Friday 22 May, 2015

Tips for Promoting Your Tour

You’ve just picked out the perfect tour for you and your travelers. Now it’s time to spread the word! This part may seem a little overwhelming with your busy schedule, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Tour consultant Justin Grolley regularly works with educators to help them figure out the best ways to get future travelers excited and ready to sign up for your upcoming educational student tour.

Here’s what he recommends for getting started:

Get travelers excited

This is the first step in building up buzz for your trip and getting the word out about your upcoming parent meeting.

Ways to get started:
  • Excitement is contagious. If your trip is school-sanctioned, talk about it in your class and let your enthusiasm spread to your students!
  • Watch destination videos! If you’re going to Washington, D.C., New York City or Boston, check out our YouTube channel to find videos that highlight those cities.
  • Schedule a student rally. Pass out flyers to students and hold a meeting before, during or after school to fill them in on your plans for the upcoming trip. This is also where you can pass out reminders about the parent meeting details.
  • Use school communication channels. Whether you mention your tour on school announcements or during your class, make sure to keep getting the word out so you don’t miss any interested travelers.
  • Hang up tour posters. We have support materials ready for our Group Leaders. This includes some scenic tour posters to hang around school to tell travelers about the tour and include information on where you will be holding your parent meeting.

Remember at this point, it’s best to keep the details high-level. Encourage interested travelers to bring their parents to the parent meeting where you and your tour consultant can team up to answer any questions they may have.

Spread the word about the parent meeting

Now that the kids are excited, it’s time to send information home to the parents. The important part here is getting a sense of how many people will be attending to make sure you have enough materials and space available for everyone who’s interested.

To do this, I work with my Group Leaders on sending our RSVPs in one form or another. Whatever method we choose, it’s incredibly important to set the deadline for getting them turned in.

People are less likely to respond without a deadline in mind.

Ways to get the word out:

Interest Letter

Your tour consultant can create a customized parent meeting interest letter for you. This lets you input all of your tour information and has an RSVP form at the bottom. This is where you can collect contact information for the student, their parent(s) and if they will be able to attend your meeting.

Hand this to your travelers to send home. Some teachers I work with like to make it a homework assignment for students to return the RSVP portion.

School Calling Tree

Does your school have a calling tree? This is another great go-to.  Talk to your school to see if they can add in a quick message reminder about your meeting. Remember, you only need the basic information for this. Let them know that you are running the trip, where you’re going, and when and where the parent meeting will be held.

Tour Facebook Group

Do you like using social media to get the word out? Certain Group Leaders love setting up a tour  Facebook group to keep all of their information in one spot.  This is a great way to share exciting links and pictures about your trip beforehand. Also, it is a fun space to keep using throughout your tour experience.

Upcoming School Events

Look at your school’s schedule to see if you can get the word out directly to the parents at a back-to-school night, football game or anything else you have going on.

However you choose to get the word out, direct parent communication tends to be the most effective.

Meeting reminder

A few days before the meeting, send out a reminder. There is a great app called Remind that you can use to send a text message to all interested travelers. It doesn’t show your phone number, so you can use this from your personal phone and it eliminates the need to message everyone individually! Just shoot out one message and it’s sent to everyone. Done and done!

In the end, you know your school best. Although these are some effective ways to help more travelers hear about your trip and tell their parents, these are not the only options you have! Whatever the situation, we’re here to work with you through it all. So take a deep breath and get excited for all of the unforgettable memories you and your travelers will have on tour!

students enjoy view of lake on educational student tour