Changing Direction and Moving Forward: Making Virtual Events Part of Your New Strategy

Posted by Edie Deane

May 11, 2020 2:25:00 PM

Pivoting, redirecting, course correcting, shifting, transforming. Whatever word you want to use for what we’re doing right now, one thing is for sure—we are changing the way we do business. And while we may all have different words for it, there is one thing we have in common: We’re moving forward.

In the current situation--especially for those trying to reach senior living and long-term care operators who are right now experiencing extraordinary challenges—customer meetings, conferences, and trade shows have become, for the time being, no longer possible. But dedicated marketers are moving forward along a different path, namely that of virtual events.

Here are some key issues to keep in mind when making the shift to virtual events

  • Virtual Events Require Hyper-Targeting Contentlive-video-streaming
    When hosting a typical 1-day, in-person event in the long-term care or aging services space, you might have sessions and tracks that draw a variety of titles. You may have nurses attending clinical sessions while administrators are focused on attending sessions covering regulatory changes—all at the same live event. In the virtual online learning world, you need to be hyper-targeted in your content. Using the example above, you’d need to create separate webinars for nurses and separate webinars for administrators or be confident the webinar topic is salient for both audiences.

  • Give Extra Attention to Webinar Titling and Description
    The last thing you want to do is have someone register for your webinar and then find it to be not applicable to their specific job needs. You not only risk losing them for that event, but for future ones as well. In the live event space, there is more personal interaction and networking that might lead an attendee to one session over another. You don’t have that luxury online so you need to be very specific and on point with your titling and descriptions.

  • Holding Their Virtual Attention
    At a live event, you might offer an event-ending raffle in order to keep attendees engaged and present throughout. But how to you keep them engaged online until the end? You can consider a midway offer as well as an event-ending offer. The offer could be an online raffle, a value-added content offering, or even mid-webinar poll that can offer attendees some insight that they perceive as valuable.

  • Increased Cost Effectiveness and Inclusivity
    The cost of attending live events can be prohibitive to some team members in the long-term care and aging services fields. Holding a virtual event makes it more accessible to some who may not otherwise be able to attend due to budget or time constraints. There’s no travel time, no lodging costs, and no meal allowances.

  • The Advantage of Currency
    When someone prepares for a live event, the information they present is current as of that moment. However, with a virtual event, you have a better opportunity for up-to-the minute content through live polls, social media, live chat, etc.

So, in speaking of the power of virtual events, let’s focus on one of the most effective online events: The Webinar for CE Credit

One of the most effective and engaging virtual events you can add to your strategic toolkit is the webinar offering continuing education credits (CE). A carefully targeted and professionally developed virtual event can give you an increased flexibility in coverage as well as a greater ability to be very intentional about who you want to draw to your program. But there are important requirements to prepare for in creating and leveraging a CE program, typically:

  • Abstract
  • Goal statement
  • Targeted audience
  • State-specific accreditation rules
  • Measurable objectives
  • Tracking and verification of participation
  • Delivery of post-event evaluations
  • Certificate creation and delivery
  • Back-end reporting

The bottom line is that offering CE credit most certainly makes your virtual event more attractive to your customer and more effective for you, but if you don’t have the staff, time, or expertise, it can be a steep hill to climb and your energies are probably better spent elsewhere.That’s where Quantum Age Collaborative comes in.We became CE experts so you don’t have to.You do what you do best and we’ll do what we do best—the heavy lifting of building a CE program.

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What to Do with That (Now Obsolete) Event Plan: You DO Have Options

Posted by Tanya Hartsoe

May 4, 2020 1:34:00 PM

There it is – the line item in your budget to attend conferences and events. It’s always a key marketing and sales strategy for engaging with both current and potential clients. But now, amid COVID-19 realities, those conferences and events are either cancelled or being converted to virtual programs. Even events later in the year are in serious question, leaving a sizeable gap in your budget—and your ability to personally connect with prospects and customers. It’s time to look at other options…and there are some solid ones.

The value of person-to-person interaction will never go away. But in today’s current crisis, you need to pivot to other means of connecting. Refocus your existing events budget on new business development and outreach strategies, including options like sponsoring online events and creating your own virtual events.

Let’s look at the 3 biggest benefits of shifting your event plan dollars to online alternatives:

  1. You can create a scalable experience—and easily customize the experience to your audience.
  2. You can increase audience engagement—expanding your geographic range and reaching those who otherwise may not commit to attending an event.
  3. You can garner more from online analytics—to more precisely engage with your audience.

 

The Choice Is Yours…

There are many types of online alternatives to in-person experiences. Choose one that suits your abilities and resources or consider a mix of options involving virtual events, livestreaming, and videoconferencing. Here’s a quick list of just some of your options:

  • Recorded Webcasts
  • abc-event-planning-gallery2Live Webinars—with or without continuing education credit
  • Live streaming interviews
  • Recorded Interview series
  • Town hall-type online meetings
  • Demonstration videos
  • Zoom-on-in online conferences
  • One-on-one or small group videoconferencing

It’s important to view virtual events not as limited, good-enough-for-now presentations, but as value-added, engagement-focused opportunities. When done well, these online events can be impactful, effective, and financially beneficial to your business going forward.

In-person event popularity is certain to rebound when we get on the other side of COVID-19, as people will always value the physical, face-to-face experience. In fact, it’s a good idea to think about reintroducing smaller events down the road, such as regional meetings, lunch & learns, local breakfast events, etc. But there’s no denying that marketers who digitally engage their prospects and customers now will be better positioned for continued success when the live event makes its comeback.

So while you’re planning your pivot and considering what to do with your now obsolete event budget, we want you to know that Quantum Age Collaborative is here for you. We’re hearing it everywhere we go today: “We’re in this together.” Well, we really are…and we can help you get started on a new path or improve the one you’re already on—all with the goal of growing your business and securing your future success. Contact us today.

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Free Resident Engagement Resources Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Posted by CC Andrews

Apr 20, 2020 3:08:25 PM

As time marches on, we in long-term care and senior living find ourselves adjusting as best we can to a new (and thankfully temporary) normal. This is definitely true for those working in communities, fighting to keep their residents safe and healthy...and engaged.

Among the most common challenges we’re seeing from communities is how to maintain resident engagement and morale during this time of serious COVID-19 proximity restrictions. We’ve surfed the web a bit and borrowed from others’ lists to bring you this quick group of resources appropriate for our audience. Here’s hoping you find some gems for your residents!

Industry Resources

Museums

  • The Louvre: You don't have to book a ticket to Paris to check out some of the famous pieces in the world's largest art museum. The Louvre has free online tours of three famous exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities.
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: The works of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Jeff Koons, and Franz Marc are just some of the 625 artists whose work are a part of the Guggenheim's Collection Online.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Move at your own pace through the 360-degree room-by-room tour of every exhibit in the museum.
  • Van Gogh Museum: You can get up close and personal with the impressionist painter's most famous work thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
  • Getty Museum: Los Angeles's premiere gallery has two virtual tours, including "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry," which is a closer look at food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Raphael's Room, are just some of the sites you can see on the Vatican's virtual tour.

 

 

 

 

 

Zoos and Aquariums

  • The Cincinnati Zoo: Check in around 3 p.m., because that's the time the Zoo holds a daily Home Safari on its Facebook Live Feed.
  • Atlanta Zoo: The Georgia zoo keeps a "Panda Cam" livestream on its website.
  • Georgia Aquarium: Sea-dwellers like African penguins and Beluga Whales are the stars of this aquarium's live cam.
  • Houston Zoo: There are plenty of different animals you can check in on with this zoo's live cam, but we highly recommend watching the playful elephants.
  • The Shedd Aquarium: This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of their residents on Facebook.
  • San Diego Zoo: With what may be the most live cam options, this zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: It can be Shark Week every week thanks to live online footage of Monterey Bay's Habitat exhibit.
  • National Aquarium: Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-b
  • y-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.

 

Theme Parks

 

For a printable PDF of this list, just click here.

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Your Post-COVID-19 Marketing Plan Can’t Wait

Posted by Rena Vysnionis

Apr 8, 2020 5:58:36 PM

Just a few months ago you were on track with your 2020 marketing plan, but then that all changed with the coronavirus (COVID-19). While the focus right now is dealing with COVID-19’s immediate impact on business, don’t lose sight of the pandemic’s long-term implications.

Think about these key questions in positioning your business now for a new way of operating and marketing:

  • How have others viewed you during the crisis? What have you do to create a positive impression? While you’ve been addressing the crisis, you’ve been sending messages—knowingly or not—to your clients, customers, residents, and others. They’ve been watching how you treat both residents and employees and how you protect them, how you manage and respond to customer/client issues and concerns, and how you’re using organizational assets to help people and your community. They’ve been watching the messaging (or lack thereof) that you’ve been sending.
  • What will your brand mean to you and others post-crisis? Start now to revisit your brand—is it still relevant? Did you stay true to it during the crisis? If not, why not?
  • What’s ahead post-crisis—are you ahead of or behind the eight ball? Make sure you are there for people who need you now and prepare for how you will continue to support them moving forward. Consider how you will maintain any momentum you’ve built up or how you will rebuild any you’ve lost.
  • How can you ensure that you’re agile enough to adjust to the uncertainties waiting ahead? Plan for different likely scenarios; and for the time being don’t count on anything returning to normal. Set and work on short-term goals with your teams; and align them for maximum productivity during this constantly changing, unpredictable time. Consider training, education, and exercises to help employees and managers to be more flexible anWxgePFJHTNAQRBuP3g5hoM-320-80d adaptive.
  • If your digital foundation strong enough to build on? Conference/video calls, remote work, and virtual meetings/conferences are likely to be the norm for the unseen future. Work with your IT teams and vendors to ensure your infrastructure, bandwidth, and fiber optics are up to the task.

Now is the time to revisit your marketing strategies and plan.Enlist your partners to draw on their experience working with market disruptions and crisis scenarios to adjust your strategies, so you are poised for business post-COVID-19.

 

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Marketing During a National Crisis Doesn’t Need to Stop, But It Needs to Adjust

Posted by Rena Vysnionis

Mar 31, 2020 2:37:39 PM

Customers of a large company recently received an email with the subject “Message from the CEO about COVID-19.” It offered an inspiring message and a list of benefits and services the company is offering to help its customers during this national crisis.

Good, right? Definitely. However, it was followed a few days later by a message encouraging customers to check their payment due balances and pay their bills online or via phone to ensure continued services. Not so good, and too soon. While the company clearly needs to have payments coming in, reminding customers about payments so soon after a hopeful, inspiring message likely wiped out some of the goodwill many customers were feeling about the organization.

Yes, you still can and should market during a crisis, but it’s important to do it ways that inspires and comforts customers/clients and supports your brand in a positive way. Consider a few steps:

  • Suspend all non-essential press releases, email blasts, and launches. The harsh reality is that unless it’s going to help them in their COVID-19 response, no one wants to read about your new product now. People only have the time to focus on the current situation. At best, your company news will be missed or ignored. At worst, it will make your company appear insensitive and/or out of touch.
  • Work on “back burner” projects. Now is the time to jump on those projects and good ideas that you’ve been holding for when you have more time. This could mean finishing a book or writing blogs or articles, starting a podcast, or working on your website. Consider those most activities likely to resonate with clients/customers and generate ROI after the crisis passes.
  • Focus on online services. Give people something productive and useful to do while they’re in isolation. Create educational webinars or videos targeting topics that will support your strategies and help your clients/customers and employees moving forward.
  • Attend to social media. Update your information and seek new connections. Post relevant comments that support your role as an expert, promote your brand, and speak to the needs of your audience.
  • Optimize digital spaces. Refine your SEO and business-to-business marketing strategies. Look for ways to make sure your current content is as visible as possible. Identify what isn’t working and revise tactics accordingly.
  • Support others. Look for ways to help your community and others in your industry. Seek ways to help employees and customers affected by COVID-19. Conduct these efforts with compassion and a genuine desire to do good. Your efforts are likely to be appreciated and remembered.

All of these efforts should focus on a few goals:

  • Ensuring that clients/customers, employees, and others know that you care about them.
  • Not taking advantage of people’s fears or contributing to their anxiety.
  • Helping people feel dignified.
  • marketingAdding value.
  • Avoiding exploitation.
  • Telling people exactly how they can help.
  • Working with compassion and empathy.

 

The time will come when you can resume normal marketing activities. In the meantime, there is much you can do to be part of the solution and much you can learn about how to move forward.

 

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COVID-19 Survival Guide: Key Takeaways for Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Kaldy

Mar 24, 2020 10:34:00 AM

The situation regarding COVID-19 seems to evolve daily. However, there are some key issues organizational leaders need to understand to effectively and responsibly strategize respond to the virus moving forward. In this two-part blog (watch for part-two later this week), we address some of the top information and guidance from experts and offer some tips for keeping staff safe, productive, and calm during this crisis.

  • Let’s start with some good news. A majority of individuals who contract this virus will recover. Now the not-so-good news: As of today, over 40,000 cases have been documented; and many states have instituted Stay-at-Home orders. As cases spread, there will be continued disruptions in health care services, gatherings, business, and travel.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week to addressing sick pay and emergency family and medical leave. In short, this provides for paid and unpaid leave for coronavirus-related reasons, emergency paid sick leave and expanded emergency family and medical leave, emergency unemployment insurance funding, and reimbursement of costs to employers as tax credits.
  • Responses by people vary widely. Some aren’t taking it seriously and are ignoring social distancing and other warnings, while others are panicking, hoarding supplies and food. Organizational leaders need to step up, present trustworthy, factual messaging, and model calm behavior.
  • It is essential to educate all employees about how the coronavirus can be contracted. Stay on top of myths and misperceptions that arise and share facts and guidance from reliable sources such as CDC and World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Employees are likely to have many questions about how COVID-19 will impact their work and pay. Establish a point of contact in human resources or elsewhere in your company for employees who have concerns; remind employees about policies concerning absences and working from home, including vacation, sick pay, family and medical leave, unemployment, and short-term disability; train supervisors on overreaction impacts and importance of adhering to antidiscrimination policies; and keep track of and promptly share updates from CDC and WHO.
  • It is important to accept the lack of legal precedent and the importance of weighing risk and making the best possible decision that are process-driven and not prescriptive.
  • Experts advise diversifying your supply chain and eliminating all outside suppliers in China. Before committing to a new supplier, review the company/contractor policies on communicable diseases.
  • If any contractors are cleared to enter the building, require that they understand and practice proper hygiene (including handwashing, gloves, etc.).

Your top priority should be to keep COVID-19 out of your community, said Swati Gaur, MD, CMD, in a recent webinar from AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. She observed, “Prevention, prevention, prevention…We need to understand that there is no treatment so far, so it is critical to do everything we can to keep the disease out of our buildings.” A sign at all entrances advising visitors to stay away is a start, she said. Some organizations are conducting questionnaires and taking body temperatures before allowing people to enter.

Dr. Gaur emphasized the significance of screening for both fever and respiratory symptoms, observing that AMDA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) both recommend screening both residents and staff.e disease out of our buildings.” A sign at all entrances advising visitors to stay away is a start, she said. Some organizations are conducting questionnaires and taking body temperatures before allowing people to enter.

Protecting staff is essential, and this means that they know about what precautions to take and that necessary protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and respirators be available as necessary. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that you notify employees of a confirmed COVID-19 case working in close proximity. The agency also has determined that employees have a right to decline to perform a task if the employer has refused to eliminate the danger involved, they genuinely believe that an imminent danger exists, and/or a reasonable person would agree that there is a real danger of death or serious illness/injury.

COVID

You must have a comprehensive hazard communication program. This should include container labeling and other forms of warning, safety data sheets, and employee training. Make sure that staff receive adequate training about tasks such as unique cleaning requirements related to COVID-19 prevention.

In addition to attending to people, it is essential to address the environment. For instance, a study earlier this week from CDC suggests that the virus can live on surfaces for as long as 17 days. For surface cleaning, the CDC recommends mixing 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. The agency suggests washing clothes using the warmest appropriate water setting and making sure to dry them completely.

Watch for another blog this week addressing ways you can keep employees, colleagues, your family, and yourself calm, focused, productive, and optimistic during these challenging times. We also will offer some creative tips for surviving and making the best of social distancing and isolation.

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2020 Predictions in Senior Living: Disruption, New Tech, Workforce Challenges, and PDPM.

Posted by CC Andrews

Jan 14, 2020 3:49:31 PM

It usually begins at about the second week of December: articles and blog posts proclaim and predict the future of the following year. In the senior living field, there is no shortage of such prognostications, and I am happy to have devoured them. Many are well thought out and useful. So, similar to what we did two years ago in this space, I have examined the predictions of others and offered here my review of them.

To begin, it’s worth mentioning as an overarching theme for the coming decade a December 27 Forbes article by William Haseltine, chair and president of ACCESS Health International. He highlights the World Health Organization’s proclamation that the 2020s will be “the Decade of Healthy Ageing,” and asserts that health systems around the world “are woefully underequipped to provide the care that healthy aging requires” and that over the next 10 years, “the pressure will be on for national governments, policymakers, and healthcare providers to redress the scarcity of resources available to the elderly and the people who care for them.”

Top Tech Priorities for Senior Living Communities


In addition, Haseltine says that long-term care systems around the world need to be bolstered by research, development, and funding and suggests that for such care “to be accessible, affordable, and equitable to all, they must discard a notion of health overdetermined by illness and treatment in favor of one befitting the full complexity of the person.” In other words, person-centered care should be paramount in long-term care. While not a new suggestion, he is correct. In my opinion, these assertions provide an excellent backdrop for the following overviews:

1. Disruption: Not to overuse a nearly worn-out term but disruption is still a thing, and it’s going to be a thing in senior living until providers catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to inn

ovation and technology. That said, let this paragraph from the Senior Housing News predictor article sink in: “Tech behemoths such as Amazon and Apple have been making moves into the senior health care space and could eventually disrupt senior living—as several industry leaders have warned. And last year, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian—who now runs a venture capital firm—predicted a decade of ‘major change’ is on the way for senior living, and he foresees the rise of a disruptive, tech-forward senior brand.”

In other words, the article states, “in 2020, the disruption threat level will rise.” In my opinion, this news is a long time coming. I see two options for providers and those who serve them: we (as an industry) can wait for the Amazons and Apples to find their blue ocean in our red sea or we can get busy with our own disruption and make something really cool happen.

2. Machine Learning: The abundance of healthcare data available via government records, health care professionals, pharmacies, insurance companies, and others is being used to predict health issues and prescribe medication or lifestyle changes. Adding to this mix, the access to behavioral data of older adults will lead to “improved prediction and accuracy and better services for older adults,” in 2020, according to Senior Living News. This, the writers state, will eventually result in improving the lives of older adults.

3. The Emergence of WiFi Doppler Imaging: Another interesting prediction in from Senior Living News is the idea that WiFi Doppler imaging will bring “new possibilities” to PERS and fall detectio

n devices by deploying a WiFi signal to “generate imaging data that can be interpreted into insights about the movements of people and objects within a given environment.” According to the writers, since academia and industry are working to make fall detection less intrusive, the WiFI Doppler technology has a greater chance of success over the next year or two.

4. Workforce: What would a prediction in senior living be without mentioning workforce? It’s an ever-present topic of course. Here are some good workforce-related 2020 forecasts:

  • McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor predicts that the call for staffing quotas will not go away. “Never mind that finding and keeping workers is arguably the biggest challenge the industry faces. It’s election season,” he says. You can’t really argue with that one especially, as he says, “candidates at every point will be demanding staffing quotas.”
  • Skilled Nursing News published a smart list of predictions based on interviews with senior living executives. Among them is a trend noted among larger operators. “We are receiving a large volume of calls from various SNF operators who are very interested in converting their contract therapy to an in-house model,” said the president of a therapy company. The reason behind this, according to the executive, is two-fold: first, the “SNF operators are realizing therapy is now a cost center and they want to take control of their own expenses.” The second reason is due to an apparent flood of therapists in the labor market.

5. PDPM: As the now ubiquitous new SNF payment model sinks in, “smaller nursing home chains in rural areas that have put their heads in the sand amid the PDPM shift will find ‘reimbursement repercussions to be pretty significant,’” according to Fred Bentley, managing director of consulting firm Avalere Health. He says that although the skilled nursing space won’t fully feel the results of PDPM until 2020, “in some instances, it does mean scaling back on therapy—but not maybe as much as the industry had supposed.”

In another Skilled Nursing News article on 2020 trends, the author states this about PDPM: “if there’s one truism in covering an industry that overwhelmingly relies on government agencies to exist, it’s that operators will quickly adapt to whatever new rules that officials implement in an attempt to control their behavior.” The article cites the example of the industry’s adaptation under the Resource Utilization Group system as proof and adds that “early returns are demonstrating that there are far more reimbursement winners than losers, even when accounting a quirk of the transition process that saw most every operator receive a non-repeated boost for certain residents.”

Whatever happens in 2020, it is sure to be a year of transition, especially in light of PDPM, as well as the inevitable disruption that comes when significant corporate players realize the vastness and value of the longevity economy.

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Topics: tech, senior housing

Keep It Small

Posted by Katie Roper

May 1, 2019 2:11:00 PM

Vendors love the Environments for Aging conference, but encourage organizers to keep it small.

To help our clients make good decisions about where to spend their marketing dollars to reach senior housing and long-term care companies, Quantum Age surveys vendors (exhibitors, sponsors, or attendees) at the major industry conferences. Environments for Aging (EFA), held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, got overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Well Worth the Money

Everyone who responded to our survey either “Strongly Agreed” or “Mostly Agreed” that EFA was worth the time and money to attend

  • Brand-Building: 90% felt strongly that the conference was a great place to build brand awareness with buyers;
  • Current Customers: Almost ¾ of respondents agreed it was an excellent place to connect with clients;
  • Lead Generation: Slightly fewer (70%) felt the exhibit hall was an excellent place to generate new interest among prospects.img-business-conference

Exhibitors were generally happy with exhibit hall traffic, both in terms of volume (65% Strongly or Mostly Agree) and quality (63% Strongly or Mostly Agree). Respondents felt that show floor visitors were eager to engage.

Official networking events were less popular, with comments about small venues and inadequate alcohol.

Insider Tips

We closed the survey by asking and open-ended question: what suggestions do you have for vendors hoping to get the most out of the show. There was a clear theme about planning ahead:

  • Reach out ahead of time to invite people to your booth;
  • Advertising in the show directory is a great way to get noticed;
  • Pre-show brand awareness is a big help;
  • And, for show organizers, there were a number of pleas to focus on smaller and more intimate sites, rather than large convention centers.

The Environments for Aging Conference focuses on the people developing, designing, and decorating senior housing buildings, so it’s not ideal for all vendors. But if your product is appropriate, attendees and exhibitors agree that it provides excellent value for money. Next year’s event is April 25-28 in Louisville, KY, for more information visit https://www.environmentsforaging.com.

Wondering if EFA is the right place for you? Let’s chat – kroper@quantum-age.com

 

 

And watch this space for our next vendor survey, focusing on the national Argentum conference.

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Heading to San Antonio for Argentum? Some Travel Highlights from a “Local”

Posted by Donna Paglia

Mar 28, 2019 10:36:21 AM

Very soon, participants of Argentum’s Senior Living Executive Conference will be collecting in San Antonio, Texas. If you’re like most busy professionals, you might find yourself under the gun to schedule meetings, let alone plan a little time to get out and see the sights. The good news? This town is packed with things to do – restaurants for every taste (and budget); shopping; adventure; and plenty of spots to simply relax and unwind. And take it from me, a resident of San Antonio, the choices can be overwhelming.

Downtown. Every tourist (and local) loves the Riverwalk. This is a must do, and it’s free! Stroll this 15-mile beautiful winding pathway, stopping along the way for a bite to eat, pick up a souvenir or two, and snap a few pics. Most restaurants have menus posted outside and offer both indoor and outdoor seating. You can also “ride the river” via Go Rio San Antonio Cruises for a narrated, guided tour of the area for appDowntown_SA_Croppedroximately $9-12.

The Alamo. If this is on your bucket list, you’ll be happy to know it’s an easy 7-minute walk from the convention center and open 9:00am-5:30pm daily. Consider the San Antonio Missions as well if you have time to immerse yourself in some San Antonio culture and history.

Dining. So many places, so little time! If you are staying in the downtown area, a few great selections would be Mi Tierra or La Margarita (for some Mexican fare and fun); Battalion (a restored firehouse) or Nonna (both are excellent Italian favorites); Bliss or Feast (both are unique New American); or Bohanan’s (amazing steaks and seafood). Start your day with an amazing breakfast at OCHO (Havana Hotel), Bird Bakery, or NOLA Brunch & Beignets. Reservations are required for most of these restaurants, and some are closed on Mondays.

Want to venture out a bit? Hop in a Lyft and head to the culinary and cultural destination called the Pearl (7 minutes from downtown). Unwind with live jazz music at Jazz TX (make a reservation if you can). Book a spa treatment at Hiatus. Or enjoy shopping or dining at one of the many options available. Check out Supper (inside Hotel Emma), Southerleigh, and Cured.

Another great spot for an afternoon of shopping, golfing, or dining is La Cantera. Approximately 20 minutes from downtown, this outdoor shopping venue is a favorite. You’ll find Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, and everything in between. There are many fabulous restaurants including Perry’s Steakhouse, an excellent spot to impress a client or enjoy a special evening. La Cantera Resort & Spa is across the street and offers exceptional spa services and two championship 18-hole courses.

If adventure is calling you, consider Top Golf (high-tech sports entertainment complex anyone can enjoy), iFly (indoor skydiving venue), or Bowlero (small and large bowling events with interesting “lane side” menu options). All are within 20 minutes from downtown.

 

 

With so many options, it’s no wonder San Antonio is a popular favorite for many who make the “conference scene.” And, with a bit of this insider’s recommendations, here’s hoping this trip is your best yet!

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The 4 Keys to Maximizing Your Sponsorship Expenditures

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Feb 11, 2019 9:58:00 AM

Companies invest a lot of money in sponsoring membership associations. And for good reason: These associations can be ideal markets for companies, and companies that align with associations as sponsors can increase the likelihood of achieving their business goals with the association’s members. The power of affinity is significant.

Seems like an ideal situation. What can go wrong? Confidential interviews with sponsors of several leading associations are revealing:

· “Often we didn’t utilize the sponsorship benefits.”

· “As much as we would like to be a sounding board in the blogs or publicity at events as a sponsor, we did not always have the time to allot.”

· “We didn’t ask enough of the association. I could have asked more.”

  • “Our company’s challenge was keystaking advantage of what was available to us as a sponsor.”

For most companies, sponsorships are a marketing expense, not a philanthropic expense. If sponsorship was a philanthropic expense, companies would sponsor because it was the right thing to do, it was supporting a good cause, and the company executives want to feel good about their contribution.

Marketing expenditures, on the other hand, require a much more rigorous justification. Based on the way your company justifies its marketing expenditures, here are four ways to maximize the value of your sponsorships:

1. Understand your company’s sponsorship value proposition. Based on the association’s membership; communications to members; opportunities to engage with association leaders and other sponsors; etc., determine why your company wants to be a sponsor and what your company expects to gain as a sponsor. Be specific, including metrics if possible.

2. Negotiate with associations. Whether associations offer a standard list of benefits or a customized program, your company is in a position to negotiate. Based on your sponsorship value proposition described above, suggest to the association benefits that will help you fulfill your goals (while adhering to the association’s mission).

3. Appoint a liaison. Identify someone on your internal or outside marketing team to be accountable for implementing the sponsorship program for your company. This person should be knowledgeable about your company’s sponsorship value proposition and the association your company is sponsoring.

4. Implement the sponsorship. To have a successful sponsorship, work with the association’s staff to develop a plan with action items and deadlines. Then devote the time and resources (human and otherwise) necessary to implement the plan.

Some companies view sponsorships passively. Sponsorship jargon for implementing sponsorship benefits is activate. Companies should activate sponsorships with the same methodological approach they would use to implement a marketing campaign or advertising campaign.

If you would like more information about how your company can maximize your association sponsorship expenditures, contact Quantum Age.

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