We don’t need to tell you that one of the most effective ways to engage with prospects and convert them into move-ins is through senior living marketing events. But not all events are created equal.
In fact, we see many communities make mistakes with their event management. And yet, the secret sauce is quite simple: For ultimate success, align your senior living marketing events with the stages most prospects journey through.
We call these stages the three Ws: Whether, Where, When.
Senior living marketing events for the “Whether” stage.
Prospects usually spend the most time trying to answer the “whether” questions. Examples include whether they can afford senior living or whether they should choose independent living or assisted living.
Off-campus and virtual events work well for prospects who are trying to answer these “whether” questions. At this point, prospects are only thinking about their questions. They’re not thinking about your brand or your community. Instead, they are spending a lot of time inside their own heads, thinking, researching, and coming to terms with reality.
That’s why they might not be ready to come into a community setting. So an offsite location—like a restaurant, library, or country club—will be much more comfortable for them. (As would a virtual option.)
Educational events that align with general awareness and research topics are perfect. Some ideas:
- Senior Living Lifestyle Options
- Funding and Finance Fundamentals
- How to Plan for the Transition
Senior living marketing events for the “Where” stage.
Once prospects figure out the answers to all of their “whether” questions, they are ready to move into the “where” stage.
In the “where” stage, the prospect is finally interested in (or, at least, aware of) your brand, your differentiators, and your value proposition. Their decision-making moves from their head to their heart as they try to picture their loved one (or themselves) living in your community.
On-site marketing events work well in this stage. As prospects evaluate where to move, they need to see resident and staff interactions, experience the lifestyle and amenities, try the food, and maybe speak with family members who have chosen your community for a parent.
Social events work well at this stage, especially ones where prospective family members can interact with residents and team members. Educational events are also effective. Consider topics like downsizing, transitioning, choosing the right community, and the like.
Senior living marketing events for the “When” stage.
The final stage is deciding when to make the transition to senior living. Prospects may have picked an apartment and left a deposit. Your biggest challenge at this point: making sure they don’t get cold feet!
Remember, moving to a senior living community can be overwhelming for families. They have to think about selling the family home, sorting through decades of belongings and memories, packing up, and moving.
They sometimes get stuck wondering “Should we make the move now or wait until . . .?” On-site events that offer the two Rs—Resources and Reassurance—can be extremely helpful at this stage.
Consider topics like . . .
- Downsize Your Space to Upsize Your Life
- 10 Tips to Sell Your Home Quickly—and Get Top Dollar
- Moving 101: Tips for Packing, Donating, and Dumping
- How to Make Your New Senior Living Apartment a True Home: Decoration Strategies
This is the only stage that we recommend offering any incentives. A great one to consider is this: “Move in by this date, and we’ll pay your moving expenses.”
BONUS: Download our handy “The Game of 3 W’s in Senior Living Event Marketing.” Share it with your team to help them fully understand and appreciate what goes into creating effective senior living marketing events.
Senior living marketing events: It takes a village. Let us help!
We’re experts at the 3 W’s of senior living event marketing. We can help you develop, design, and deploy awesome events for each stage while following marketing event best practices. Get in touch and let’s talk!