsletter lists. It’s also about connecting with people you wouldn’t have known otherwise. You could have someone from South Africa collaborating with someone from London and someone from New York, and you all meet in Italy. It’s about building a community of people who can rely on one another and share the same experiences. You might go on a retreat with them and they become your best friends, business partners, or you continue collaborating for the rest of your career. Or maybe you just become travel buddies. So a lot can come out of it.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Of course, the number would tremendously vary by location. But know what, what’s the typical range of people one would need to make an event viable?

Samara Beth: That is so dependent on the location and the dates, it’s impossible for me to say what it would cost because it’s something. I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you’re in Scottsdale, Arizona, in April, and you’re doing a retreat, you could pay $800 to $900 for a sleeping room a night. But if you do it in the summer when it’s like 100 degrees, as long as there’s a pool that pulls have cooling elements. So if you’re in an offseason at a location, you could get a really great rate for the room. And when you’re working with a resort or a hotel or a hall that has sleeping rooms, in addition to restaurants and many breakout meeting rooms and ballrooms, and you’re doing it as a full package, you’re going to get a better rate than if you’re doing a little bit at this place and a little bit of that place. They will negotiate; there’s room for negotiation. If you’re offseason, you will get a much better deal. So if you’re starting out and you’re really hesitant with the budget, you don’t want to pick New York City, you know, Times Square New York City as your first retreat. You might want to choose, right? Like you could do an Airbnb; there are mansions and Airbnbs that have sleeping rooms and all that. Just make sure you get there further in advance. You don’t want to just wing it when you get there and show up the day the guests come; there’s way too much prep that is required for these.

Dr. Barbara Hales: I would imagine so. Alright, you’ve worked really hard. You’ve organized everything, you’ve got these eager beavers ready to chime in, and hey, count me in! Now, how do you market? How do you get the word out about your event so people not only know about it but also want to be there?

Samara Beth: Well, I guess I can say, Barbara, we’re doing it today right now. So, the joy of podcasting, the repurposing of podcasting, and there’s so much marketing out there. There’s so much that can be done, much of it is free or inexpensive. You don’t need to put an ad out in a luxury magazine and wait for it to print in three months. What you can do is get on the podcast, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn. If you’re in coaching programs like I am and you, we met in a coaching program when you’re in coaching programs, you’re not usually allowed to promote who you are in many of them, so just find out first if it’s okay. But you can go offline and build a relationship with that person, and then you can market your services. You just don’t spam a chat or talk about it so much when you’re in a coaching program.

The other thing that you can do is ads on social media. My main social media with my new brand, Samara Beth and Co, is Instagram and LinkedIn, so I will be using them more frequently and doing paid ads on those platforms. Paid ads are whatever you want to budget. You just set that up. And here’s the joy of this, Barbara, as an extra bonus, I throw in my marketing tips and tricks, and I have learned from my coaches, Grant Cardone, Elena Cardone, and Cana Alesia Minkus, John Lee. These are lead geniuses. These are marketing geniuses, and I’ve learned so much from them. You get to learn what I’ve learned; I share that with you. I’m also a 10x business coach for Cardone Ventures. I have all the training through Cardone as well in marketing and sales. So that all gets integrated because it’s in my head, and I help everyone else use that. And you guys don’t have to pay the money that I pay for my coaches; you get me. So that’s one other way of doing it.
And getting the word out there, writing articles is good. You know, doctors love writing articles, right? Writing articles for your medical publications, magazines, blogs, vlogs. It’s really endless. And as you know, Barbara, we’re doing a YouTube video. YouTube. Here I am in Mexico at one of my retreat locations at the Four Seasons. And you can see the photo of my actual space; you’ve got an ocean and a palm tree behind you. So I know that you’re going to repurpose this on YouTube. And people might be thinking, “Wow, I really think I need to be there right now. I need a break. But I need to make money, I need a tax deduction.” How can I go about doing that? Okay, let’s go, we’re going to go to Mexico. And we’re going to do this, this, this, and this. And we’re going to work on this program for three days. And then the week after that, we’re going to do our vacation. My family is going to get to reap the benefits of me working hard or then working hard with you. And so, and those are all tax write-offs.

Dr. Barbara Hales: Great advice! It really is food for thought, and it’s something that is going to be very thought-provoking for our listeners out there. We’ll also be putting your bonuses in the show notes for all of you, our listeners, to check out. Thank you very much for being with us today. This has been another episode of “Marketing Tips for Doctors” with your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Till next time.

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