Hosting a one-time event requires strategic planning to not just host the event but to understand the purpose and map out the plans for future marketing. So many times we see these one-time events bring in leads that are not touched again, until the next event. Our Special Events team knows the importance of staging an event from start to finish. It’s not just about getting attendance, it’s about turning the lead into a sale. The Cardinal North Hills is a senior living community in Raleigh, North Carolina, dedicated to providing 5 star service, hospitality, and health care to enhance the lifestyle of its senior residents. Benefiting from full occupancy but on the cusp of new expansion, The Cardinal needed to develop a lead generation program designed to create a wait list for its plans to double their independent living residences, aimed towards a younger senior mindset. Based on our 20+ years of experience in the senior lifestyle marketing, we created a signature lead generation series of events, strategically designed to appeal to an upscale and highly educated prospect list from within the affluent North Hills community. In keeping with the brand positioning of The Cardinal, we knew that this audience had an affinity for celebrity authors. We created a partnership with a nearby bookstore and forged a relationship that would allow us to bring in authors who had an affiliation with the market. We identified keynote speakers that were either starting their book tour or willing to tailor their presentation to our audience and make it an event worth wanting to attend. Introducing The Cardinal Speaker Series, we targeted prospects who had shown previous interest and surrounded the event with direct mail, PR, and digital marketing.
The goal was to generate leads, capture emails, and then nurture the lead to conversion. The Art of Living Well Speaker Series included an enviable list of who’s who from the community: Lou Holtz (appealing to sports minded enthusiasts), Frances Mayes (appealing to foodies), and Elizabeth Gilbert (appealing to affluent lifestyle mindsets). Each speaker touched on an aspect of The Cardinal’s health and wellness philosophy so that every attendee not only enjoyed a customized presentation from the celebrity author, but also learned more about The Cardinal lifestyle. Tours were provided to prospects, as the authors signed their book, talked with attendees, or patiently took selfies as the guests lingered for light bites and beverages. The Cardinal was able to showcase their five-star service experience. From the first impression Save the Date invitation to the moment the guests arrive. From the experience itself to the Thank You for Attending email after the event has ended. We surround every event with marketing communications designed to entertain and sell. That’s how we grow business. The series was a resounding success, generating nearly 450 new leads and re-inquiries. Of these, 200 put deposits down and 25 signed up for The Prestige Club, giving them access to the current Cardinal amenities without becoming a resident. The series will continue annually as the new expansion plans are fully developed.