What are my responsibilities as a Doula Speed Dating™ host?
How would I benefit from hosting Doula Speed Dating™?
When may I host Doula Speed Dating™?
What is included in the Hosting Package?
Hosting Fees, Regisration Fees and Compensation
We invite any interested and motivated person in Canada to host Doula Speed Dating™ in their community. The purpose of Doula Speed Dating™ is to expand awareness of the benefits of doula care to parents and the general public, to support Canadian doula practices and to facilitate connections between parents and doulas in any Canadian city.
You do not need to be a doula to host the event, although doulas are welcome and encouraged to consider organizing an event to support their local birth community.
1. Find a location to hold the event. This location should be big enough to have 7 or more interviewing stations that seat three people (parent(s) and doula). It should also have a bathroom, a space to display door prizes, business cards and snacks.
For example, a health centre with a number of clinic rooms works very well since each interviewing station gets their own room for the interview. However, a large open space in which interviews are spread out is also a good choice.
2. Promote the event to Doulas. You will be provided with a promotion package to distribute to doulas in your area. The package includes posters, handbills, an email announcement, and an application form. A media package outlining how to find doulas in your community is also included to help you access the greater doula community who may be interested in attending.
3. Promote the events to the public. Your event will benefit from the online advertising and promotion already taken up by DoulaSpeedDating.com. Your event listing will include the location and details of your event in addition to your personal practice logo and a brief bio of yourself and your practice.
Additionally, you will be provided with a media package put together by our Public Relations and Marketing experts designed to help you access effective promotion outlets in your community.
Your Media Promotion Package Includes:
4. Act as Local Contact for Doulas and Parents. Parents will register for your event through our website and you will be responsible for collecting the applications and registration fees of the doulas in attendance. As the local host, you will be provided with a list of participants and their contact information for each of your events. You will be expected to follow up with your list to confirm their attendance and answer any questions they have about the event.
5. Host the event. As host of you event you will welcome the participants and introduce them to the events of the evening. You will be provided with a tip sheet for 'Hosting a Successful Doula Speed Dating™ Event' in your Hosts' package that outlines some ideas regarding set-up and organization that have worked well for other hosts in the past.
If you are a doula and will be participating in the interviews as well as hosting the event, you will need to find a volunteer to be responsible for indicating the end of each interview and helping people to their next station in between interviews.
6. Work in collaboration with other Doula Speed Dating™ events in your area. In an effort to make all Doula Speed Dating™ events successful, please be aware of the other Doula Speed Dating™ events in your area. If possible, you may want to share promotion and referrals with one another.
You will benefit from hosting Doula Speed Dating™ whether you are a doula, a practitioner or simply a motivated to share the benefits of doula care with your community!
All hosts receive financial compensation for their hosting efforts. Participating doulas are expected to pay a registration fee to attend the event. Since the fees of doulas vary in range in different areas of Canada, the registration fee you choose for your event may be different than that of another host. Our suggested range for registration fees is $75-$100/event. You may also offer a "Bundle Price" to doulas who would like to register for more than one event at once.
It is suggested that you coordinate your fees with other hosts in your area.
Additionally, your personal practice will benefit from the promotion, marketing and PR support and resources included in the Terms and Agreement. If you are a doula or a practitioner interested in hosting an event continue reading to find out the many ways your personal practice will grow as a result of hosting Doula Speed Dating™.
As a doula, Doula Speed Dating™ is a cost and time-efficient way to meet pregnant parents and speak with them one-on-one about your services. From past events, we have found that the majority of parents attending Doula Speed Dating™ choose a doula from the event for their birth and/or postpartum care, prenatal classes or other wellness services. This means that the likelihood of being matched with clients from Doula Speed Dating™ is very high and may be more effective than spending time and money on display tables, advertisements, distributing promotion packages or waiting for your referral base to build.
As a host of Doula Speed Dating™ you will also benefit from added exposure to your own practice since your business logo and practice information will be included on all promotion materials and featured on our website. As the local media contact your personal practice will be featured in any local media coverage attracted by your media promotion package.
As an added bonus, gathering together for Doula Speed Dating™ increases a sense of community amongst doulas, and broadens your community of support for your own practice. You may meet doulas who you would like to work with for backup, exchange referrals or establish joint ventures with. You will also establish yourself as a practitioner with other birth services in your community as your network more closely with the owners of your event location (especially if the location offers birth or family-related services), midwives, doctors and other birth services who would partake in spreading the word about your event.
"One challenge of the doula life is the constant travel time to and from interviews. Doula Speed Dating has considerably cut down on that time. I can now travel to one place and interview with 10 couples in just one night. It has been extremely lucrative for my business and I have been able to connect with at least two clients at each event. Not only am I able to advertise my Doula Services but I am also able to promote my other skills, such as hypnobirthing and prenatal yoga. I will surely use speed dating as a way to promote my business in the future. It is a fun, easy and cost effective way to meet new clients and to connect with the birthing community."
-Natasha Marchand CD(DONA), Hypnobirthing educator, Fitness Instructor. Toronto, ON.
"As a new doula to the city I find "Doula Speed Dating" extremely helpful for finding clients and being able to sell my services. I can meet 10 clients in one night without having to travel 10 times!"
-Kelly Maslen Doula and Personal Chef. Toronto, ON
As a practitioner Doula Speed Dating™ broadens your exposure and referral base in the greater birth community as you strengthen your relationship with doulas, midwives, doctors and media representatives involved in sharing the news about your event. In past events, doulas who attended the event showed a greater understanding of how practitioners at the clinic could benefit their pregnant clients and began referring on-going clients to their care.
You may also want to include information about your personal or clinic services in the event. Sharing the services you provide to growing families during Doula Speed Dating™ is a very effective way for you to connect with potential clients and expand your practice. In past events some hosts have organized a break half way through interviews where they would offer a mini-presentation about their services while parents enjoyed a rest and some snacks. Others have included one or two of their own clinic practitioners in the interviews to benefit from sharing what they have to offer parents one-on-one.
We've found that 10-30% of parents attending Doula Speed Dating™ have followed up with the clinic hosting the event to pursue the care offered by the practitioners at the clinic.
"Hosting Doula Speed Dating events at my office has been a wonderful experience for my practice. It has given me the opportunity to meet several doulas and birth professionals in my community who have become great sources of referrals. It has been an excellent way for me to educate my community about the many benefits of chiropractic care throughout pregnancy and into the early years of life and to position myself as THE chiropractor for perinatal and pediatric care in my community. We have even had media coverage at a couple of our events which has been great exposure for the clinic! The minimal cost of hosting this event is well worth it and I will definitely be hosting many more Doula Speed Dating events to come."
-Dr. Jennifer Wise, Toronto
Your Hosting Package includes support resources and a membership to Doula Speed Dating™ for one year. You can hold as many Doula Speed Dating™ events as you like for the year and renew your membership at a discounted price to continue to host Doula Speed Dating™ when the year is at its completion.
Your Hosting Package includes but is not limited to:
The initial Hosting Package is $425 +HST and includes the resources and support outlined in the section above. You must renew your membership every year to continue to host Doula Speed Dating™ events. The fee for membership renewal is $150 +HST. These fees are non-refundable.
Doula Registration Fees:
It is suggested that you charge participating doulas a registration fee in order to take part int the event. A range of $75-$100 +HST is suggested. This fee has been presented in a range in acknowledgement of the varied fees for doulas in different areas of Canada. The host of the event will decide on a fee within this range and will specify this fee in their Terms and Agreement. Hosts agree that the registration fee will not exceed $120 per event (excluding taxes).
What if a Doula is called to a birth and needs to cancel?
Hosts often construct a cancellation and refund policy for the participating doulas. As as an idea refunds could be given to doulas who give two-weeks notice of their cancellation. For those who cancel within the two week prior to the event, you may opt to offer a partial refund and retain a percentage of their fee to ensure your ability to cover your event costs even if you are unable to find another doula to take their place.
Hosts are responsible for collecting registration fees from doulas. For each Doula Speed Dating™ event, hosts will receive 100% of the income from the registration fees collected from the participating doulas (see Terms and Agreement for details). You will be responsible for any additional costs required to host the event (i.e. printing, snacks).
The number of doulas and parents in attendance may vary depending on the size of your location. As the host of Doula Speed Dating™ you can decide how many participants will be in attendance of each event. You will be required to specify this number in your Terms and Agreement and submit any changes to these numbers as soon as possible.
Parents are not required to pay a fee to attend the event but are required to pre-register. If desired, you may request a 'Pay what you can' fee or donation from parents to cover any additional costs you incur to organize the event.