Monday, March 23, 2009

Are Trade Shows on the Decline?

The 2008 results from Trade Show Trends’ report will be in soon, and I am predicting exhibit performance is on the decline. This is probably not a shocking assumption given the state of our economy, but I feel trade shows are still very important for a variety of reasons – demonstrating, learning, networking and educating.

The 2008 results will probably be the report that begins to illustrate a decline. The 2007 report was relatively in line with that from 2007 – both were good years for the trade show industry. Granted, the exhibitors have to pay to attract each attendee, but that is simply a sign of the times. With 82% of attendees having power in making or recommending purchasing decisions, and each attendee spending about 8.3 hours per show visiting exhibits, the power of these shows is undeniable. But with marketing budgets on the chopping block and companies scrambling to put their money towards tried and true methods, I think these stats will be forgotten or overlooked.

My suggestion? Don’t give up on this personal form of company promotion. When you have a great product or service and are proud of what you have to offer, you have the chance to show others while creating an unforgettable first impression. Trade shows open the door – you could have hundreds of attendees stop by, each one of them being a potential customer.

Source: http://www.exhibitoronline.com/exhibitormagazine/apr08/trends.asp

Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to the Future of Long Term Care

There is one trend in long term care that has been a long time coming, and that is improving the overall atmosphere of the facilities. Whereas the term “nursing home” might conjure images of drab interiors and equally drab food, the past couple years have illustrated a trend in the right direction. Long term facilities all over the nation are opting to bring more life into the homes through spa-like services, home-like d├ęcor and gourmet foods, all within a neighborhood setting.

We work with many healthcare companies, and one of the most important things these companies can do is serve each resident with dignity and care. The trend toward a more resort-like setting is simply an extension of this. Establishments that have made these upgrades report positive changes in residents’ behaviors — they are more likely to engage in activity and maintain a level of optimism. And that sense of optimism is contagious, making life within those walls more enjoyable for everyone.

I think this is one trend where everyone wins. Companies that can move past the hospital-like model and evolve into one that embraces modern luxuries will gain appreciative residents, and who doesn’t want that? Living in a comfortable, accommodating environment should be a given — I am glad to see things shifting this way.

Friday, February 27, 2009

National Dairy Council Targets Obesity

Everyone knows that with obesity comes the potential for many more health problems. I’ve worked with healthcare companies for many years now, and it is safe to say many of the diseases these companies address could have been avoided. According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Services, excess weight can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis and many other types of diseases and complications. Thankfully, many are opting to step up and address our nation’s health problems before they continue to get worse.

A study by the Texas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one-third of the state’s children are either obese or overweight. On February 20-21st, National Dairy Council, along with the Houston Independent School District, launched an initiative to promote healthy living. Parents, teachers, students and community leaders alike gathered to increase awareness and define solutions for Texas schoolchildren. Calling the summit Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools Summit: Leveraging the Power of Our Community, participants defined their roles in the solution and pledged to help create change.

I see this summit as a step (no, more like a giant leap!) in the right direction. This is a preventative measure, and if all goes as planned, it will help get and keep kids healthy. Teaching them smart food choices and exercise habits sets them up to succeed, and can save them from debilitating and life threatening diseases.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gotta Start Somewhere...

Thank you for checking out my blog!

The Healthcare Marketing Girl will chronicle my thoughts on all things related to healthcare marketing. I have worked in the marketing and communications business for over 15 years. Currently, I am the Director of Communications at JB Chicago and I’m happy to say that we work with several healthcare companies. I have always loved working in this arena – it’s something about creating materials that speak to the individual’s needing assistance. I like seeing how the programs, products or services offered can help someone improve their quality of life, and the life of the family involved. My hope is that this blog will do the same by offering some of my personal experiences while helping others who work in this field.

But just to keep it interesting, you will also want to check back for some Chicago-related news, not necessary related to healthcare marketing. Whether it’s a great new restaurant, a “don’t miss” concert or a corner bar you simply must visit, I’ll give you my two cents – for free.

So for the latest and greatest in healthcare marketing, remember the The Healthcare Marketing Girl blog. You will get a firsthand account of tradeshow news and trends within the industry, as well as some of the lessons I have learned over the years. And, if you’re lucky, you might get some juicy JB Chicago office gossip… reason enough to keep coming back!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm here!