Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.
What is an optical trunk show? Like the phrase “a broken record” or the act of getting up to change channels on an RCA-color television, the industry phrase “trunk show” harkens back to an era when ophthalmic frame representatives sold frames from the trunk of a car. It is my understanding that this back lot event was often paired with liquid libations, VIP patients, and friends of the practice gathering round and previewing the latest offerings from Paris and Milan. So why not bring trunk shows back to 2018? Here’s a handy guide to getting your feet wet into this fun model of business.
Set a date ten weeks in advance
Nimble fingers and a robust search engine should be able to answer all your “how to promote your event” questions so let’s skip right to the success tips that you, a planning committee, and your frame representative can discuss and customize. Know your goal and who you want to attend. Details increase your ROI (return on investment). By focusing on a particular theme, the better you can spend your promotion time and money. While women over age 45 might purchase more optical products, that is not a very narrow audience.
Here are my top picks:
Behind-the-scenes preparation is imperative. Most failed trunk shows begin with a poorly thought-out decision made weeks before the event. Thinking things through and planning wisely is imperative. (Example: make sure the event isn’t the same day as local high school play-offs or the run-off date for a heated mayoral election.) Another planning step that is important is building a profile -watch a few episodes of “Criminal Minds” and build a profile that would make the BAU at Quantico proud.
Often the best advice goes unspoken because the giver assumes you already know. Simple steps often overlooked might be found in the following:
Undaunted by failure
Your least successful optical event might become a stepping stone for future success. Even if, from an economic standpoint, you lose money, make sure everyone involved has a good time (#workplacefun.) To succeed as a small optical means showing the world daily your collection of hand-curated frames and featured lenses. Build team pride and applaud attention-to-detail.
A well-orchestrated optical event sends a loud message of exclusive service to patients that had exams event-day (as well as to those members of your staff who secretly think patients can see just as clearly out of OTC readers or from lenses purchased online or at a discount chain) that seeing clearly and fashionable frames at several price-points is available in your office.