Open houses are the most excellent way to induce parents to sign their children up your centre. But for an open house to be an effective advertising tool, there are some pre open-house preparations to be made and a budget allocated. What you want to is create an unforgettable occurrence for both the parents and the kid.
Open houses should be over the weekends so that the working parents can check out your centre at an unhurried pace. It can be in excess of one weekend or if funds permit, offer it over two or three weekends.
Promoting your open house
There are several ways to guarantee that news of your open house is reached.
- Put up a banner, with the date and time of your open house, about two weeks before your actual open house.
- Take up an announcement in the local papers announcing your open house.
- Put up notices in several high traffic areas as doable such as local cafes and eating places. Do not forget to put it up your own centre so that the other parents are informed. Nothing beats word of mouth publicity.
- Print flyers and allocate it at high transfer areas in and around your area a week prior to your open house.
Pre event preparations
- Do some spring cleaning. Make sure that the centre is neat and tidy, no wires exposed, the books and notes neatly stacked, dirty stains painted over, etc.
- Frame up all your the licenses and awards and put them up. Pin up nice photographs of children’s activities and their drawings.
- Make sure that all the necessary materials are ready and inserted into nice presentation folders. Items include set of courses, time table, food menu, etc. Prepare a few sets.
- Prepare a nice little album / scrapbook of photographs
Open house programme
- Make sure that you have enough brochures for the parents to bring home.
- Ensure that you have lots of employment forms and writing materials available
- Prepare a curriculum for the children e.g. face painting, art and craft, story telling, etc.
- Ensure that you have sufficient helpers on the day of your open house
- Prepare some snacks and light refreshments
- If budget permits, arrange small little door gifts and give it to them as they depart, if possible with the name of your centre printed. Examples of door gift as car decals or balloons.
After the open house is ended, the work is not done yet. Keep in mind to follow up on all your leads. Write little notes on the form such as when to follow up with them, etc so that you do not forget. Systematize and file them in an orderly manner. One proposal is to file them according to when they said that they will sign up, so that you know when to trail up.
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