Does your school host annual or seasonal community events? The Autumn Fair, Harvest Festival, Christmas Bazaar, Spring Carnival, Summer Picnic — the list goes on. For some schools, these events, while being acknowledged as fun, are perceived as problematic both in their organization, budgeting, and final approval (for things like fire safety, insurance, on-site security, and medical service, etc.).
The truth, however, is that no matter much trouble they may be to organize, community events are a powerful tool in your school’s marketing arsenal. Any school lacking in quality community events is failing to take advantage of a huge opportunity.
First, they generate cohesion within your existing parent and student community.
Families coming together for school events allows community members to meet, socialize, and get to know new people. As the bonds of your community strengthen, so too does the overall school spirit grow and prosper. A cohesive community can achieve more together, and will better be able to face challenges such as those foisted upon us by the global onset of COVID-19.
Second, they are a chance to showcase your students’ talent.
Students can lead their own activities, games, and stalls at community events. They can even take responsibility for organizing and executing the entire event themselves. These demonstrations of student talent, leadership, initiative, and community care are among the most valuable marketing resources you could possibly have as a school. Not only do existing parents get validation for their investment in your school, but prospective parents are suitable impressed, too. This brings us neatly to the next point.
Third, they act as a kind of giant “living ad” for prospective families.
Many community events are open to the entire wider community, and not just current school families. This means that in one stroke, you can have dozens or many hundreds of parents coming to see your campus, understand your school culture, view your student talent, and more all in one fun day.
These events are a comprehensive promotional platform for nearly every single aspect of your school. Some places even organize campus tours for new parents on the day of their event as a way to more directly promote their facilities and attract new community members. Reading about your school on a website or in promotional material is one thing, but seeing it in action has a much more powerful and meaningful pull.
Fourth, they solidify your reputation and school brand.
If your brand is about community, care, empowering students to take action, and other similar ideas, then a community event is an ideal way to put these tenets into practice. It’s easy to attach these words to logos, or insert them into promotional videos, but seeing them being lived and embodied in the community as it celebrates an annual event is more effective.