How to make your open evening a success
It’s back to school, back to reality and back to the daily routine. With your eye on so many different aspects of school life, not least settling in your new starters, it’s all too easy to leave the planning of your open evening to the last minute. Don’t get caught out. Make sure you set aside sufficient time to planning and promoting your event and generally getting everyone on board. Your aim should be to ensure every last detail is absolutely perfect! This is your chance to engage future families, future learners and to get your staff enthused and excited about what you are doing as a learning community.
Don’t let other schools set the standard
So you’ve just realised your open evening is looming and you haven’t even found last year’s presentation!
The reality is: if you don’t get your promotion, programme, presentation material and branding just right, before and during the event, you can be sure there’s a school down the road that will.
Be organised, be ready and be current
There is a real danger that because you’ve done an open event before, that you simply use the old ideas, stock phrases, old material and old format in an attempt to minimise the workload involved. Such a lot happens and changes over the academic year so make sure your event reflects what you are doing here and now.
Our best advice is to think creatively about what parents and pupils want to hear, see and do whilst they are with you – this is a firsthand opportunity to tell everyone why you are the very best school in your area and why you should be their first choice.
Promotion is key
Now is the time to be thinking about how you promote your event – through social media, posters, personal invites, web, billboards, twitter, etc. You also need to consider how you will deliver your keynote address on the evening and what you will say. You need to review your presentation material, including your prospectus, handouts, school handbook and so on to make sure they reflect your current branding and identity and are consistent with what you are saying.
Have you set your date?
Whether you’ve planned your event for September, October or November, or haven’t even thought about it, it’s never too early (or late) to start your prep – at the very least your date should now be set.
This is an opportunity to celebrate your successes, your future and your personality – the things that make your school stand out. From your initial invite, to the refreshments you serve, to the way people are greeted and seated on the night, you need to impress. Don’t forget that your existing students are your greatest ambassadors so if you have a few that are effervescing with positivity and enthusiasm try to get them involved!
There are plenty of creative design businesses out there that can help. INCO Education is one name that many trust.
We’ve helped lots of schools plan some really spectacular open evenings over the years. We like to challenge our clients to think beyond what they’ve done before and explore what’s possible. Visual media is changing and improving all the time, so our philosophy is: let’s use it! Our focus is always on creating an event that spotlights your strengths and achievements," - Amit Sharma, Head of Business Development - INCO.
"One size doesn’t fit all – that’s why we’re ready to pop in and see you, develop a theme that embodies your vision and branding, and then plan and deliver an event that excites and stimulates – from start to finish."
Does your school need help to deliver a really memorable open evening? Contact INCO Education to arrange an informal meeting to discuss the possibilities.