By goodness, I love a launch event! I love running around with a clipboard, I love sending out invitations, I love nurturing media interest and I even love lining up flyers so they look good on Instagram.

Today’s Blue51 Show and Tell is a bit of a Launch101- how I managed a beautiful event for a very special client and business.

The project:

Celebrating the launch of Western Special Needs Dentistry.

Dr Helen Marchant opened the doors to her clinic in February, and in July we invited local dental professionals,  GPs, Principals of schools for children with special needs, the local government aged and community health team and local MPs to spend an evening at the clinic celebrating it’s launch.  Helen’s clients and colleagues also came along.

The client:

Western Special Needs Dentistry (WSND) provides oral health services to people with special needs, which may include intellectual disabilities, medical, physical or psychiatric conditions. Dental care is individualised, and has the focus of helping people and their families in the most gentle and positive way, resulting in improved appearance and function and perhaps most significantly- freedom from pain.

The client’s target audience:

Western Special Needs Dentistry’s target audience is quite unique- the recipient of services aren’t necessarily the key decision makers. WSND’s clients are people with special needs, however the target audience for all communications efforts are carers, family members and affiliate health care and social services professionals.

For this specific event, the audience list included Dr Helen’s patients and their families, as well as local general dentists, general practitioners and social services (aged and community health) professionals from the local community and local government. Dr Helen also invited her colleagues, mentors, friends and mentees- the people she feel have supported her on her business journey.

The approach:

Like any communications tactic, an event needs a distinct vision as well as goals that are aligned to the overarching business strategy.

The purpose of the event was very much a celebration- this clinic is one of only two in the State, and the sole private clinic for people with special needs in Victoria’s west and is a service that is very much welcome and needed in the local community. Secondary goals for the event were brand awareness, PR and increasing the client/prospect list.

The invitation list incorporated the target audience (as above) and our main goal was to give attendees an experience that was warm, caring and special- just like Western Special Needs Dentistry. We had beautiful food, a DJ, and a bar with gorgeous wine, bubbly, imported beers and soft drink- sugar free, of course! The venue was in the clinic foyer, so not only could we show the prospective patients, carers and referrers how spacious, well-equipped and purpose built the clinic is, Dr Helen was also able to provide tours to both her colleagues and her clients, and describe her work in greater detail to the media and local councillors in attendance.

A detailed checklist is a must for any multi-faceted communications activity to ensure it stays on brand and is targeted. I created an event management checklist to incorporate all elements of the event, from logistics to promotion, and shared it with Dr Helen’s team so everyone was on board with the who, what, where, how and the when. Add to this a detailed running sheet, and everything flowed as beautifully as intended.

The creators:

Catering was provided by Seasons by Karingal– an Australian Disability Enterprise and an initiative of Karingal, a Geelong-based community organisation which provides employment and services to people with a disability and those who are disadvantaged.

Our DJ was the fabulous DJ Ben, a DJ one of Dr Helen’s clients recommended. DJ Ben is a Melbourne DJ with a passion for music and entertaining.

The results:

Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive. Dr Helen has received invitations to speak to parents and carers at Special Development Schools, and her local government economic portfolio department profiled the business in their latest newsletter. Western Special Needs Dentistry are now sponsoring a local basketball team- Western Special Needs Basketball and has been invited to attend an all-abilities tournament which will further increase brand awareness for this beautiful business.

If you have an event on the horizon that you want to maximise it’s bang for branding buck, please get in touch– I’d love to help out.

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This is a post in my blog series  about Blue51 Show and Tell. Each month, I share some of the projects I’m working on for my fabulous clients. I can’t wait to show you both the work we’re producing, as well as the amazing results they’re achieving in their businesses. 

There’s more unabashed bragging on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help.


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