Branding Your Student Performance Tour: “Look, Hook, and Book!”

Apr 13, 2016

Travel Notes

The branding and storytelling of a student performance tour can affect student, family and community support. How do you build excitement for your meeting, continue that through the registration deadline for your trip, and beyond? It begins with the invitation to your first meeting!


Images and video drive user engagement on social media, due in part to the brain’s ability to process them 60,000x faster than text alone. A registration campaign based on the visual storyline of your trip generates shareable content for stakeholders to promote.

TIP: All my images were created using Canva. It is a simple web-based, drag and drop interface with templates for everything you would need. Download as a PNG.

Visual campaigns create the feel of the tour. Think as a marketing expert. You are targeting your students. What will excite them? Which typeface(s), images, messaging, and design elements will strengthen your story (e.g., itinerary)? Are you targeting the interests of different genders and ages?

TIP: Eye tracking research has shown the most viewed portion of any website, image, or book is the upper left corner. Consider placing critical text or image elements there.


The campaign leads to your parent meeting and should be planned with the “traveler experience” in mind. This cannot be stressed enough. You want to gradually unveil the storyline of your trip, so ensure information is logically introduced to build excitement throughout the presentation. Forego text, and instead highlight the itinerary with high-quality photographs or illustrations to engage the audience. Remember, handouts will be available at the conclusion of your presentation.

Tip: Use Google Advanced Search to look for “Large” images of your destination. This will find large, high-quality images that look great during your presentation and online.

PowerPoint Tip: Stick with one slide transition: Fade (3 seconds in length). Use animations sparingly. For example, on my departure date slide, the image (from UP) floats slightly upward – for effect. Stay classy. There are already enough tacky PowerPoint presentations out there…

TIP: Send your students and families out excited about what they might experience on the trip! Images are alive. Text kills.


Both the Bob Rogers Travel Individual Payment System and social media research should guide campaign decisions in the weeks following. Learn the best times to engage your viewers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Scheduling posts based on these peak times­­ is easy using HootSuite or similar. If registrations are slow, continue building energy – and urgency.

Kevin Dengel is Orchestra Director at Gahanna Lincoln High School and Middle School East (Gahanna, Ohio). He holds a MM from Kent State University and a BME from The Ohio State University. Mr. Dengel is the South-Central Region Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association and a member of NAfME, ASTA and ASCAP.

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