6 Tips for Open Day Success
It’s amazing how even though we know something is ‘just around the corner’ we can often leave too many things to the last minute. Open days are no exception.
2. Know your brand
Make sure you are confident about who you are as an Academy, what you aspire to stand for and what your key messages are. What do you want prospective students and parents know about you and what makes you unique?
Consider the other schools in the area and what they are saying – why are you different?
These things are just as important as what you are offering practically if not more so.
3. Create your printed materials in good time.
It is true, we live in a digital age but decide in good time whether you are going to use printed materials
- If you are having one, make sure you leave enough time to get your prospectus through with plenty of time.
- Have any posters and banners designed and printed for the start of the term rather than just before the event.
- Use testimonials for parents and students in your marketing materials. Real stories are powerful.
4. Tell everyone!
Basically, create a cost-effective marketing plan! This should include advertisements in local paper – maybe even send positive stories/articles to your local paper from the very start of term.
If you are a secondary Academy make sure you make contact with your feeder schools, similarly if you are a primary Academy be sure to contact your nursery feeders.
If your budget will stretch to it, other forms of advertising should be considered too. (See article on marketing channels)
5. Create an event to remember
- Involve your entire Academy community in your open event. Diversity is a great testimony to inclusion. Parents, students, Academy Councillors, Staff, Supporters – each individual will help to create the full picture of who you are and if the key brand messaging is well rehearsed it will paint a very cohesive picture
- Make sure your timings are realistic, allow time for presentations to overrun a little and make sure tour times are tried and tested.
- Take time in the weeks beforehand to make sure your visual branding is consistent and on point. People notice contradictions!
- Be excited! – this is your chance to shine within your community and rather than seeing open days and evenings as a chore, use the opportunity to see them as a chance to show your Academy best.
6. Be Inclusive
- Consider making key note presentations available to those who have not been able to make the event by filming them and posting them on your website.
- Be sure to post a thank you and a report on your website after the event
- Make sure you leave a route open for any follow up enquiries and questions and be sure to get back with answers to any questions you weren’t able to answer on the day– be approachable and thorough, it can make all the difference to becoming the school of choice.