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Exceeding Expectations in Enrollment and Retention
Date / Time
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Participant Fee
Fee includes program, breaks and lunch
VAIS Member /
Non-Member /

This program is NOW full.
If you would like to be added to a waitlist, please contact Joan Fargis at

All Hands on Deck: Exceeding Expectations in Enrollment and Retention

April 20, 2017, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM

In this era of extreme competition for sustainable enrollment, much is expected of independent schools:

  • Proven outcomes and tangible return on investment
  • Engagement and connectivity
  • Pride of association
  • Evidence of transformational teaching and learning 
  • Customer service
  • Cost-consciousness
  • A program that will instill and reinforce in students the timeless attitudes, skills, and personal values that will lead to success and purpose in the world they will inherit

This workshop will present approaches and facilitate discussion on:

  • Discovering and communicating school identity and value
  • Finding, enrolling, and keeping those families who share your core values
  • Getting internal alignment by defining everyone’s role in building bridges across the school and into your  communities
  • Key skills needed by enrollment managers in order to meet an ever changing marketplace with increasing competition from new types of schools that are delivering higher levels of student academic achievement, a domain that used to be claimed by independent schools

Together, Connor with participants, will explore, discuss, and share insights on:           

  • Creating leads and inquiries. How to use big data, predictive modeling, and lead nurturing to locate and engage full-tuition paying families who share your values, and to build a word-of-mouth
  • Campaign to convert them to inquiries and visits
  • Discovering, refining, and communicating your school’s authentic brand and identity
  • Creating a value proposition unique to your school that can help overcome concerns about cost
  • Maximizing the role of teachers and trustees in raising image, students, and community partnerships
  • Critical research tools that will help build a strategic marketing and communication plan
  • Getting every major constituent group in your school community to advance your mission


 Mike Connor is co-author of the National Association of Independent Schools’  (NAIS) book, Marketing Independent Schools in the 21st Century. His white paper, It’s What’s Inside That Counts: Maximizing Internal Marketing, has been digitally published by NAIS and many state, regional, provincial, and international independent school associations. Connor Associates Strategic Services, LLC has worked with over 450 independent, charter, and faith-based schools in the United States, Europe, Africa, and China since 1998.

Mike has been a friend to the Association for many years. His expertise in the area of marketing and branding is exemplary and we are happy to welcome him back to Virginia to speak to our members!

For a full bio

 WHO SHOULD ATTEND school heads, trustees, administrators, department heads, faculty, and representatives of a school's ambassador network

Mike believes: "School success depends on alignment among all leaders, employees, and those you serve. Although the focus of the  workshop is enrollment management and revenue, strong enrollment and retention depend on interconnections and support across the school and the wider community. To get long-term value from the workshop, we encourage schools to bring a team that may include enrollment managers, communicators and marketers, fund raisers, influential alumni, board members, divisional directors, influential teachers, business officers, and heads of school. Come ready to share your point of view and best practices."   


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA 23228 DIRECTIONS
This venue offers year-round beauty on a historic property with more than 50 acres of spectacular gardens. It is certainly one of our favorite host spots for programming!  As part of your admission to today's workshop, you receive complimentary admission to the gardens. Take time after the program to stroll through the gardens with your team, and even browse in the fabulous gift store.


Member Fee:          $195 (Includes program, materials, breaks and lunch)
NonMember Fee:   $295 (Includes program, materials, breaks and lunch)


Registration ends Friday, April 7. No refunds after that date. Please see the complete VAIS cancellation policy under Programs and Events tab


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