THE ONLY OPEN DAY CHECKLIST YOU’LL NEED
If you’re a university marketer you know soon as the mid year madness is over it’s BOOM! straight into the mayhem of Open Day. The best way to avoid the mayhem is to start planning now.
With that in mind, here’s a simple checklist for you to help make sure your Open Day is the best Open Day it can be.
It’s never too early to start planning your Open Day. Start by setting clear objectives, establishing responsibilities and outlining the desired outcomes. Circulate a timeline and book regular meetings with key staff, with actions and responsibilities clearly articulated.
2. FIRST THINGS FIRST
Begin by reviewing last years Open Day, what worked, what didn’t. Start internal recruiting early. Garner staff support and begin talking up your message. Early stakeholder engagement keeps everyone in the loop and ensures surprises are kept to a minimum.
3. CLEAR MESSAGING
Every event needs a theme or simple message. How can your Open Day message tie in with your brand message? Ensure messaging is consistent through all touch-points by sharing your Open Day theme with all involved parties.
4. SHOW THEM SUCCESS
Universities are chosen for many reasons but showcasing your successful alumni is a valuable way to win the confidence of parents and potential students. Either in person, using case study videos or poster testimonials telling their story of success. Current students who can act as ambassadors for the day are also a wonderful way to promote the university.
Tell them all about it. Communicate the date, location and why they should come. Make your content shareable on social media, house all the program information on your website (with a simple URL) and promote highlights and key events to your target audience.
6. AMBIENCE – HAVE SOME FUN
Yours should be the Open Day that everyone knows about. Make sure it’s got the latest technology, plenty of food and great music. Check out our blog 4 Ways To Rock Your Open Day for the latest and greatest in event technology.
Create something that people can become a part of. Provide mini classes, create an on the spot competition, give them something they can make to take home. Even better, make things people will want to share in social media to amplify your reach.
8. WALK IN THEIR SHOES
Think about what a potential student or their parents want to see. Develop a walking tour that takes them on that journey. You could create different tours for different journeys. ‘A day in the life of a Science student’ or ‘what my first day at uni will feel like’. Ask current students to take these tours so they can answer questions honestly and candidly. But choose current students wisely!
9. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
Use live videos, Snapchat and Instagram stories to stream parts of the Open Day. Make sure your events and programs are captured on video and photography for later use in social media, your website gallery and promotions.
10. FOLLOW UP
Make data capture a priority. Provide incentives for giving data (promotions or games) that are simple and seamless. Think smart phone. Collect key information from potential students and parents. Send them some correspondence within 48 hours of your event.
11. REVIEW AND DOCUMENT
Be sure to ask for staff and student feedback so you can collate an Open Day ‘wrap up’ document. List the things that worked well, and the things that didn’t. Brainstorm some new ideas for next year while it’s fresh in your mind.
Whatever you do. Start it now!