Using Contests To Drive Occupancy
Contests are a great way to support sales and marketing efforts; engage residents, family, and staff; and create buzz with professionals and prospects. This year, we hosted the Second Annual Resident Holiday Art Contest to encourage providers to promote their community through social media channels and create a positive representation of the benefits of living in a community setting.
Here is an interview with Christine Stempel, Senior Director of Quality and Education with HHHunt about the impact of this contest in increasing community engagement and achieving key corporate and brand objectives.
What is the value to your residents, family, and staff for this type of initiative?
The obvious value of the art contest initiative to the residents, family, and staff of Spring Arbor is the genuine sense of family connection that it fosters. Once someone’s art is posted on the site, others in the community get behind supporting that art and encouraging votes, etc. It’s just SO FUN to be able to say that “so and so’s artwork is being reviewed for a national contest!” It’s good for everyone’s collective Spring Arbor ego!
One of the HHHunt Brand Promises to our customers revolves around engagement with the greater community. The Senior Living SMART art contest provides us with an ideal opportunity to showcase the creativity and overall vitality of Spring Arbor to the citizens and business and health care providers in the towns where we are located.
What is the business value associated with the Resident Holiday Art Contest?
When the greater community is able to easily see (and experience) the energy and creativity uncovered through an opportunity like this contest, they look at Spring Arbor with new eyes. It does become a warm and inviting option for assisted senior living – it simply helps to change perspective a bit. Families feel better about their decisions and friends are more inclined to visit. Physicians and other referral sources do see the value to the well-rounded life experience we strive to provide our residents and they are more likely to refer to Spring Arbor.
Our communities have used social media this year, particularly Facebook, to showcase individual residents and their art and to “get out the vote.” We expect this will help viewers to better understand the Spring Arbor brand identity.
What was the response to this contest last year?
We had a terrific response from the Spring Arbor communities last year. Ultimately, HHHunt had one finalist in the nationwide contest and one honorable mention. This gave us such opportunities as a company overall and for the two specific Spring Arbor communities to contact press and hold celebrations and award events. Several communities used art created for the contest (whether it won or not) and made holiday cards of their own – using these as the Spring Arbor Holiday greeting card for 2014. I expect some communities will do the same this year; what is more personalized than a card with art created by one of our residents?
How is HHHunt planning to participate this year?
In the houses that choose to participate, the act of creating pieces for the contest actually becomes part of the HHHunt signature Art from the Heart ™ program. In many Spring Arbor communities, this takes the form of paintings or drawings; in others, it may involve clay, paper maché, fabrics, yarns, and other textures. Like all other approaches in assisted living, art is respected as deeply personal and individualistic.
Some of our communities will hold an in-house art contest in advance of submitting a winner or winners to Senior Living SMART. Others will showcase some of the residents’ art as part of an Alzheimer’s fundraising effort. Some just have a fun day of creativity without making a big fuss over the contest. Every house takes its own personalized approach!
HHHunt Senior Living enjoys this opportunity and will look forward to it again in 2016! Many thanks to Senior Living SMART for sponsoring this art contest each year!