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I do believe that independent schools in South Africa are changing their approach to Open Days:

  • We are seeing Open Days from schools that previously did not host one
  • There is a more strategic approach being taken by some schools, more tailored, experiential and technology-enabled
  • More collaboration is happening between schools in each region to create a better experience for families as they plan their visits


The List


Here is a list of five great resources you can use in preparing for the big day:

Don’t forget to make the sale

I’m boldly listing this one first although it is a bit cheeky! This is a school marketing blog post I wrote on creating sales opportunities in your school events, especially open day – Promotional material used, the campaign process and using experiential marketing

Nine tips you need for great open day marketing

In this blog post from Ambleglow (UK) we are given nine practical tips with some useful links to more information on customer personas. I especially love No. 2 on this list: ‘Think like a parent’

Open events – Increasing attendance

This is a great 3-minute podcast by Mara Roberts (Australia). She talks about her formula for increased attendance including the registration process and what to do about non-arrivals

10 highly effective ways to promote (and fill up) your school’s Open Houses

This informative Finalsite (USA) blog post from 2019 includes a variety of technology-enabled approaches to boost your event attendance.

Seven open day ideas

This list wouldn’t be complete without come creative input. So, this blog post from Interactive Schools (UK) encourages a creative approach to your Open Day with ways to stand out from the crowd!


How to take a strategic approach


As a marketing strategist, it would be remiss of me not to mention that many of the great tips in the resources above are tactical, and are best selected and applied in the context of a marketing strategy.

This means that, instead of simply making a list of good ideas and things to do, you are building a unique event that optimises the strengths of your specific school in the environment in which you operate, for the families that are most likely to thrive there, and this is in line with your overall goals and objectives.

Speak to me about marketing strategy based on independent market research. I’d love to help! 


Input welcome


Here’s wishing you a great Open Day season for 2020!

Please share any other useful links in the comments, it all helps in preparing for these important events.


I'm Keryn House

I enjoy writing on my niche in marketing strategy for independent schools. I’m inspired by global trends driving change in this sector – from consumer trends to educational trends to market and macro trends.

I like to draw from my background in strategy across multiple sectors as well as my personal and professional journey to craft short conversational and topical pieces.

I hope you feel informed, inspired and supported as readers of this blog from wherever you are in the world. I encourage comments and suggestions on content. Please also connect with me on my social platforms.