📚 Crafting Memorable Independent School Admissions Events: A Guide to Success 🌟Sep 09, 2023
Admissions events are pivotal moments for private and independent schools. They offer a unique opportunity to showcase your school's strengths and values while engaging with prospective students and their families. To ensure these events are a resounding success, you must approach them with careful planning and a focus on the attendee experience. In this blog, we'll guide you through the key steps to create admissions events that leave a lasting impression.
Step 1: Setting Clear Expectations and Goals
The foundation of any successful admissions event lies in setting clear expectations and goals. Here's what you need to consider:
- Identify who from the school is expected to attend the event.
- Communicate your objectives to your faculty and staff to ensure everyone is aligned.
- Make sure that the event plan is well-known among your team weeks in advance.
- Consider using a recurring event card on your project management board for efficient coordination.
Step 2: Enhancing the Attendee Experience
The customer experience is paramount during admissions events. It's crucial to anticipate and address every challenge. Here's how:
- Mentally walk through the event, envisioning every possible scenario, from weather concerns to parking logistics.
- Consider the flow of families through the event space; ensure it's smooth and intuitive.
- Conduct a "dry run" the day before or once the event is set up, with several individuals posing as prospective families. Identify any shortcomings and make necessary adjustments.
Step 3: Streamlining Registration & Reminders
Efficient registration and reminders are essential for a seamless event experience:
- Simplify online registration forms; request minimal data to lower entry barriers.
- Implement automated text and email reminders once families register, increasing attendance rates.
- Employ a calendar-syncing system, as it helps busy parents keep track of the event.
- Thoroughly test your registration system to avoid last-minute glitches.
Step 4: Planning Your Promotion Strategy
While digital ads are crucial, don't overlook free promotion opportunities:
- Utilize digital advertising to build anticipation leading up to the event.
- Leverage platforms like Facebook Events, LinkedIn Events, and Google My Business Events for additional digital promotion.
- Feature event details prominently on your school website, including the admissions page and as a pop-up.
- Diversify your social media promotion strategy with videos, testimonials, photos, and more to boost engagement.
- Tap into community resources like Nextdoor and local listservs to spread the word within your community, and engage parents, especially those with children in the target age group, for added promotion.
Step 5: Collecting and Tracking Information
Gather valuable insights during the event to enhance your follow-up strategy:
- Keep track of event attendance to know who attended.
- Document all questions asked and compile them into an FAQs list on your website, as others likely have the same queries.
- Capture student and family interests to personalize your follow-up and gain insights into your audience.
- Encourage faculty and admissions staff to make notes about parents and observe families who seem like a good fit for your school.
Step 6: Crafting a Thoughtful Follow-Up Plan
Plan your post-event follow-up meticulously:
- Send thank-you cards and personalized emails to show your appreciation.
- Consider calling or texting attendees for a more personal touch.
- Use tools like Vidyard or Loom to send video messages or emails tailored to specific interests shared during the event.
- Add attendees to your admissions soft-touch email list, focusing on sharing valuable school information.
- Explore drip education emails or interest-based emails to nurture ongoing interest.
Hosting successful admissions events requires a strategic approach that begins with setting clear goals and continues with a commitment to providing an outstanding attendee experience. By following these steps, you'll not only attract the right students to your institution but also leave a positive and memorable impression that will resonate with prospective families long after the event is over. Remember, admissions events are more than just gatherings; they are opportunities to showcase your school's unique qualities and values.
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