How to Lead an Effective Parent Meeting
Pre-trip parent meetings are an ideal opportunity to gain interest and commitment from families for your group’s tour. With that in mind, here are some steps that can help make your meeting a success.
Prepare for the Parent Meeting
Start by creating a trip packet for each of your families. In the packet, include documents like the school’s policies, itinerary, trip cost inclusions, payment schedule, travel insurance information, and a commitment form. As a side note, when preparing your payment schedule, build in some buffer time to contact stragglers and send in your payment.
Parent Meeting Structure
You and your BRT representative designed a trip that meets your goals and is a perfect fit for your students. You know it’s a meaningful opportunity for your students, and now it’s time to let your families know. To achieve the best results, we recommend the following structure:
- Introduce your travel company – You chose to travel with BRT for a reason, so convey these reasons to your families. Knowing that their children are traveling with an industry leader who has a proven track record may ease their concerns.
- Highlight the itinerary – Parents will have a full itinerary in their trip packet. Take some time to talk about the highlights of each day, along with what makes each of these activities meaningful or worthwhile.
- Review trip inclusions – Reinforcing what is included in the trip cost, and what is not, eliminates confusion.
- Present the price – If you have shown what makes this trip worthwhile and meaningful, the experiences and educational opportunities will justify the cost.
- Next Steps – Discuss what needs to be done by families to get started, which typically involves asking them to return a signed commitment form and make a deposit. Close with upcoming fundraising plans or by announcing a date for a fundraising strategy meeting.
Ask attendees to hold questions until the end of the meeting, and focus to their questions toward those that benefit the entire group. Then, set some time aside to take questions regarding individual needs after the meeting’s conclusion. Most questions will be answered during the presentation. You can also incorporate into your presentation the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, including:
- Does the motor coach have Wi-Fi and power outlets? – This is the most common question we encounter at parent meetings. Your BRT representative can tell you whether or not your motor coach provider offers these features. Last-minute equipment swaps to coaches without Wi-Fi or power outlets are sometimes necessary, so remind families not to depend on these features being available.
- Won’t the bus driver be driving for too many hours? – This question is particularly common with groups who are driving overnight. Note in your presentation that a driver switch will occur during drives lasting more than 10 hours.
- How much do meals on their own cost? – When you review what is included in your trip, there will likely be a few meals not included in the trip cost. Though typically between $10 and $20, meal cost will vary depending on factors like time of day, your destination, and how much the student eats. Your BRT representative can give you recommendations for your trip.
- Travel insurance questions –Most questions regarding travel insurance will have been answered ahead of time by including information about the available policy in your trip Parents may still have questions regarding the purchase deadline and what is covered under the policy.
Follow up to parents via email, including the trip packet and a reminder of the deposit due date. Combine that reminder with an in-class reminder to the students each week. Additionally, parents always think of more questions after the meeting, so be prepared to field those as they come in.
Let us know if you would like your BRT representative to attend your parent meeting. Your representative can serve in whatever capacity makes you most comfortable, from leading the meeting to simply standing by to field questions. Contact your BRT representative for additional help or to answer any questions you may have.
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