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syz's avatar

As a pet owner, what would entice you to attend a veterinary hospital "open house"?

Asked by syz (35647points) August 31st, 2010

The emergency hospital I manage is opening a brand new facility and we need to get the word out (better to know about the new site in advance rather than during a crisis). I’m starting to plan the Open House celebration and so far I’ve got a local rehab organization that will release one of it’s rehabbed raptors during the event, a local exotic animal rescue organization that will have some of their animals present, the police department doing a police dog demo (since we work on their dogs for free), and possibly the local shelter having a rabies vaccination clinic on site. edit: A local pet photographer will also be exhibiting his work, and we’ll be grilling hot-dogs .

As a pet owner, what sort of things would bring you out to see a new hospital? What would pique your interest? Any great promotional ideas that I can swipe?

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Snowflake, the dancing cockatoo, would entice me out on a 92˚ day.

If I didn’t live too far away, your program would tempt me. We had a guy showing off his raptors to the public at our Blueberry Festival in high summer. He had two shows and both were mobbed.

Are pets welcome with their owners? Then you need pet treats.

Animal lovers love this kind of event.


poofandmook's avatar

Well, I think you’ve got it pretty covered… the stuff you already have planned would definitely get me out there.

If it was a normal vet, I might say a grooming station or something, but I suppose as an emergency clinic, you wouldn’t have that service.

chyna's avatar

I went to one a couple of years ago. It was a brand new hospital and the ad touted its unique rooms for chemo therapy, radiation therapy, and boarding facilities. It also mentioned free doggie gift bags (that sealed the deal, I wanted free dog treats). I think they were doing free toe nail clippings and an area for pics with your dog. They gave out those little things you put on dog collars that blink red for night time walking. They had the scales out so you could weigh your pet. Oh, and they were grilling hot dogs outside. I actually had fun and was very interested in their unique rooms.

MissAusten's avatar

It sounds wonderful already! I’d take my kids to something like that and leave my pet (a rabbit) at home!

I also like @chyna ‘s suggestion for nail trimming. It’s simpler and faster than grooming in general, and can be applied to all kinds of pets, not just dogs. Cats, parrots, and rabbits also need their nails trimmed or filed. I’d bring my rabbit along if something like that were offered, because he hates to have his nails trimmed and I’m always terrified of cutting them too short and hurting him.

Trillian's avatar

Free works for people. If it is a necessity and you have a coupon to give out for later use, that might work. Like giving a coupon to people who actually have a pet for half off a rabies shot. Or something like that. I wouldn’t leave a stack there for people to grab then sell to their friends, but you could register names and people or something. Use of the word free over and over in the promo is effective. @chyna has cool ideas, but I think grilled hotdogs is sending mixed messages. Maybe I think too much into things. ;-)

Cupcake's avatar

Sounds great – I’d love to go. As a student of public health, I’d like to see some prevention “exhibits” – the importance of heartworm medication, vaccinations, routine medical care, etc. A handout on “when to take your pet for emergency care” would be great for people to put on their fridge. I love free pet treats. Taking photos of people with their pets is fun (if you want pets to come too).

Honestly… I’d go just for the tour.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Free pet food and a buffet for us peeps at the event.

robmandu's avatar

Give folks a reason to bring their little kids.

How about a petting zoo or even pony rides? Face painting with animal themes?

gailcalled's avatar

I would go to any open house (anywhere and by any means – even dogsled) if Milo got a free paw clipping.

marinelife's avatar

Are you advertising that you are offering tours of the facility? An “Ask the Vet” booth where people can ask veterinarians questions is usually quite popular.

I was also going to suggest claw clipping—with the money going to a rescue group or other charitable organization.

tinyfaery's avatar

How about a raffle? The big prize can be a free check-up. Maybe you can get local orgs. to donate things for the raffle.

I do want to point out that with all of the entertainment a lot of times the actual purpose can become somewhat invisible. Make sure that the hospital is the main feature.

bippee's avatar

I attended one where the vet hospital gave away a free dental cleaning for a pet. I was hoping to win that, but didn’t. However I liked the idea of getting to meet the vets at the hospital in a non-stressful situation (no sick pet). Free nail clipping would be cool too!

Dr_C's avatar

I’d go if they gave my dogs claw clippings. However if anyone tried to clip their paws I’d beat the living crap out of them. That’s just cruel.

JessicaisinLove's avatar

Obtain the names of pets and their owners in a 5 mile radius possibly through pet license information. Send a POSTCARD not a flyer to each pets name on the list. A picture of
something warm and fuzzy pet related on the front where the address is. The back
would be a “worthy coupon” of some kind with your basic opening information and possibly one or two prices of services. An envelope with an enclosed flyer, obvious advertising, will probably go right into the trash. You have a mere second before the receiver either keeps it or throws it away.
Keep it simple, use an easy to read larger font, nothing fancy. What would make you, as a pet owner, want to attend. Ask your neighbors what would move them to come in. The dynamics of every neighborhood is different.
If you have limited funds.
Go door to door with a flyer, same thing, keep it simple, use colored paper 2–3 flyers per sheet. Every single person you talk to is a potential customer so don’t send just anyone out to canvas the area.
Get ready to hear; well as long as you are here i have a cat who…........make a same day appointment if possible within a max of 1–2 hours of your meeting. Things can change quickly, people might tend to put off the appointment Give a real discount for the first visit.
Call your vendors and see if they will donate free bees for your opening.
When i opened my business i did the door to door canvasing. (to other businesses)
Within an hour I had enough work to keep me busy for a couple of weeks.
Just a few thoughts. Best wishes

YARNLADY's avatar

How about a family pet show, with a real pet judge, for the blue, red, yellow, and ribbons and prizes to go with, such free shots, exam, food.

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