Living Legacy Project Event for the Senior Living and Care Community
Legacy Matters Programs (LMP) are tailored specifically to benefit assisted living, independent living, hospice and estate and financial planners. So, it makes sense to present the programs to a collective group of decision makers rather than pitching them one at a time. This is how the Living Legacy Project becomes most useful.
Hosting an Living Legacy Project (LLP) education and outreach event for senior living and care professionals provides an opportunity to corner the senior living and care market in your area all in one fell swoop. The program outlined below will provide the necessary information to host a successful event and immediately lead to a flurry of new business.
Taking on the responsibility of representing the Living Legacy Project at the community level is not for everyone. Hosting an event of this caliber means you must
- be comfortable with public speaking
- have full knowledge of the programs you'll be referring to
- have the technical ability to prepare a room for a highly effective video and audio presentation
- be able to manage a team of CLAs.
As discussed in the CLA course it is important to build a team of CLAs in your area. Not only because it establishes your personal trusted network of experts, but because the team can benefit from each other's strengths. Not everyone is comfortable speaking to groups, for example. By having a CLA with speaking experience on your team opens up more opportunities for everyone, including hosting an LLP event.
So, whether you personally organize and/or speak at the event or utilize the strengths of your CLA network, there are minimum qualifications you will need to successfully host an LLP event.
You must qualify as an Ambassador to host an Living Legacy Project event.
- Recruit and train 3 CLAs
- Someone on your team but be comfortable presenting to groups
- Each CLA must have knowledge and desire to execute at least one of the Legacy Matters Programs that will be presented. This way you are not leaving business on the table that nobody serves.
- Someone on your team must understand the basics of hooking up to a projector and an external audio device. In most cases, the room will have multimedia available but you will still need to test ahead of time and make sure everything works. In the event you do not have multimedia or internet available, your team will need to provide the necessary projector, TV, speakers, cabling, wireless hotspot, etc sufficient to dazzle a crown.
ORGANIZING THE EVENT
It's important to note that we want to invite not just those businesses that we have developed programs for, but also those who may refer other business to each other. So, it makes sense that all invited businesses that all businesses relate in some way to senior living and care. Do not convolute the audience by inviting people and businesses that would certainly have an interest in legacy such as churches, civic groups, etc, but not necessarily with a focus on senior living and care.
This list is comprised of businesses with which our programs have been specifically designed to be implemented quickly.
- Assisted living
- Alzheimer and dementia
- Independent living
- Skilled nursing
- Funeral homes
- Estate & financial planners
- Reverse mortgage brokers
- Long term care agents and brokers
This list is comprised of businesses the above list of businesses which, for marketing purposes, wish to curry favor or become acquainted with. Within this secondary list can emerge myriad unexpected opportunities.
- Home care
- Senior placement agencies
- Cancer treatment and support groups
- Senior organizers (downsizing, etc)
SPONSOR AND HOST
Any one of the above businesses, primary or secondary, would not want to be left out of an event where their competition may gain an advantage. Additionally, any one of the them could be a candidate to sponsor the event, either as a primary or lesser tiered sponsors.
In the early stages of launch we will only be seeking 2 sponsors, one financial sponsor and one as the host. Ideally the financial sponsor will be a funeral home or mortuary. Being the final rung in the elder care ladder, they have the most to gain from higher rungs.
Funeral home and mortuary marketing directors spend considerable time and money shmoozing and networking with all of the above businesses. It is not a far reach for them to pony up money to be the lead sponsor of a legacy event like this.
Assisted living facilities are ideal for hosting the event since they would have the opportunity to showcase the property in a meaningful situation. Marketing directors for assistant living spend copious amounts of time and money trying to gain favor with most all of the above businesses as they are often the primary source of referrals. It is not always easy to get these executives to physically visit the facility. This is the perfect solution for that.
When choosing the facility the main criteria should be:
- Location- Convenient to where most attendees can easily find and within a reasonable driving distance
- Room- Is the room adequate to hold the event? Plan for a minimum of 60-100 attendees, if only 30 show so be it. But, you should plan for at least 60 because you will be aggressively canvassing the community to market the event.
- Internet and multimedia- Ideally the facility should have internet access and basic multi media such as big screen TV or projector and screen with adequate sound.
We'll cover room preparation later but this is fair warning that more of the above criteria is met the better the event will be. Remember, this is a multimedia presentation, very emotionally driven, and the Pict-Orals make the biggest impact. The better the audience can hear the voice and see the photo the better chance they will want to look more into the programs.
As these events take root and expand to many cities we will build a multi-tiered sponsor program where Ambassadors and CLAs can share in the revenues generated by sponsors they sell. For now, HQ will manage sponsor sales, billing and collecting, etc.
LLP EVENT PLANNING AND PROMOTION
Once a sponsor and host have been secured it's time to plan and promote the event. Follow the steps below to assure all things are covered.
- Set a day and time- As the Ambassador it is your responsibility to connect with the assisted living director and the sponsor to select the best day and time for the event. Senior living and care executives are very busy and have a full calendar. They also know better than most of any upcoming conflicts with other meetings or events or when the greatest majority of their prospects would be available. So, let them decide which is best but be sure to coordinate with the sponsor.
- Event date and time (local time)
- Name of host facility
- Name of sponsor
- RSVP email, name and phone number
- Ambassador name, email and phone number
- Details, if any, such as, Coffee and Danish Served, special offer, etc. (avoid serving a meal of any kind. A simple do-it-yourself pastry bar with coffee is the most that should be available to attendees. Serving a meal requires constant motion and distraction from servers, clanging dishes, attendees answering questions (More coffee? Can I have some extra ketchup please?)
- Coordinate an invitation strategy- Arrange for a brief meeting with the sponsor and host to give each of them their own event flyer pdf file and one sample printout. This is all they will need to send to those they wish to attend.
- Using the Event Invitation Form- We've created an EVENT INVITATION FORM to help identify companies to be contacted and to maintain follow-ups and RSVPs. Provide this form and its file to the sponsor and host to help them determine their prospect list.
- Sponsor banner and collateral- As part of the sponsor and host's deliverables, they are entitled to display a banner with logo somewhere on the stage, either below the podium or nearby. Be sure they are prepared to deliver this to the host facility no later than the day before the event or up to one hour before the actual event begins, if necessary.
This is critical and must be addressed at the sponsor-host planning meeting. You can't be worrying about their collateral on event day except to be sure they are prominently displayed and represented. You may want to remind them once but if they don't deliver after that it would be their mistake, not yours.
- Podium time- Included in the host and sponsor's deliverables package will be the opportunity to speak about the importance of legacy as it pertains to them and their business. This is their opportunity to be humanized beyond the normal sales networking persona. Each will have 3-5 minutes on the podium. Ideally, During your meeting you should ask them to prepare for this with a personal story or one about a resident or client, with the idea of supporting why legacy is important to them and should be to everyone.
Also tell them that the host Director will welcome the audience to the facility and introduce you while the sponsor will do the closing remarks after you thank them. This is a great time for each to share their story.
- Coordinate invitation responsibilities- It's important to coordinate who invites whom so there is no cross-over. It may very well be that the funeral home, for example, wishes to invite the local hospices since it implies thoughtfulness and in the best interest of the hospice. Also, using the same example, funeral homes know the names of the local hospice executives they want to attend. The same is true for assisted living. Their incentives won't reside with hospices but surely would with independent living operations managers or genontologists or senior care referral agencies.
Let the sponsor and host personally invite their best prospects. Whatever is left, be it financial planners, long term care insurance agents, etc. would be the Ambassador's responsibility to contact and invite. Naturally, Ambassadors would coordinate with their CLA team to call, email or personally visit as many of the remaining prospects as possible to assure a full room.
Depending on the enthusiasm and available time for the host and sponsor you may be needed to invite their prospects for them. In that case, they will happily share the names of those they wish to attend, making it easy to break past the receptionist as the referral will have come from someone they recognize.
- RSVP Management- It may be necessary for the Ambassador to field the RSVPs. This takes the burden off the facility which could be the single obstacle to their accepting the host position. It may also be in their best interest to field the calls because it is yet another opportunity to communicate with prospects ahead of the event. Be prepared to do this one way or the other and make the suggestion that the host or the sponsor field the calls rather than the Ambassador. You should be the backup.
- Modify sample invitation emails- We have created Sample Email Invitation that can be modified to suit each sponsor or host's unique relationship.
As you learned in the CLA Course, preparation is EVERYTHING when it comes to a successful event. This section will save you a lot of grief and embarrassment if followed closely.
Survey the room- Arrange for a meeting at the event host's facility to survey the room to determine the following:
- Projector and screen
- DVD player
- Sound system- In ceiling or speakers
- Multimedia available-
Test equipment- If they have multi media equipment take the time to test using your laptop if that's the preferred approach.
- Test cables to be sure your ports fit their cables
- If they have their own computer and require using it test to see if Powerpoint will load and play
- If they have a DVD player test the Legacy Matters DVD to make sure it plays with decent sound
- Facility internet access- Most facilities will have internet access, possibly requiring a password. If so, do not assume it will work. Test it on the spot. Make sure you can call up the Legacy Stories website and navigate smoothly. Access via the facility's internet service will likely be faster than using a hotspot or your cell phone because the wireless router will be connected directly to a hard wired cable modem.
- Personal internet access- If no internet is available at the facility bring your own. Whether using your own or one of your CLAs' cell phone or hotspot internet access will dramatically improve the event's impact and you must do everything you can to have it available and TESTED!!
- No internet available- If you've selected the right facility all things might be there for you. That may not always be the case. Also, you can bank on something not working no matter how much pre-testing you have done. Technology cannot be trusted. To that end you should be prepared to deliver the presentation via DVD and Powerpoint regardless if internet is available or not.
- Using your own equipment- Ideally an Ambassador should have his or her own multimedia presentation equipment to handle any situation. That is not always the case. This is another reason why it requires 3 CLAs to complete the Ambassador's team. One may have a screen, another a projector, etc. When none is available one or another will know someone who has the missing piece of equipment.
We have complied a list of recommended equipment found in Project Resources. In all cases the equipment has been tested to be the highest quality for the least amount of money yet can sufficiently handle rooms of 10 to more than 200. If you don't have the equipment it may be a good idea to buy it. Otherwise, you will always be able to find it from a colleague or even rent it. Multimedia equipment is commonplace these days so it won't be hard to acquire temporarily.
Whether owned or borrowed you must TEST the equipment well before the event in all the same ways as described above. Make sure you can provide great sound to a larger audience. Do not assume computer speakers will do the job. Good audio is KEY!!
- Room layout- While in the room it's important to ask how they typically arrange the room for meetings and events. This will give you an idea of how and where to place marketing collateral, etc. and how attendees will sign in as they arrive. Take notes on a piece of paper while surveying this as it will come in to play as you prepare for the event later.
- Banner display- Part of the sponsor deliverables will be to display a banner with logo on or near the podium or on a wall behind the podium. Be sure to include this in your room preview so you are prepared on the day of the event.
- Room availability- You may find that the facility is using the room just prior to the event. Maybe they are serving breakfast to their residents. Now is the time to find out, not the day of the event. You may need to change the time to allow for an additional 30 minutes for room set up and testing. Be sure to confirm this and don't take it lightly
DAY OF EVENT PREPARATION
The day of the event has arrived. Nerves are rattling. All of your preparation is about to be tested. You'll be comforted to know you've already covered and tested everything. Before the audience begins pouring in you'll need to set up the room and equipment and TEST to be sure everything is working as planned.
This could be the most stressful time because often this is when you plug your equipment in and something isn't working. The internet is down, the sound isn't coming through, the website doesn't load, something is bound to happen. Hopefully not. BUT, you are prepared. Internet down? You brought a hotspot or the DVDs. Projector not working, you brought a backup if possible. We cannot express how much your preparation will allow you to deliver a top quality presentation.
Arrive early- It goes without saying that you should arrive at least one hour prior to the event. If you've prepared as planned you could be ready to go in 20 minutes. If something goes wrong you have time to adapt or even run to a Radio Shack to get a cord or cable to replace the unexpected broken one.
Hopefully, the event is timed so that any previous room activity is out and leaving you plenty of time for your event set up. Again, good preparation will provide the status ahead of time and you'll know if there are any time limitations.
Test equipment- Test EVERYTHING after set up.
- Call up the website to assure internet connection is clean and smooth. Navigate to several pages to see that they are loading with adequate speed.
- Test the projector or TV
- Test for sound
- Bring up the Powerpoint ready for action
- Have the backup DVD inserted into the DVD drive on your laptop or the facility's player
- Open new tabs on your browser that contain the content you plan to show when ready. This will save time navigating around the site. Having the pages already loaded and minimized below is a good thing. However, remember to do this as one of your final preparation actions. The reason is the site will time-out after one hour if no activity is noticed. Once you click on anything in the site the hour starts again. Worst case, just know ahead of time which pages you want to view and copy the URL in a notepad and renamed so you can click one at a time as needed. That's actually a great way to do this as an alternative to having multiple tabs open.
Greeting and collateral set up- All 3 CLAs should be at the event. Before the event you would've already discussed who is best to make the presentation, greet the attendees, arrange the collateral table, etc.
It is best to have one or two CLAs ready at the door to greet the audience as they arrive. As each enters the room they should be
- greeted with a friendly smile
- asked to put their business card in a bowl for a drawing later (bring a bowl or ask the facility for one ahead of time)
- tell them to take a grab a coffee and pastry, have a seat and enjoy the show!
Sponsor banners and collateral- Place no more than one piece of collateral each for the host, sponsor and the LLP brochure (with your attached business card) at each table setting. Your RSVP count should let you know how many seats, tables and brochures you will need. However, be sure to bring at least a dozen extra just in case.
If you've had a chance to handle the sponsors' banner ahead of time you'll know how to accommodate its display. If not, you'll need to be creative to make sure the sponsor receives what is promised in the deliverables package sold by HQ. That promise as it pertains to a display banner will be that their banner will be prominently displayed on or near the speaker podium or wall behind the podium. This should obviously be considered when you preview the room.
You are ready for the big show!! How exciting!
PRESENTATION OUTLINE AND DETAILS
Now it's show time and there's nothing else to think about except entertaining, informing, and setting appointments to install programs. preparing and practicing your presentation is obviously key. The information below will give you the tools and confidence to knock the event out of the park!
Introduction: As the presenter you must be perceived as the expert, the celebrity, the one everybody came to hear and see. So, you must be introduced properly. As mentioned above, the host will welcome the audience and make the introduction. He or she will have up to 5 minutes to do that and share a legacy story.
You must prepare a brief (100 words or less) introduction bio script or bullet point outline, making it easy for the host to introduce you and the project. This would come after his or her welcome and story.
Opening remarks- No need to tell about your credentials since that was done by the host. What's important is for the audience to get acquainted with you on a personal level. In most cases, speakers will open with an appropriate joke or with humor just to break the ice. In your case, a personal story about why you are doing this meaningful work will be the best way to break the ice.
Keep you opening remarks to 3 minutes or less. This is very important so the flow kept at an efficient pace. Practice your story in advance and make sure it is timed right. You have a lot of information to present and you need to get right to it.
LLP Introduction- Plan exactly what you want to say to set up the LLP video. This could be as simple as. "Let's get started by learning what the Living Legacy project is all about. This 3-minute video will fill you in." Always mention the approximate length of each video you present. This way the audience knows much time they will need to stay focused.
We have created several edited versions of the LLP video. The original version is the one to play because it starts with about 15 seconds of horns. This was by design because no matter how well you set up the audience there is always people in the room who want to finish their conversations. This brings everyone into full focus. The correct video can be downloaded by clicking HERE.
PLAY THE LLP VIDEO FOR THE AUDIENCE
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION SET UP
Following the LLP video you'll need to make some transitional comments while pulling up the Powerpoint presentation. Using your own personality this is your setup. Commit your own version of the script below to memory as this puts everyone in the room on the edge of their seats to learn what's in it for them.
"We have a great challenge ahead of us and and time is of the essence. Our priority is to give voice to those whose stories are most endangered, our senior citizens, especially those with deteriorating health or, in the care of hospice, with little time left at all.
The reason we have assembled you here today is because you, more than anyone else, are the professionals closest to these seniors and their families. But, as busy as you are and with budgets as tight as a knot we realize there must be a reasonable incentive to make a difference.
So, we have developed programs specifically tailored to each senior living and care niche that will benefit your clients, residents, families and your bottom line. Without these programs we will lose the greatest body of wisdom ever to grace the planet."
START THE POWERPOINT