Whether you’re a school administrator or event organizer, annual school events are a big part of your calendar. They serve as opportunities to showcase student talent, showcase the school to parents, or simply give students the chance to enjoy themselves in a fun social setting. When you set these events up, there is a lot to consider. From budget to permits, there are numerous factors to put together.
However, there is one thing that can sometimes get overlooked. This is the event promotion. Of course, it’s easy to assume that students and parents expect annual school events and will show up for them. This is not always the case. Many people might not keep an eye on these things, and need to be reminded or invited. This is where promoting your annual school events comes in. You need to spread the word in order to get the best attendance possible. Here are a few ideas for promoting these annual school events.
Share Your Event Schedule
Make sure you share your school event schedule at the beginning of the year. In most cases, your school will have decided the dates for most of these events well in advance, so that they don’t clash with exams or college applications. You can click here to create some cool things.
Share this schedule on your online mediums and put it up around school as well. Send it home with your students as well, so that their parents are also aware of the tentative dates. This way, people will know when these events will be, and prepare accordingly.
Send out Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are a great way to keep reminding your students and their parents about annual school events. Make sure you share details about upcoming school events in relevant editions. These newsletters should promote these events, and also give people details about the timings, venue, and requirements.
If there are any themes or voting involved, such as for a Homecoming dance, then start the conversation in these regular newsletters. Set up polls and registration links as well, so that people can use their online student portals to participate in these annual school events.
Run Social Media Campaigns
Your school probably has some sort of social media presence. Ideally, this should already be well-managed and populated with pictures from older events. Also, make sure you add event pages for your upcoming editions as well.
Utilize countdown features on tools such as Instagram to keep reminding your audience about your events. Make sure you have a number of posts set up to share before, during, and after your school events. This will serve you well over the coming years too.
Use Video Content
Videos are very helpful when it comes to attracting a younger audience. Share videos of previous events, and also create teasers for upcoming events. Involve your school’s pep rally and AV clubs to make these videos. This will help make your students feel involved, and also get the word out about your events.
Make sure these videos are well-edited, and then share them across your social media platforms. Encourage students to share them around as well. It’s best to make these videos as engaging and fun as possible to ensure they go as far as you need.
Partner with Local Businesses
This is a great way to promote your school events as well as fund them. Partner with local businesses for certain elements like healthy food options, decor, and more. Make sure you promote these businesses in return in your marketing collateral and online materials. However, do check your area’s regulations regarding these kinds of partnerships. If you work at a public school, you might not be allowed to go for commercial opportunities.
However, if you host fundraisers, there is more of a chance for local businesses to get involved. This way, it won’t be a direct marketing partnership, but both of you will benefit.
Create Attractive Posters & Flyers
While these are classic ways, posters and flyers are still very effective. Make attractive ones on PosterMyWall, print them out, and then put them around school. Share them around town, and also send flyers home with your students.
This will remind people about your annual school events and also hype them up. Make sure you only share these with relevant people to keep your student body safe.
Set up Registration Desks
There’s a reason high school shows still show event signup desks in this day and age. Face-to-face interaction is an essential part of the school experience, and event sign up desks are quintessential. Set these up a few weeks before relevant events, and have people sign up.
You can have physical lists or more commonly, set up a laptop or two for students to enter their details. If you’re having ticketed events, use these desks to sell these tickets.
Utilize School Announcements
One traditional yet effective way to promote school events is through daily or weekly school announcements. Most schools have a system in place where they communicate important information to students and staff. Include your event in these announcements to remind everyone about it. You can announce key details like the date, time, and location, or any special activities that might be part of the event.
Offer Incentives for Early Registration
To boost attendance, consider offering special perks to those who register for the event early. This can include small giveaways, front-row seats, or any other small incentives that might be attractive to your audience. This encourages people to commit to attending the event well in advance, giving you a better sense of how many will attend.
Involve Teachers and Staff
Teachers and other staff members can play a critical role in promoting school events. They interact with students every day and can act as influencers within the school. Encourage them to talk about the event in class or to display promotional materials in their rooms. Some teachers might even incorporate the event into their lessons or extra credit opportunities.
Engage Student Leaders and Clubs
Student leaders and clubs often have a large following in school. They can use this influence to help promote the event. Whether it’s the student council, sports teams, or hobby clubs, each group can reach different parts of the student body. They can share information in meetings, distribute flyers, or use their social media platforms to increase awareness.
Offer Group Discounts or Packages
If the event has a ticket price, consider offering discounts for group purchases. Families or friends are more likely to attend if they can get a deal. You can also create packages that include extras like food vouchers, merchandise, or VIP access to make the deal even more enticing.
Use Local Media Outlets
Don’t underestimate the power of local newspapers or community bulletins to spread the word. Send out a press release or offer to do interviews to promote the event. This not only informs the community but also adds a level of credibility and importance to your event.
Feedback Loop: Post-Event Surveys After the event, consider sending out a survey to those who attended. Ask what they enjoyed and what can be improved. This information is invaluable for planning future events and ensures that you meet the expectations of your audience. Plus, a follow-up keeps the event fresh in people’s minds and builds anticipation for next year’s event.
By incorporating these additional strategies into your promotion plan, you’re more likely to increase attendance and make your annual school events a success. Start planning early and use multiple methods to reach your entire audience.