I guess that it was last year in August that I came up with the idea to have a special event for my students. I had tried doing a “Cafe Time” from about 10:30 to noon for potential students who wanted to practice English and find out about my school. This was fun but only allowed me to get a few students. I decided that it might be best to have a regular event for my current students each week to give them a chance to use the English that they learn during the lessons in another setting. That is when the “Smith’s Okamoto Night Out” was born. (The link will take you to the “Cherry Blossom Viewing Party” page but please scroll down to the bottom to read about the Night Out). Also, I realized that my current students can be my best source of new students through their referrals. Word-of-mouth advertising is very powerful.
Each week we meet at a local cafe (SHUNJU) or restaurant to enjoy a free-talking session. The event is attended each week by different students and varies from 3 to 10 participants. I think that this kind of activity is one way we Smith’s School of English owners can set ourselves apart from the rest of the industry. It is a good way to promote this difference to our students and if we invite potential students, which I do, we can show this difference to those potential students too.
We always have a good time and the students can practice what they learn. It is a win-win event for all.
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)
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