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Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
10 Event Planning Tips for Your Practice
By Stephanie Beck
Have you always thought about planning a holiday event for your clients, but you just have no idea where to start? With the holidays approaching quickly, I think I can help you still make this dream a reality.
Have you ever heard of Small Business Saturday? First, there is Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving), then Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) and a fairly new day to celebrate and support small businesses known as Small Business Saturday – is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Although your event doesn't have to be during the holiday season, with that time of year quickly approaching, I thought it might be a good time to share the top 10 tips for throwing a successful event.
You can also reference these at other times during the year; for example, if you are planning a grand opening or customer appreciation day. For several of us, October through January is that time of year when most people are making their plans. If your practice normally takes a little dip in appointments, you might want to consider planning an event during that time.
Whether it is an online or live event, sometimes the thought of hosting can be intimidating for small-business owners; and it can be even more overwhelming if you are a solo practitioner. Granted, there are lots of details to manage when you are planning an event, so I have compiled these 10 tips to help you plan and execute your next event with ease.
Start with an end in mind – what is the ultimate purpose of the event? (Besides the obvious, which might be to sell services and products.) What are other possible outcomes you would like to achieve? Is it to attract local radio, TV or newspaper attention? Is it to create local awareness of your practice? Increase your mailing list of potential new clients or patients? Get rid of some slow-moving products? Whatever the objective is, always start by setting achievable goals. Once you have that completed, you can start building on your foundation.
Determine what kind of event it will be – will there be any food and beverages? What is going to be the main draw? Will you invite a guest speaker or provide educational training? If you are just getting started, I recommend trying to keep it small and manageable your first time out.
Consider how many people your facility is capable of handling, and you may even want to limit the hours, rather than have a full-day event. Sometimes manufacturers are willing to send in samples or a sales rep to answer questions or demo products to help with launches. Perhaps you are adding some new treatments, so is there a way for people to experience a small sample of the new treatment?
Determine what kind of help you may need to hire or ask friends to help. If you are going to be the one performing treatments, you need someone you trust who can be a good host/hostess to mingle, ask questions and entertain your guests while you are performing treatments.
Select the right date – because "timing is everything." When you are selecting the best date for your event, be sure to coordinate with your community calendar so you have the least amount of conflicts; or plan your event as part of your community event. Also consider how much advance notification people need to plan to attend. Will it be kid friendly or do people need to get a sitter? Are most of your clients working during the day, so an evening or weekend would work better? You may want to ask some of your best clients for their feedback so you can figure out the best time.
Create and set a budget for the event; things start adding up when you have an event. You need to set a limit ahead of time to determine what you can afford and have an estimated return on investment (ROI) planned. Perhaps you hadn't planned on actually making money the day of the event because your ultimate goal is to build your mailing list or acquire some new potential patients. As long as you can afford to invest the amount of money and never expect a return, because nothing in life is guaranteed. Don't spend more than you can afford.
Ultimately, no one ever plans on losing money. I just don't want you to overspend or create undo stress in your life because the results didn't happen as planned. Unforeseen circumstances can happen in any community. Sometimes it makes sense to partner with another local business to share some of the costs; or getting a sponsorship or selling tickets in advance might be an option to help defer some of the costs.
Craft a marketing plan – no surprise on this on,e right? Determine how you are going to best promote the event. Email, direct mail, social media, print media (such as radio or newspaper), flyers, postcards, signs at your facility, local TV spots, online community calendars, Craigslist, social media or other online ads, telephone calls ... the list goes on. There are many different ways to get the word out. Be aware that some advertising spots have to be planned 60 days in advance, and always allow a minimum of three weeks for any print materials to be ordered. (If you wait too late, you may incur rush fees for getting a job completed quickly.)
Contact your local media – they can be your best friend when it comes to building awareness of your event in your community. Most magazines, newspapers and radio stations have a submission section on their websites; this is the perfect place to submit a press release to the local reporters and bloggers about your event, and invite them to attend. Also send them a follow-up press release after the event so those who couldn't or didn't attend will see a value and make more effort to attend your next one.
Hint: consider adding a charity drive, as this helps encourage local media to participate. Toys for Tots, Make a Wish or a local food drive for your community's food pantry is a great way to encourage participation and build local goodwill.
Start the social buzz – obviously as the author of Social Trigger Points, I would be remiss if I didn't advise using social media to get your ideal target audience excited about your event. Post photos or get your fans to participate in your prep work by asking for their advice. Maybe even create a social contest around the event. Remember, social buzz isn't just prior to the event; enlist the help of a friend, co-worker or staff member to post and tweet photos and updates during the event. This will encourage participation and drive up your social engagement.
Lead capture promotions: In order to make the most of the event, you'll want to develop a way to capture all your attendees' contact information. Whether your goal is to build your lead list or make sales, you will want to continue to connect with your guests for future events, offers and services.
There are multiple ways to capture their information; the most common is to have a prize or drawing where you get their name, email and mobile number to enter on a form. You can make it really simple and have a guestbook for people to sign when they enter. If you are looking for a new-tech way that is lots of fun, set up a mobile contest campaign. People opt-in using the mobile text feature on their phones and there are random text messages sent out during the event notifying people that they have won. There are specific rules and spam laws you need to follow to perform this type of drawing, so consult an expert before you try it. The important thing is to capture as many of your guests' information as possible so you can continue to connect with them after the event.
Make it a FUN experience – if it doesn't go according to plan, almost nobody will know, unless you make it known. We all know nothing ever goes off without a hitch. There is no such thing as a disaster the day of an event, so keep a cool head and look for ways to make it work with a smile on your face. Make plenty of mental notes and give yourself permission to decompress afterwards so you can make corrections for next time.
The money is in the follow-up – one of the most overlooked parts of planning an event is in the follow-up afterwards. In the rush of planning for the event, remember to make plans for the follow-up email, social media posts, press releases and other direct-mailing pieces.
Have a way to evaluate the response from the event. How many new clients did you get? How many of them were already your clients? Did you get to spend time with your ideal customers? Did you book any treatments? How many attendees booked massages following the event? Did your current patients increase their frequency of treatments after the event?
It's a good idea to create and schedule three to four follow-up emails to send out after the event. This is a good way to automatically cultivate all your leads and encourage any potential new customers to make an appointment. More than likely, you are going to be excited, happy and exhausted for several days after the event, so the more pre-planning you do and the more elements you can automate, the easier it will be for you.
Whether you are planning for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small-Business Saturday, a grand opening, customer appreciation day or any other event, with a little bit of planning, you can make it a great success; one that will leave all your friends and customers talking for days and asking when your next one will be! Follow these tips and you should be less stressed and have more success.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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