Could you explain how the trunk show started? What made it into what it is today?
The trunk show that we host annually is at its root and the very core is sort of a patient appreciation today. We try to bring more fun and festivities into the office. By doing that, there’s always some form of entertainment, oftentimes free food. In the past, we’ve tried to have some sort of a theme associated with the trunk show with some sort of a charity or philanthropic underlying tone to it. This year, for our trunk show, every pair of glasses sold, we’re going to be making a donation to the Essilor Vision Foundation. In the past, we’ve raised money and charities for breast cancer awareness, for example. There’s also an incentive for patients to come it, but there’s really not much of an incentive for us. When all is settled and done with, it’s not a big money-making scheme, Instead, it’s really a fun day that’s to incorporate fun, a type of educational piece, and a charity into a day at the office.
We are a small private practice and so, we love the community that we are in. We try to celebrate that. I think that one of the main reasons people like getting their eyes examined here and doing business with us besides the really high quality of care, the friendliness, and the outgoing personality of our team, is that they are ultimately supporting a small private business. They’re not spending their money on a big box, and they can actually put a name and a face to the person that their glasses, their eye exam, or dry eye treatment came from. It’s an annual way for us to celebrate that. We get the team involved to have a fun day at work and have it be a fun experience for the patients in our community.
Could you describe how others went? Maybe the first few?
With my time at the practice, I’ve only been here for two other ones. I’ve been with the practice just shy of three years. The first trunk show that I was a part of was very clean, almost like a ladies night, if you will, but there were lots of men, too. That was our breast cancer awareness evening, which took place at night, where we had champagne, cheese, and fruit, a masseuse in office giving free massages, and we had a caricature artist doing drawings of kids. We had lots and lots of raffle prizes, and we had the office decorated in a very sort of floral feminine manner. That was very quaint scene. When I picture it in my head, I sort of associate soft piano music playing as well, even though there wasn’t any music at the time.
We’ve had one in the past that had a college football theme. We had a barbecue truck in the parking lot, all the team members wore their favorite sports jerseys that day. We had lots of signage and marketing revolving around sports, primarily college football. That took place on a Saturday afternoon.
So, these trunk shows are always pretty big?
Some bigger than others. But, yes, it’s always a big deal for us, and we try to make it a big deal for the people that join us, too.
I see that this year, you guys are doing – as you mentioned – the Essilor Vision Foundation charity. Could you describe the charity & is it tying into any theme?
The Essilor Vision Foundation, they do a lot of different things for people. They work both domestically and internationally. Basically, they have a team of optometrists and opticians and lots of hardware, where they are able to execute eye examinations as well as fulfill eyeglass orders at no charge. Domestically or Internationally, for those people in need who can’t afford them. Essilor is a gigantic company that has a long reach worldwide. Generally speaking, they are very effective in what they do. I believe it’s somewhere in the vicinity of 7 dollars that can provide an eye exam and a pair of glasses. It’s really not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things to really have a big impact on a lot of people to get them seeing as they deserve to see. As far as tying that into our trunk show. I’m not sure it really ties into it since it’s a fall spectacular. We had originally thought of a Halloween theme with the trunk show, but with the change of seasons and after the big hurricane, we’re all ready for fall to start.
Maybe the theme would be that you’re offering such spectacular eyewear that you want to share the wealth and give other people the chance to see, too? Get their own spectacular eyewear.
I think that’s it.
What do you think has been the feedback from these trunk shows. How does your community relate to them? Does it bring new people? Younger people? Caters to everyone?
It definitely caters to families the most. Of all age groups, genders, and every demographic has attended, but we are a family friendly office. Families get the most out of it because we have something for everybody. We offer the best frames and lenses for people to see no matter what your needs are. The point of the trunk show is that we’re are a mature office but we’re also very catering to children.
Is that why it’s 9-5pm? To help the families attend?
Yes. The only outlier trunk show was the ladies night that was in the evening and had champagne. That was not quite as family-friendly. But, all the others are definitely family oriented. It’s colorful, fun, and there are toys. Lots of free stuff for kids. Anybody who walks into the door on the trunk show walks out with something for free.
At this show, will there be kids entertainment?
We’re going to have a food truck that will be giving out free food to anybody that comes to the event. For one, they’ll be serving something sweet for the kids. We will be having a giant toy box filled with free toys for children. We just had two different frame reps in the last week, where we placed a double order of kids frames, youth frames. Oakley has a new kids line. The Rayban children ophthalmics as well. We just got a large order of those in. We also just started catering a new line for infants called Tots. That’s for really tiny babies, less than 2 years old. THose will be on display as well.
Are you doing exams at the event?
Do they need to call the practice first to confirm an exam time?
An appointment would be very highly recommended. We certainly will take walk-ins if it’s available. What we’ve done in the past for our other trunk shows when our appointment book gets full or almost completely full, and somebody walks in needing an exam, we’ll do whatever we can that’s in our power to get them what they need on the day.
If they have a prescription, it’s a great time to get a new pair. If they don’t have a prescription, and they want to get something, they’ll be able to get it on the spot depending on what happens? Schedule an exam that day, and you’ll help them out kind of thing?
Yes. Or, what they could do in the event that we couldn’t facilitate an exam, you could still choose your glasses and your lenses, and secure your order at whatever special pricing that would apply to you based on your insurance pricing on the day of the trunk show, and we can arrange an appointment later on at a convenient day or time. From there, we’d just match the prescription with that order. We are going to have frames on sale that day, special pricing on different brands. So, if you come in and can’t get an exam and don’t have a prescription, we’ll still honor that pricing for you.
Will those special prices differ based on insurance?
Great. Are all the trunk shows held in the fall?
It’s always been in the fall.
Is the fall an easier time for people to come in?
The trunk shows spill out into our parking lot. We rope off the parking lot where we have food, vendor tables, music and a dj, and it’s very nice in the fall in Florida. It’s usually a nice, dry 75 degrees outside.
Last question, the more minute question, what made you choose the Apple Watch as the big giveaway?
One of the things that we do best is carry the latest technology and what it can do for patient care. The Apple Watch – what better hi-tech gadget than that? It’s something everybody loves. Star Trek on your wrist. So, it just matches with what we do at the office. We’re a hi-tech, cutting edge office, and it’s a hi-tech cutting edge device that everybody wants.
Wonderful, thank you!