5 Open Day Ideas That Will Make Your School Stand Out: A Comprehensive Guide To Hosting Successful Events

two person standing on gray tile paving

Your open day is a chance to show off what makes you successful. It’s a critical part of marketing for schools, showcasing what you have to offer. After all, nothing beats the opportunity to make an indelible first impression.

At The Education Marketing Company, we know about using compelling design for schools to make your open day a standout event. Here’s how to elevate your next open day and extend your marketing reach.


Planning a successful showcase event

Before you begin planning, ask yourself, “What is our product, and how can we market it?” After all, opening your doors to parents and pupils is an opportunity to showcase your USP and build recognition of your Academy branding.

As you allocate planning tasks, think about the following:

Track potential attendance with a registration landing page. By capturing useful data, including email addresses, you can send helpful promotional information during the run-up to the event. Use the same form on the day to track attendance and engagement.

  • Be interactive. Plan a print leaflet with a QR code that links to additional digital content to engage your visitors.
  • Focus on clear messaging to create compelling publicity and prospectus design. Design quality and print for schools can make a positive and long-lasting impression. Check stocks of existing publicity materials and reorder if necessary.
  • Use promotional signage. Well-designed bespoke signage is an effortless way to promote your open day, help visitors navigate your building and showcase your school values.
  • Don’t airbrush. Visitors want to see what’s really on offer, not a photoshopped version. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Do show your school in the best light.
  • Put yourself in parents’ and pupils’ shoes. What do you experience as you move through your school? What shows off your unique learning environment, and what needs a lick of paint or a new lightbulb?

Make your school stand out: 5 open day ideas

Open day should be an interactive and personalised experience catering to several objectives. Cater for parents seeking relevant information through prospectuses and interactive flyers. But remember to be fun and immersive in a way that lets prospective pupils fall in love with your school.

Here are five great open day ideas to make your school stand out:

Showcase your USP

What’s the one thing that makes your school stand out from the competition? Identify your USP and make it the showcase of your event. If you’re an outstanding science-focused academy, let learners get hands-on in the lab. If you have an international scope to your learning, give learners a passport to stamp in every classroom.

Focussing on your USP will create an event that encourages learners and parents to connect directly with your school.

Create pupil ambassadors

Your pupils are your biggest advocates. So harness their knowledge and enthusiasm throughout the day. Not just conducting school tours but in every talk or Q&A.

Connecting your ambassadors with prospective pupils is a great way to alleviate anxieties over starting a new school. Have your ambassadors hand out treasure maps that direct visitors to critical areas around the school. It’s an engaging way to have fun exploring alongside a friendly guide with a tangible and valuable keepsake to take away.

Make the most of AR

Want to pique interest in your school? Augmented reality is an engaging way to overlay your physical environment with digital content. QR codes are a great way to encourage prospective students to discover subject-specific fun facts or tasks to solve.

Theming your open day is a clever way to set yourself apart. Try a Taskmaster theme focusing on science exploration or solving maths tasks. It’s a tactile way to get hands-on with the quality of teaching and engagement in your school. Additionally, it creates a positive lasting impression on prospective students and raises Academy brand awareness for parents.

Go digital

You’ve packed your programme with student events. You’ve organised seminars and Q&As, lab experiments and treasure trails. But how can you engage prospective students who can’t attend?

First, create a buzz with a 360 virtual tour of your school campus. Commission a TV-quality video to showcase your staff and pupils. And live stream your open day, showcasing your school and its environment. Students moving from another catchment area or arriving from abroad will enjoy learning about their new school from the comfort of their sofa.

Extend your engagement

Your open day doesn’t end when the school gates close. And sometimes, they generate additional questions after the event. Continue engaging parents and students using carefully managed social media to build on the open day buzz. Then follow up using platforms like Facebook and YouTube to provide valuable, engaging content that reinforces your school brand.


Strategic marketing for schools from The Education Marketing Company

At The Education Marketing Company, we’re committed to helping you market your school from open day to enrollment and beyond. We have the tools, talent and expertise to help you stand out, so contact The Education Marketing Company team today.