April 14, 2020
Inside: A friendly and prepared presence at local events can attract new patients. Here’s how to make the most of your pharmacy booth.
Hosting a booth at a local event, like a health fair or community festival, is a simple, non-aggressive way to advertise your pharmacy.
But it’s not enough to just set up a table and hope for people to approach you. Instead, you’ll want to put together a polished and professional-looking booth that has something memorable about it.
You have to put in some work ahead of the event so things go smoothly on the big day. The connections you make by having a memorable presentation will make it more than worth it.
Use these tips to put together an attractive and intriguing pharmacy booth at your local events.
There are a lot of different ways to engage passersby, but you should concentrate on one or two of them. If you try to do everything all at once, it may result in a cluttered booth that’s off-putting to attendees and makes it harder to get your message out.
Need some ideas on how to make your booth interesting to fair attendees? Try these.
Most of the time, patients only see you when they are picking up prescriptions. But they don’t have any idea what happens behind the counter.
Use your pharmacy booth to get hands-on and demonstrate all the things you do beyond just filling bottles. You can provide brown bag medication reviews or host a health screening to test for glucose levels, blood pressure, or cholesterol. You can also perform Medicare Part D reviews to help patients make sense of all their options.
These quick services offer valuable health information to passersby and also establish your credibility as a local healthcare expert.
Use the allure of a promotion at the local even to engage potential patients. Hand out coupons for front-end products to make visitors to your pharmacy booth into visitors to your pharmacy.
You can also host a raffle, collecting names, phone numbers, or email addresses in exchange for an entry. You can use that information for your marketing efforts down the line. If the raffle prize is enticing — something like a $100 gift card to your store — more people will want to enter.
Make sure your booth stands out to attendees with eye-catching visuals. Sturdy signage or a custom tablecloth may be pricy up front, but they add professionalism to your booth and you will be able to use them for years to come.
Once you’ve attracted visitors, you can do a version of show-and-tell to give them a glimpse into pharmacy operations. Demonstrate how compounding works using common kitchen ingredients or show them how you’d count medication.
If you use bubble packaging or branded prescription bottles, show them off at your booth, replacing drugs with candy for a fun twist.
If you have a creative streak, you can gamify your booth space. Interactive features make visitors stop and actually engage with your pharmacy booth instead of just picking up a branded pen as they pass by.
These don’t have to be high tech — take inspiration from your local carnival and have a prize wheel to spin or a ring toss. You can play a round of Independent Pharmacy Jeopardy! to help teach visitors about your services.
If you know other businesses participating in the fair, you can team up to arrange a scavenger hunt for visitors so they engage with multiple businesses as they make their way around the show floor.
Visitors to your booth should trade their email addresses in order to participate in the games, that way you can continue to follow up with them after the event is over.
By using your social media accounts, you can engage with the people who are visiting your booth and the folks sitting at home.
While you’re at the show, tweet about what your employees are doing, the people you’ve met, and anything interesting that’s going on. Make sure to add the event’s official hashtag if it has one, and add a hashtag for your pharmacy.
Have signs at your pharmacy booth with QR codes and web addresses to your social media accounts and encourage people to follow. You can even offer goodies for people who open their phones and follow you right there at the booth. This way, you can continue to connect with potential new patients after the show is over.
People love free stuff, and offering giveaways is a great way to get visitors’ attention.
But every other booth will have branded pens or a candy jar. Get creative to make your pharmacy booth a destination.
Offer freebies that have a focus on health and wellness. Ideas include:
Or, choose products that visitors may use a lot, like a phone charging bank or a water bottle.
Remember, your freebies should be branded with your pharmacy’s information on it, that way every time people use them, they are reminded of your store.
If you’re wary of too much flash and gimmicks, that’s okay. You can arm yourself with brochures that showcase your pharmacy and the services you have to offer. Providing straightforward information is a perfect option for more introverted pharmacists who still want to deliver a message.
You can put together pamphlets that educate visitors on the services and history of your pharmacy or the importance of local businesses.
This is also a great opportunity to educate visitors on the negative effects of mail order pharmacies and shine a light on the vital services that independent pharmacies provide.
When the day of the event arrives, put all your planning in motion. Multiple staff members should man your booth, if possible. This ensures that you’re prepared in the event of bathroom breaks or rush periods.
Dress professionally and uniformly. The white coat can be a great attention-grabber, but branded polos or dress shirts are also a good option. It’s often helpful to memorize and be comfortable with a short introduction or conversation starter so when participants walk by, you aren’t at a loss for words.
All in all, do your best to radiate a positive, energetic mood. If you appear friendly and engaging, attendees will feel more inclined to approach your booth and benefit from your hard work.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
Want more pharmacy business tips and advice? Sign up for our e-newsletter.