If you are starting a school or trying to boost enrollment at a charter or private school, you may want to advertise your school with a booth at an expo. This is a great way to get into the community and talk to them face to face about your school. However, if you want the expo to be successful, there are several tips to keep in mind:
1. Give away custom rulers or something else advertising your school.
Ideally, every person who comes to your booth should leave with adequate details about the school. Pamphlets and brochures work, but also give away some small items with your name and phone number on them. Custom rulers are ideal.
Design your custom rulers in your school colors to make them festive, and then hand them out to attendees. Even if the student doesn't end up attending your school, they may use the ruler at their existing school, and when other kids or parents see your school's name on the ruler, it helps to build awareness of your school.
2. Have something for children to do.
So that you can engage with parents in the booth, have something for kids to do. For example, set up a small table with some art supplies, rulers, and paper so that they can draw, or have some Legos out. If your school is targeted to junior-high or high-school kids, find ways to involve them in the conversation.
3. Bring students from your school.
An expo is more than just a place to hand out free items—it's also a face-to-face marketing opportunity, and in most cases, the strongest "salespeople" for your school are your students. Bring some students along. That helps you to get on the level of any students that visit your booth, as student can often be more approachable than a teacher or an administrator. Alternatively, have students walking around the event handing out free custom rulers, balloons or other items and inviting families back to the booth to learn more about the school.
4. Promote the event yourself.
In most cases, when you do an expo, the expo producer advertises the show for you. However, if possible, you should also do a bit of your own advertising. Namely, if you have a database full of names, you should email everyone, let them know that you are going to be at this event and invite them to come see your booth with their friends.
5. Collect names.
Finally, make sure that you collect as many names as possible for marketing after the show. Use a signup sheet to collect names, or make a basket of free school supplies featuring pens, notebooks, rulers, art supplies, and other items and raffle it off. As people sign up for your free school supply raffle, you will collect names for marketing.