Looking to build fierce loyalty and lasting relationships with your practice’s clients? Make it fun to do business with you! After all, the pet world is a funny, loving, warm and fuzzy world, and it pays to celebrate and support the pet-people bonds in your town.
Halloween is a great time to offer a fun time — and excellent service — to the pet owners in your community… and to stand apart from other practices.
Here are 5 tips to make your Halloween party “scary good;” something your clients will love and remember, making it worthwhile for them and for you.
As manufacturers of stainless steel veterinary medical equipment, the team here at TriStar Vet is always working on ways to help your practice thrive. That’s the spirit of this month’s feature on Halloween party tips for veterinary practices.
Try these 5 best-practice ideas to create a worthwhile event for pet owners and your team.
- Plan a memorable theme and a meaningful purpose.
We’ve seen some clever, creative and howlingly funny veterinary practice party themes, from Howl-o-ween to Pet Tricks and Treats to a Halloween Spooktacular, Brainstorm with your staff to come up with a standout theme of your own.
In addition, be clear regarding what the party’s all about. Is it all just fun and games? Take-home treats for the sweet?
Or are you supporting a cause by holding a raffle? Perhaps you’re also using this event to bring home messages about pet safety and health (see #2 below). Or it’s a great chance to showcase the great services you offer. Or any of these, plus more.
You’ll get attention with your party, so make sure the purpose is clear and meaningful.
- Incorporate important health and safety messages.
We all know that Halloween can be a dangerous time for pets. Costumes, candy, and creatures at the door can all contribute to stress and health problems in dogs and cats. So, while you’re promoting your Halloween event, also provide “teachable moment” tips and solutions to keep pets safe. For instance:
- Remind pet owners to keep their furry friends away from the front door when Trick-or-Treaters come by. This will greatly reduce the risk of pets seeing “scary fiends” and dashing out the door (or worse, nipping a child.)
- Prompt clients to consider giving their pets a calming aid that you can recommend, from a variety of options
- Lead your clients to other helpful safety resources, such as these Halloween pet safety tips from the ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline.
- Promote your party everywhere!
Many of your clients and other local pet owners are probably using Facebook, so be sure to post your party information on your Facebook page. Even better, create an EVENT page on Facebook and invite all your Facebook followers to check it out. Also encourage clients to share photos and comments, of course… and to share the event with their friends (who may become clients).
To reach even more clients and other local pet owners, think beyond Facebook.
- Email your entire client list a personalized invitation to the party and to your Facebook page.
- Blog about your party on your website
- Send out a press release to the local media and town-event websites
- Hang a poster in the lobby and place flyers on the reception desk
- Put an invitation notice and graphic on client invoices at checkout
- If your staff is up for it, create an event video and post it on your website, YouTube, and Facebook
- Post a sign out by the street
- Is there a local pet-focused website promoting community events and services? If so, contact the website owner or manager and send them your party news
- If you’re including a shelter-support effort, ask the shelter to hang a poster, provide flyers, email their list, and so forth.
- Ask local businesses if they’d be willing to post your information, especially if you’re raising funds for a local shelter or other pet-related cause
- Involve your clients in a variety of ways.
Most veterinary Halloween parties involve a pet costume contest of some kind, and with good reason. People get a big kick out of seeing pets in costume. Who doesn’t love seeing a pug in a taco costume?
Encourage pet owners to post photos on your Facebook page and bring in their pets on the day of the party for professional photos. Invite other clients to vote for their favorites, and give out prizes to the winners. (Be sure to post the winners and their photos, too!)
Just be sure to remind clients to choose costumes that are safe. Speaking of safety…
- Give your clients and other visitors reasons to take the next step, after the party’s over.
When November 1 hits the calendar, will your phone be ringing with new service requests from current and new clients? That’s the best part of having a successful Halloween party. You have a chance to showcase how awesome your practice is, and promote all the great services you provide.
If you offered coupons, specials, free samples, and demonstrations during your party and in your event promotions, now you can expect clients to call you to redeem the coupons, take advantage of your specials, order more of the products they tried for free, and schedule procedures that you demonstrated during the party (such as laser therapy).
And, when you hand out the costume prizes, be sure to announce the winners who will then feel super bonded to your practice. This if course will lead to ongoing appointments and services with them.
Scary good, right?
If you’re interested in upgrading your veterinary practice equipment, give us a call at 877-459-7827 or email us at [email protected].
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