How to Connect With Families Through School Open Day Events

How to Connect With Families Through School Open Day Events

December 5, 2022 / blog / Comments (0)

Connecting with families should be the main objective of your school’s marketing department when it comes to school open day events.


‘School Open Day Event’. Unfortunately, many schools still struggle to make the kinds of meaningful, lasting connections that actually boost enrollment.


The solution? More time spent face-to-face with potential parents and students—or, in other words, school open days.


In this article, The School Agency will be exploring open day events in greater detail—including tips and tricks for making them work. We’ll be discussing the importance of planning ahead, best practices for conducting an open day event, and how to measure the success of your efforts.

Open Days: The Basics

An open day is any event that welcomes the public to your school.


This definition is an important one. Many people assume that an open day means an open house (i.e., a guided tour for potential parents and students). And while open houses are certainly an important tool in your marketing tool set, they aren’t the only.


Open houses appeal to parents who are on the hunt for a school for their children—either currently or in the very near future. If open houses are the extent of your event marketing strategy, you’re missing out on years of potential face-to-face time with your target audience.

Why Are School Open Day Events So Important?

Open days are an incredibly powerful marketing tool because they provide face-to-face, real-time interaction with potential parents and students.


But what makes face-to-face interaction so important? Here are a few key reasons:


  • Non-Verbal Communication: Studies consistently show that 70-90% of communication is nonverbal. This means that words and body language are equally important when it comes to making a lasting impression on potential members of your community.
  • Personalization: Face-to-face events provide the perfect opportunity for you to personalize each family’s experience with your school. Personalization is one of the most powerful marketing tactics you can use, as it allows you to build relationships that extend beyond enrollment season.
  • Data Collection: Open days are also an ideal way to collect valuable data on prospective families. This includes contact information, survey responses, and more.


There are many more benefits to open day events, but those listed above should suffice in demonstrating the impact they can have on your school’s enrollment rates.

How to Plan Effective School Open Day Events

Planning effective open day events can be time-consuming, resource-intensive, and  stressful. But with the right strategy in place, you can make sure that your open day is a success.

1. Get Inside the Mind of Your Target Market(s)

The goal is simple—choose a target market and create an event that they’ll want to attend. To do this, you need to understand who you’re targeting, what they’re looking for in a school, and what event will demonstrate the trait or characteristic they’re looking for.


If the market you’re targeting is parents, then you should be asking questions like:

school open day

  • What do the parents I’m targeting want from a school (e.g., creative support)?
  • What kinds of events will demonstrate that value (e.g., choir competition)?

2. Get Stakeholders Involved in the Planning Process

Open day events require effort and buy-in from multiple stakeholders. This includes teachers, staff members, faculty, and even parents and students.


Each of these stakeholders will bring a unique perspective to the planning process, so it’s important to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute. This could include creating surveys, having brainstorming sessions, or just engaging in open discussions with stakeholders about their ideas for the event.

3. Create an Event Timeline and Plan

With your stakeholders on board, it’s time to create an event timeline and plan. This should include all the tasks that need to be completed before and during the open day, as well as who will be responsible for each task.


It’s important to create a timeline with enough wiggle room for unexpected changes or delays. If something does happen to go off-schedule, you’ll want to make sure that the team is prepared and organized enough to adjust accordingly.

4. Promote Your Event

No matter how great your event is, no one will show up if they don’t know it’s happening. That’s why it’s important to promote your open day event as much as possible.


This could include creating ads on social media, sending out email blasts to local families, and even running radio or TV ads in the area. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your message is clear and concise so that potential guests understand why they should attend.

5. Track Event Metrics

Once your open day event is over, it’s important to track the metrics associated with it. This includes:


  • Attendance numbers
  • Survey responses
  • Follow-up inquiries

school open day event

All this data will give you a better idea of how effective your open day was and what you can do differently in the future.

5 Effective Open Day Event Ideas

So, now we know why open day events are so essential—but what kind of events should you be hosting? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Open Houses

The classic open house is still a great way to create meaningful connections with potential families. Try to schedule your tours at regular intervals throughout the year and provide guided sessions for parents and students alike.

2. Educational Workshops

Why not offer workshops to demonstrate how your school can add value beyond academics? For example, you could hold a workshop on how parents can help their kids excel in music or sports.

3. Parent & Student Mixers

Create an event that allows students and parents alike to mingle with staff and teachers in a relaxed, informal setting. This is a great way to make sure everyone has the chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.

4. Open Day Picnics

Take your open day event outdoors and host a school picnic for the whole community! Not only is this an easy way to welcome prospective families, but it’s also a great opportunity for current staff and students to form stronger connections with one another.

5. Community Events

Look for opportunities to collaborate with local businesses, organizations, and charities in order to create unforgettable community events that showcase the spirit of your school in action.

How The School Agency Can Help

Organizing an open day event and your school’s marketing strategy in general takes a lot of time and effort—and that’s where The School Agency comes in.


We have decades of experience helping school’s around the Middle East plan and execute school marketing strategies that drive results.  We can handle everything from designing promotional materials and creating marketing plans to organizing events that will make a lasting impression with prospective families.


Want to learn more? Contact us today!


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