Generating Leads at High School Open Houses
Many high schools sponsor open houses or "back to school nights" each fall about a month after school starts. The primary reason for these events is for parents to meet their children's teachers, but they often also serve as an introduction to extracurricular activities. In some cases, parents spend most of the event visiting their child's classrooms, but they also pass a few times through the main gym, for initial registration, and during any periods in which their child doesn't have a class. The gym holds a bazaar, where various school groups have tables set up to publicize what they're doing.
When AFS can gain permission to have a table at the event, it can be a relatively quick way to generate sending and hosting leads.
Getting permission to participate can be easier in schools where there already is an exchange or AFS club, but that is not always required.
Logistics of the Event
The work here is discovering how to get in. This could take 5 minutes for someone who already knows the school, or it could take some asking around, making phone calls, and leaving messages that don't get returned. This work is best done prior to September. The information to obtain is:
- When is the event?
- Who allows organizations to participate, and what is that person's contact information?
- Is it permissible for AFS or an exchange club to have a presence?
- How does AFS register to participate?
Staffing the Event
Staffing is a very do-able ad-hoc assignment for one or two volunteers—for example, one each for Sending and Hosting. A new sending parent, hosting parent or recent returnee could co-staff this with a more seasoned volunteer.
- A poster or sign letting people know who you are. A large standing or table banner works best to draw people's attention. Your TDS may already have one available, or you can make a request here.
- Find materials to hand out at the event on the Field Hub, or create your own using DesignShop.
If you have any questions regarding available materials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.