Eye Candy

August 15, 2005

Hosting a trunk show can open the lid to increased patient traffic for the ophthalmic dispensary.

In my experience, the grand openings and/or trunk shows that I have created and coordinated for ophthalmology practices have resulted in at least a $10,000-per-day sales event for the dispensary. The longer-term effect has been the increase in patient bookings for eye exams and the building of patient loyalty in future purchases in the dispensary.

Grand opening or trunk show?

If it is truly an opening-such as after a remodel or new building construction-be sure to hold the event after you have worked out all the bugs of the new construction. Make sure the aesthetics are perfect, such as displays, merchandising, construction, and even the exterior landscaping.

Trunk shows are events that can be timed with a grand opening or they can be held as a stand-alone event. Bringing in new frame styles, products, or designer lines can set the stage for a trunk show.

In addition, your lab and lens vendors can participate, too. Once trunk shows have been started, I recommend these events be held at least every spring and fall. Patients and the community will begin to expect and look forward to these events. It can become the centerpiece of a marketing plan.

Setting the stage

Be prepared to set a budget for any of these events. The most successful grand openings I have run have been 2-day events. This would include having several different vendors on consecutive days. A single-vendor trunk show can be a 1-day event.