One good marketing idea: Throw an open house at your veterinary clinic!

November 19, 2019
Tracy Sheffield, BS, LVT, CVPM

Tracy Sheffield is practice manager at Wimberley Veterinary Clinic in Wimberly, Texas.

Firstline, Firstline July/August 2020, Volume 16, Issue 4

Use this strategy to help increase your clientele and gain a larger presence in the community.

Hosting events is a great way for potential new veterinary clients to find your practice. One good one way to start is throwing an open house.

Find a reason. A local holiday or an anniversary of some sort gives meaning to the party. One-year anniversary at your new location? Twenty-five years in business? Dr. Smith's five-year anniversary with the practice? Those are all good reasons to throw an open house.

Have fun with your stops along the way. Create a one-way traffic pattern with stations throughout the clinic. Make some or all of the stations kid-friendly. Need ideas? I've got some-but brainstorm with your clinic's team and you'll come up with even better ones!

• The first station could be an exam room with a stuffed animal patient with a fake lump inside it. You ask kids to palpate to see if they can find the (fake) puppy's lump.

• Another station might be in the lab, where people can peer into a microscope. Provide a slide of parasite eggs and an identification chart so they can have fun figuring out what they can find. Of course, live ear mites would be exciting as well.

• Radiology, of course, makes a great station, with a variety of interesting pictures. The activity could be counting how many puppies there were inside a pregnant patient.

• The final station should be refreshments, along with a veterinary technician or veterinarian there to answer questions.

Plan well. Start preparing at least two months in advance so that you have time to advertise the open house and plan for every station. The open house is also a great excuse for a deep cleaning of the facility.

Tracy Sheffield, BS, LVT, CVPM, is practice administrator at Wimberley Veterinary Clinic in (you guessed it) Wimberley, Texas, as well as co-owner of T&L Veterinary Business Consulting. She was a dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year  finalist in 2016.

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