For all the effort you put into having a booth at a community event, I have one question for you…

Are you capturing leads for enrollment as well as you could?

Could be better? Not to worry, you are not alone. Here are three techniques that work to help you turn your community event booth visitors into enrollment prospects for your center.

  1. Make it easy for interested families to stop, linger, and give you contact information.
    • Have a short activity for young children that they complete at your booth with guidance from staff members helping you at this event.
    • While the children are engaged, initiate conversation with the parents about their needs and interests. Ask more than you tell, and invite them to sign your guest book or drawing card. Be careful about not to give them too much marketing collateral. Event visitors tend to go home with an abundance of print info that may never be read.
    • Give parents a reason to sign your guest book or complete your information card. This might be offering to send them a personal invitation for an event coming up in your center within the next two weeks. Or maybe encouraging them to sign a card to be placed in a drawing for a basket of children’s games and activities you have wrapped and on display in your booth.  (Winners of this will need to pick it up at your center – and be offered a personalized tour while there!)
  2.  Use a lead-generating guest book. This should not be a full inquiry card or lead form; rather just enough to seem easy to complete and to be able to personalize your next connection. Your guest book or drawing entry care should ask for…
    • Parent name
    • Children’s ages
    • A brief multiple choice question about parents’ interest in ECE, such as finding an infant program or school age program or summer camp, etc.)
    • A Yes/No directive statement, such as, “Please contact me to schedule a personal school visit,” along with space for their phone and email.
  3. Follow up in a timely manner.
    • Send all prospects a message within 48 hours after the event.
    • Include whatever you promised that encouraged them to give you their contact information (invitation to next event at your center, list of winners of drawing prizes). If they indicated they want to be contacted to schedule a center visit, start that process with good times to visit and how you will keep in touch to schedule a time.
    • Include a link to your website and at least two ways to contact you.
    • Put each prospect into your contact management system, and follow up, follow up, follow up!

Practicing these techniques to capture leads will help you maximize the enrollment opportunity at community events. It’s a fun way to market your school to key target audiences of prospects and influencers. When done well, the ROI in enrollment prospects is worth your effort!


Julie Wassom
The Child Care Marketing Expert and Coach
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author