The goal of every admissions event is to create a memorable, interactive experience that highlights your school's curriculum, activities, and culture. And the right event can make all the difference with prospective families — it can be the start of a meaningful relationship even before a child's experience as an official student begins.
But instead of the usual open houses, webinars, and campus tours, which, let's be honest, can sometimes feel a little…repetitive, there’s a chance to host an event that will show off what your school offers AND get families excited about being a part of it.
The challenge is to reimagine these events and infuse them with a spirit that prompts families to attend not out of formality but genuine interest and curiosity.
Whether your school's strengths lie in STEM, the humanities, arts, sports, or community service, it’s time to go BIG and offer creative ideas for your admission events that will stand out and make families feel welcome and involved right from the start.
STEM-Focused Admission Event Ideas
- Drone Challenge: Arrange a drone obstacle race or aerial photography challenge to showcase your school's tech skills and the exciting aspects of engineering and programming.
- Code-A-Thon: Have a coding marathon where students showcase their coding projects. Offer mini workshops or crash courses where prospective students can learn coding basics.
- Robotics Expo: Showcase your school's robotics program by having current students present their robotics projects and demonstrations. Prospective families can interact with the robots or participate in mini-challenges.
- Science Escape Room: Create an "escape room" that requires participants to solve science-based problems to make their way out. This provides an interactive, fun way to showcase your science curriculum.
Academic-Focused Admission Event Ideas
- Literary Festival: Invite local authors for talks, organize creative writing workshops, and have dramatic readings of students' work. This highlights your school's focus on literature and language arts.
- Living History Museum: Set up booths representing a different era or culture, where students present various historical events or figures. Attendees can "travel through time" to learn from your history curriculum.
- Global Policy Debate: Ask your Model UN Club or Debate Team to hold a mock debate on international policies. It showcases your social studies curriculum and the critical thinking skills of your students.
- Geography Bee: Host a geography bee where students answer questions about world geography in a fun, quiz-show-style format. This would highlight the school's emphasis on global awareness.
- Project Showcase: Have students showcase projects that involve real-world problem-solving. This could include anything from building a mini solar-powered car to creating a sustainable city model.
Among its numerous virtual admissions events, Dunn School held a webinar featuring its entrepreneurship program, showing how current students are sharpening their business and financial skills.
- Academic Olympics: Host a competition with various academic challenges in different subjects. This could include quick-fire quiz rounds, and creative problem-solving tasks. It would allow prospective families to see the range of your curriculum.
Breck School hosts several admissions events, including its Curriculum Night. Collecting registrations is easy with Finalsite Enrollment, and with just a few clicks on its events calendar, families can register, and the school can have their information pulled into its enrollment management system.
- Your School's Got Talent: Arrange a talent show featuring performances by current students in different categories, like music, drama, dance, or art. It can be entertaining and also showcase the diverse talents at your school. Ask some high-profile faculty or trusted students to be a judge.
- Interactive Science Fair: Organize a science fair where students exhibit their projects. Include hands-on workshops or experiments so the visiting families can participate, which makes it more interactive and engaging.
- Language Café: Showcase your school's language programs by setting up “language cafés” where each booth is a different country. Families can learn basic phrases, taste traditional food, and learn about the culture.
- Time Travel Day: Dress up the school to represent different eras and take families on a tour through time, teaching them about various historical periods and showing off your history curriculum.
- Student-led Seminars: Arrange for some of your high-achieving students to deliver seminars on topics they are passionate about. This demonstrates the confidence and competence of your students to prospective families.
Financial aid sessions, student life, visual arts, and music — there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about different facets of Loomis Chaffee on its admissions event page.
- Subject-based Experiences: Create immersive experiences for each subject. For example, transform the science lab into a chemistry magic show, the history room into a time machine, or the music room into a live student concert.
Morning breakfasts, shadow days, and the perfectly-branded Tiny Hearts children’s program make up just some of the admissions events at Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr.
Sports-Themed Admission Event Ideas
- Sports Clinics: Arrange a day or week of sports clinics run by the school's athletic department and student-athletes. Prospective families can participate or just observe.
The Key School offers a baseball clinic as part of its admissions events lineup — a great way to get community members on campus to experience your facilities.
- School Mini-Olympics: Organize a mini-Olympics where families compete in fun, family-friendly events. This could include both physical activities and brain games to engage everyone.
Getting Admission Events on the Calendar
Going live and implementing these events should be a part of your overall school promotion strategy, and creating an online calendar for your school's admission events is a great way to do this.
Having a well-organized and up-to-date calendar for admissions events will allow prospective families to easily find and mark their calendars for these special events.
The best calendars for schools keep families in the loop about what's happening, just like Kent Place School's admissions events calendar. With Finalsite’s Calendar module, families can subscribe to the calendars that matter most to them and receive instant alerts when changes are made to an event. With flexible design options, your calendars can be displayed in a grid, list, or slideshow — and beautifully embedded directly into your website for a mobile-friendly and seamless experience.
Chicago City Day School pulls these elements together on its admissions events page. With a mobile-friendly form embedded directly onto its events page, registration is easy for its admissions open houses and morning coffee events.
The registration form is where families officially sign up for your events. Keep your online form simple and user-friendly. Here's what you'll need:
- Basic Information: Collect essential details like name, email, phone number, and the grade level of the student(s). If the event is in-person, you should also ask for the number of attendees.
- Event Selection: Include a drop-down menu or checkboxes for families to select the event(s) they want to attend. If you have multiple events, allow them to register for all that apply.
- Submit Button: Lastly, have a clear 'submit' button. Once clicked, an automated confirmation email should be sent to the registrant, confirming their registration and providing additional information.
Using these elements in your event registration page and form can create a seamless experience for families and ensure they have all the information they need to enjoy your events.
Remember, the key to these events is that they are interactive and involve the families in a fun, meaningful way. A comprehensive website and admissions page with event calendars and seamless registration forms can share important information and take care of logistics, but your events are a chance to highlight the people and programs that truly make your school unique.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.