“Lunch & Learns” have become synonymous with senior living communities. Their intent can be educational and entertaining and offer opportunities for building new interest and renewing relationships with existing leads.
We recently worked with our client, The Palace Coral Gables, to make a Lunch & Learn educational, entertaining and memorable: “Lunch at La Mancha.”
The event – for residents and the community’s prospect list – transported guests to Barcelona with its theme, speakers, décor and menu and well-known syndicated author Ana Veciana-Suarez talked about her newest book, Dulcinea. A living history actor recreated Miguel de Cervantes for the audience while Ana shared the backstory of her historical novel. The Palace culinary team served a Catalonian-inspired luncheon buffet.
Here are six takeaways for boosting your Lunch & Learn attendance this summer:
· A theme is a good starting point for invitations, décor and menu.
· Think of a topic that hasn’t been overused or create a new twist. For example, rather than Estate Planning, the topic could be “What Women Need to Know about Estate Planning.” AARP publications are a great resource for topic ideas. Once you have several topic ideas, you can plug in speakers, décor and the menu.
· Speaker resources include local universities with an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the police and city departments, local museums, and business groups.
· Find a speaker who has wider appeal. Local authors may be eager to speak if their books can be sold, and a local bookstore may be willing to handle sales.
· Work with your culinary department on a menu. Buffets are a great way to serve a large number of people. Catered box lunches may be fun, too, if staff is limited.
· Involve the community’s marketing department as greeters and have them sit at various tables to interact with prospects.