Top Tips for a School Open Day

A school Open Day is a fantastic way to showcase your school facilities, staff and students and help increase your online applications.

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Open Days for 2021 are now in full swing and will continue for the next couple of months. They are a great way to showcase your school and require a bit of planning to make the most out of the day. The main question is 'how do you manage your attendees?'. And how do you make sure that all who attend are captured in your school CRM? Here are a few of our top tips:

1. Staggered starting times

Our statistics report that most people tend to arrive during the first 2 hours of your major event - even if it is scheduled for 4 or 5 hours. This can be problematic when social distancing restrictions apply. To help with traffic flow, consider staggered entry times. To do this, use your event booking system to set up multiple versions of the same event and cap the registrations for each time slot. For example, if your event runs from 10am - 2pm, think about making an event for 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am and 12pm. This allows you to set capacities for each slot. Your reminders will inform people when to arrive.

2. Reminder Emails 

It's very easy to send bulk email reminders using EnrolHQ. We recommend you send your reminder 48 hours prior to the event. If you already have Event Auto-Reminders setup (hint - you'll know as you'll see it listed under Email Settings > Automated Emails), you may not need to send another reminder. However, if you don't, it's not a major hassle. Here are the steps to take:

  1. To send a bulk reminder, navigate to Contacts > All and chose Show More in the filters along the top - this will give you access to the Event filter.
  2. Choose the specific Event from the dropdown and select all by checking the top left checkbox.
  3. Under bulk actions menu on the top right, select Bulk Email.
  4. Choose your subject line and copy and paste something like the text below into the body of the email.
  5. Click preview to view the merged records before you send. (Hint: you can navigate through the whole set of emails you are about to send by using the left and right toggles. )

Example of text to paste into the body of the email (the tags will be replaced by the actual details from the database during sending):

Dear {{ first_parent.first_name }} {{ first_parent.last_name }},

We are looking forward to meeting you and your family at our {{}} starting at {{ event.time }}.
Please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your session time so we can greet you.
Parking and directions can be found on the following attachment.

Thank you.

{{ signature.registrar }}

3. Prepare a gift for each attendee

We recommend you have something ready to exchange for asking people to give up their personal details on the day (that is if they haven't already pre-registered). Some schools waive the application fee if people attend Open Day, while some give a sample bag, and some do both :)

Whatever you do, it's a great idea to reward our attendees for signing up. The key is to get everyone on the train as soon as they arrive on-site.

There's an actual psychology behind giving things away. Social psychologists call it The Law of Reciprocity and it basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed. 

4. Systemise the process.

Have a well thought out system. 


  • Parent checks in
  • Parent gets a sample bag
  • Then gets assigned to next Tour group
  • Then gets a water bottle and additional gift to add to the sample bag. Sample bag should get filled up along the way i.e. items not given all at once. This provides multiple opportunities to give gifts. 
  • Then gets directed to the enrolments tent. And so on...

This way you don't have any confusion on who is giving out what, when and why. It will also allow you to adhere to a Covid-safe route throughout your school. 

5. Tell a great story 

I think a memorable tour is when a great story is interwoven into the tour script - authentically delivered of course. For example, tell the student Tour Guides to reference particular items around the school that have particular meaning to them or the school as they travel. This could be a statue or a plague or a tree - objects of significance. Then as the gift, you might give out a pen with the same inscribed message, or a photo of the family with their guides under the tree to tie the story together.  Creating meaningful memories around your tour is important - as the aim is to make the family feel connected.

6.  Set up Laptops or iPads for people who have not registered but turn up anyway

Use the kiosk check-in URL (or create your own specific Kiosk event if you are using multiple staggered time events), and set up 3-4 laptops on bar tables. The kiosk page on EnrolHQ is designed to refresh back to the start after people complete the registration form. It is the same form as if they had filled in the form via the website, but it checks them in at the same time and doesn't send the thank you email. People that have not pre-registered should be directed to this area to check-in.  Once checked in, parents should be given their sample bag and students should be standing-by, ready to start a tour. 

7. Create a check-in script that references the incentive

Hi Welcome, Have you pre-registered today?

Yes - Great - let me check you in so I can give you a Welcome bag and assign a Tour guide.

No - That's totally fine. Can you please fill in a registration form on one of the computers over here so we can give you a sample bag and assign a Tour guide. Someone will be able to assist if you have any questions at the check-in desk.

8. Follow up after the event

Of course, we recommend following up the day after the event through EnrolHQ. Again, using the filters and bulk actions you can filter on those that attended and those who did not attend. By cross referencing with their enrolment status and grade of entry you can tailor the message to ask them to either start an application, keep in touch or submit an expression of interest.

Published: 23 Feb 2021

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