In this episode, Barbara discusses: 

  • The top 7 count down of ways to market at an expo, show, or conference. 
  • Sweetening the pot to entice contact info out of your target market.
  • Creating win-win situations out of your marketing campaigns.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Customize your giveaways to your company. 
  • Consider who you are attracting and if they will become clients after the expo.
  • Use creative and unique marketing that touches the heartstrings of the types of patients and clients you are interested in attracting.

“At one point in the past, you could merely put candy out for the taking on your table, along with colorful brochures, and have a fishbowl for people in your target market to drop their business cards into. That no longer works.” —  Dr. Barbara Hales


016 And the Award goes to…

Barbara Hales:             Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. This one is called, And the Award Goes To. As professionals, we have all attended conferences with associated vendor tables trying to promote their services or sell their products. We’ve seen expo halls with hundreds of booths each trying to vie for your attention and your dollars. Having been to one such expo this past week with 180 vendors or so, each with a unique way to spread their message, including videos of their company and services. I would like to discuss them and award the one with the best techniques.

You see, at one point in the past you could merely put candy out for taking on your table, along with your colorful brochures and have a fishbowl for people in your target market to drop their business cards into. That no longer works. You have to sweeten the pot to entice contact information out of their hands.


So here we come to number seven in our countdown, the fish bowl. The fish bowl sits on the vendor table to drop business cards into with the lure of a raffle for an expensive item deemed to be of high value to the participant, like an iPad, for instance. While a few warm leads can be of great value and well worth the investment, there’s no telling if any of these leads are actually interested in the practice and services rather than just trying to win the prize.


Number six in our countdown is sponsoring a party. A well-known company was sponsoring a party which was truly fun and well attended. I admit, including myself. The stipulation was that prospective clients and professionals had to stop by the booth and discuss services which they might need in order to get the free drink tickets. This attracted a great many people, but it is very costly and can only be justified if your products and services are likewise either very costly or necessitating contract agreements for a specified period of time.


Number five, the t-shirt. Giving away t-shirts with your name and logo on it is very popular. The advantage is that wearers of those tees are now human billboards for you, which may work to bring in prospective patients and clients. The disadvantage is that they had to spend money on the tee production.


Number four, drinks. Let’s face it, going to booth after booth and sitting for several lectures is thirsty business. One large company gave customized coffees from flavored American coffees and cappuccinos to espressos. You could imagine that was very popular. Giving drinks in an arena where you’d otherwise pay for them, brings a crowd. You definitely acquire name recognition, but will they become clients of yours after the show?


Number three, the lecture. Giving a lecture about something of interest which also provides solution to current problems, draws a crowd. This idea can be taken to talking at your public library or hospital. This shows you to be an authority in your field. Better makes sure to bring your business cards so listeners can make an appointment at your office and hear more about what you can discuss.


Number two, free services providing a service at the show that everyone wants to get or know about for free with no strings attached, whether it’s a back and foot massage or portable bone density reading, means people will sign up and give contact information for it. This is a great way to build up your mailing list of prospective patients. The only thing you’re investing in is your time. The disadvantage is thinking of how much money you might have been making if you stayed in the office, but giving of yourself and letting people see and get to know you while providing a goodwill gesture goes a long way.


Number one, the award goes to, in this case, it was Launchpad, a company in the expo that I attended. This company was in the center of the hall with a picket fenced enclosure holding the most adorable puppies of several breeds. Of course, who can resist cute puppies. A sign above said, “Come and cuddle the pups as a stress relief.” It brought everyone to the booth and while holding the pup, or waiting your turn to hold the cute, squirmy animals, you got the company spiel. You couldn’t escape because you were holding their dog. If you actually fell in love with the pup, adoption was possible. This was a win for the pups who could be returned to the animal rescue center after if no one then took the dog, but might get a forever home at the conference.

And a win for the company who had the use of these adorable, cuddly pups at no charge without spending any money on marketing for the day, other than the sign which attracted everyone at the conference. These were people who passed by other booths despite colorful banners and free candy. The takeaway here is what marketing strategy can you use when trying to promote yourself? What can you do that is unique and touches the heartstrings of the types of patients or clients that you are interested in attracting?

If you enjoyed this episode, tell two friends or colleagues about the podcast and subscribe to hear other interesting and helpful marketing tips. Well, it was great speaking with you today and look forward to speaking to you again soon. Have a great day.


Connect with Barbara Hales:   
Twitter:   @DrBarbaraHales 
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