Open Day season is coming to an end for most of us but that’s not to say that we should forget about it too quickly just yet. If a prospective parent or family, has taken the time out of their busy schedule to come to your Open Day, that should just be the start of the conversation. We must take the time to both reflect and follow-up, in order to maximise our opportunity to recruit pupils. Here we share some useful advice and guidance on your next steps and preparations:
Hopefully your Admissions personnel will be inundated with a list of prospective families who attended, who will both need adding to your prospective parent database and a follow-up phone call. And of course, there will be those who said they were attending, but didn’t turn up. Timeliness is all important here and this must be an absolute priority. If you need to draft in extra resources, to ensure this happens, make sure you do so. The first round of follow-up calls should be completed within the first few days of the Open Day visit.
For those who didn’t make it, there can be a variety of reasons for this – never assume they are just not interested. Your aim on this follow up phone call should be to organise a personal visit at a time and date to suit them.
Various staff will have had interactions with the families who came around – ensure you talk to them after the event and glean any information you can.
Take the opportunity to research the parents who visited. Is there an area where you provide refreshments, where a member of staff could hand out feedback forms, or have a tablet on hand with our instant feedback questionnaire? Keep feedback forms brief but aim to gain an understanding of where they heard about the Open Day, what they thought of the overall visit, the ethos of the school, their priorities in a school and of course, their likelihood to join – this will help focus the efforts of your Admissions personnel. In the absence of feedback forms, the Admissions staff will be able to ask some brief questions in their follow-up calls.
Don’t forget to share any positive feedback with your staff, who have often given up their valuable evenings/ weekends to be there. Ensure you thank them and share any positive feedback you have.
Within a couple of weeks of the Open Day, aim to meet with the Senior Management Team to share your findings and learn from your feedback so that you can plan for the next one to be even better!
Next time, why not enlist the help of one of our mystery shoppers? We’ve mystery shopped over 100 schools this year – these are an ideal opportunity for schools to understand how prospective parents’ experiences might be enhanced, ensuring you convert more of your prospective parents to joiners.