Updated: Feb 12
Did you know that most schools are planning to continue virtual experiences for prospective families? In fact, according to a pulse survey conducted by School Admin, only 3% offered virtual experiences in the past compared to the current 96%.
Although most private schools don't feel virtual experiences will have the same impact as in-person visits, there are some ways to create top-notch experiences for Tours, Appointments, Shadow Days and Community Engagement.
Create a Virtual Admission Center on Your Website
Check out these dynamic virtual admissions centers:
Promote the web page through Facebook Ads, Streaming Platforms, and Emails News.
Here are some tips discussed during a webinar call hosted by School Admin:
Create a strong name for the event such as: "Virtual Visit" or a "Discovery Day" or "Create Your Own Journey."
The shadow day experience could include: attending a class, choice of a club activity from a short menu, and a virtual fitness class with a coach, and a Q and A session with the Office of Admission.
Create a dynamic look on your website. One school created various school ambassador photos with profile info and allowed families to choose an ambassador of their choice for the shadow experience.
By pairing prospects with a Buddy or Ambassador, this allows for interaction after attending classes.
Ambassadors could be based on grade levels, but might work better if aligned with the ambassador's specific strengths and interests (e.g. academics, college applications, athletics, clubs, community service, leadership).
Provide background info and training to ambassadors so they know how to be supportive during the process.
Limit the number of classes to 1-2 maximum and select your best faculty.
Create options so they can join when it is convenient for on-demand or choose from a list of dates.
Develop a polished product that feels authentic, not "manufactured."
Staff Directed Format: Consider some or all of the following: President/Head Intro, Campus Tour (slides or short video), Live Presentations from Faculty or Staff, Parent and Student Testimonials, Admission Application Process, and Q and A session.
Student Directed Format: Ambassadors in top campus venues, Q and A Student Panel with pre-registration required. This approach could include a brief welcome from Admissions, and then immediately move into student responses to questions submitted during the registration process. Admissions could support and interject comments as needed.
Keep it simple. Check out this format: St. Mary's Academy, Portland, OR
Use a Video with Personal Narration - Use an existing video but put audio on mute so you can give a more personal tour as you show off your campus.
Do a Personalized Tour with Phone - Hold your phone as you guide families through the campus as if they are there with you. This is a very personalized approach and could lead to higher conversions if done well with only one family at a time.
Create a Virtual Information Booth for On-Campus Tours. One school had bike riders in front of cars leading the way and other schools are handing out maps as families go through self-guided tours of campus.
Check out how Mt. Airy uses a dynamic format and a simple form for tour sign-ups via WIX: MACA Virtual Tour.
Consider parent or student hosted events and activities, but ensure they are well-planned and align with your school's programs.
Offer activities led by internal staff aligned with actual campus offerings (chess, cooking, gardening, science experiments, cross-fit, college planning, study habits, etc.)
Provide raffle prizes or swag from your school
School Admin: Offers Software, CRM, Enrollment Management Services, Resources, Events and More.
Need some help planning out virtual experiences? Contact us for a complimentary advisory session. We can assist you with the development of promotions, website copy, and more.
Aperture Advisory Associates offers services, including: Enrollment and Marketing Advisory/Coaching Sessions, Website Design and Audits, SEO/SEM, and Copywriting Services for Literature, Social Media, Emails News, and Publicity. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Phone: 760.805.5136 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tip: If you are working by remote, ensure the background in your home looks inviting, warm, and has books or academic oriented materials. It is part of the experience to get to know you. Allow them to do the same - share a trophy, their dog, or something personal.