So, you’ve spent the last few months researching destinations, travel providers and debating travel itineraries. The School board has given you the go-ahead to run the trip and you have found a suitable travel date. Now you need to get the students signed up and the parents on board - Simple! Well, almost. That’s where our ultimate guide to promoting a school trip to parents and students comes in handy.
Getting your educational school trip off the ground isn’t always as straightforward as this. Trips often fail to take off due to low sign up numbers. This can be frustrating especially after the amount of work that goes into getting a trip to this stage.
The most effective way to promote a school trip is by ticking all the boxes for students and parents alike. These audiences are very different, but it’s essential that you speak to both of them. An enthusiastic student can persuade a parent to let them go on a trip just as easily as a keen parent can encourage a student onto one! A successful advertising campaign for your trip is essential to get parents and students on board. Unfortunately, you don't have the luxury of unlimited time to craft the perfect marketing strategy.
That's why we’ve created this ultimate guide to promoting a school trip to make advertising your trip as easy as possible and have the biggest impact. Less time spent on advertising means more time to do the things you care about most, like teaching.
Inside this guide, you will find:
Promoting Your School Trip to Students
Students primary interest in a school trip will always be to have fun. While it's important students know what will be learnt, they will be especially interested in the exciting activities on offer. Spending time away from home, and having a holiday with your friends are good points to focus on too.
We’ve broken the process of communicating with students down into 3 stages:
Firstly, you have to make students aware that a trip is happening and there are various ways to do this. Make an announcement to students during class. Ask your colleagues to tell their classrooms about the trip. Hand out flyers with inspiring photos, key information and the top activities included. The best opportunity to reach the biggest audience will be during assembly. This is a great chance to convey all the required information in a short space of time!
- Showing video footage or pictures of the key activities is also a great way to create excitement.
- Put your trip on the School’s Intranet, include a sample itinerary and information on the top activities.
- Write a short article or advert in the school newspaper/bulletin or get on the school’s radio for a quick chat. Showcase trip posters in popular areas of the school, and hand out flyers to relevant classes. We have ready-made poster and flyer templates that teachers can use to advertise with.
Educate & Empower
Arrange a meeting during break time for students, this is a great chance to get the first students on board and answer any questions they might have. If you can get a small group of ‘early adopters’ on board they can act as advocates and get others involved too.
Make it Fun
The language used between advertising to parents and students should be different. With the students, the aim is to excite them and create a buzz around the trip. Keep your content light on logistic details and heavy on the fun!
What can you do to ‘keep it fun’
Outline the top activities
Talk up the experience of being away from parents - It’s a holiday with their friends after all!
Show trip videos such as:
If the school has run similar trips in the past you could show pictures/videos of those trips. Or, ask a student who attended the trip to give a talk on their experience.
Promoting Your School Trip to Parents
You could have every single student in school interested, but if you can’t convince the parents of the trip’s value, you’ll struggle to get the sign-ups. Parents will need informative resources, detailed itineraries including logistical, financial and educational details. Your communication with parents must be professional and focused on educational benefits. The benefits of school travel extend far beyond the walls of the classroom. Key benefits include reinforcing classroom learning, providing real-world learning opportunities while developing social skills. Students will also build independence while creating life-long memories with friends. Your role as trip organiser is to put forward these benefits and communicate the value of the trip. Parents and students alike will be desperate to join the trip if you do this.
We’ve broken down communicating with parents into 3 steps:
Announce & Inform
Give Students letters to take home outlining all the most important details, and informing them of an information evening.
If possible add the trip to your school’s website and social media pages.
Contact through a school emailing list.
Contact the parent-teacher associations and get the wider school community involved.
Educate & Empower
The aim of this evening is to inform parents of the travel arrangements, itinerary and outline the key educational activities of the trip. You will have the opportunity to address any concerns parents may have, explain who you will be travelling with and communicate interesting trip facts! It can be beneficial to have a representative from your school travel provider there to answer any more detailed questions. A parents evening is also your opportunity as trip leader to show the parents that you are responsible and passionate about their children's education. Using a powerpoint presentation is a great way to convey all the required information while keeping your presentation on track. Hosting a Q&A at the end of the evening is crucial in developing a relationship. Enthusiastic parents can become incredible advocates for your trip. If you have a few very keen parents it can make a world of difference in getting it off the ground!
Continue the conversation
Create a social media page on facebook or twitter. This is a great way to show parents that their kids are safe and having a great time! Taking videos during and after activities is a great way to reinforce educational learning. Sending your child abroad can seem like a daunting idea. A social media page helps reassure parents that they will be able to keep up to date with what’s happening on the trip!
Ensure there is a clear process and deadline for accepting deposits, and payments. If you plan to fundraise part of the trip, create a calendar (or download our sample calendar) include key payment dates and fundraising activities.Communicate exactly what the fundraising target is and what the remaining payable balance will be. We send payment reminders to our clients ahead of time with useful resources to make collecting payments as easy as possible.
- Ask students or teachers who have travelled before to talk about the trip.
- Show a slideshow of pictures and videos from previous school trips.
- Get your colleagues on board early to help advocate your trip. The more staff members you have talking about the trip, the larger your potential audience will be.
- Ask your travel provider to lead a presentation at an assembly, in class or to co-host your information evening. From experience, we have found that having a representative from your school travel provider is beneficial. Your representative will know all the trip details inside out. This is something we do and we highly recommend it to all our clients.
- Trip cost can sometimes be a barrier to entry. To mitigate this, pre-plan fundraising activities and make an estimate of fundraising targets.
What’s your experience promoting a school trip?
Thanks for reading our ‘Ultimate Guide to Promoting a School Trip to Parents and Students’. We hope you found it useful and are able to use the above tactics to help get your educational school trip off your dream board and into reality! If you have used any successful promotional activities we would love to hear them!