You’ve picked an ACIS itinerary, talked with your tour consultant and are eager to sign up students for the trip of a lifetime. Now it’s time to host a meeting and turn general interest into a stack of applications!
We’ve gathered insight from established group leaders and staff to create these quick top tips for planning a successful meeting.
1. No matter where you host the meeting, be sure the room can accommodate your trip Power Point
We’ve had teachers host meetings in the classroom, in church basements, at students’ homes, even at Panera! What all these locations have in common is they were able to host the power point presentation you will be using to highlight your destination and answer parent questions. Make sure the outlets are working and bring an electrical extension cord just in case.
2. Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-7 are the “Golden Hours”
Maybe it’s because Monday is a drag, and Thursday and Friday already feel like the weekend, but many of our group leaders report that Tuesday and Wednesday from 6-7 have served them best as meeting times. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy the midweek chance to discover France, Spain and Italy?
3. Host multiple sessions for the first recruitment meeting
You’ve picked the perfect day of the week at the perfect time – and then you find out that basketball tryouts are right in the middle! When you switch the date, the musical cast won’t be able to make it. Hold two separate sessions for your first meeting to accommodate extracurricular activities to make your pool as inclusive as possible.
4. Find a student to help promote the trip
Having an enthusiastic student traveler on hand to promote the trip can make all the difference in recruitment! Acting as an ambassador, the student can encourage peers to come to the meeting, distribute materials, and even host the event at home.
5. Pre-meeting reminders can go a long way
Set the groundwork early by sending a letter home to parents, and be sure to email any potential attendees on the day before/the day of the event. Pro tip: Leave a standing note on the chalkboard in your classroom throughout the week leading to the meeting. It’s amazing what an in-class reminder can do!
6. Review your Power Point 3 days ahead of time
You’ll receive a detailed Power Point from your Tour Consultant once you’ve finished planning your itinerary. Be sure to review it at least 72 hours ahead of the meeting so that you can check back in with the ACIS team with any adjustments.
7. Make the event feel festive
The goal is to get parents and students excited for the cultural experience ahead, so start the international immersion stateside. With help from your student ambassador, set up the room with snacks, decorations, and music from the places you will be visiting. The excitement will build from the moment attendees walk through the door.
8. Encourage ACIS travelers and team members to attend
It could be your first time traveling, but there may already be ACIS alums right in your school! Invite them to make an appearance at the meeting and share their experiences. If you’re looking for staff support, there are often opportunities for Academic Travel Advisors or Area Administers to attend. Let your tour consultant know that you may be interested in the added ACIS presence.
9. Use your passion in the presentation
Whether it was the cultural connections, the historical monuments or the impact on your curriculum, you picked out a specific itinerary for a reason. You are confident students will benefit from traveling, and your personal passion for the destination will be a selling point in itself.
10. Touch base the day after the meeting
Follow up is critical! Even if your meeting has a bit of buzz, excitement doesn’t necessarily translate to enrolled participants. The day after the meeting, you should call everyone who attended and everyone who didn’t. Email them with the tripsite link and any additional information that may have come up in the meeting.