Top Tips

Below are our top tips for a great open day, some might seems obvious, but worth noting anyway!

Tip #1. Before the day starts make sure your social media channels are buzzing with welcome for the groups attending your agency open day, share new work, share the IPA video and use the hashtag #adunlocked.

Tip #2. First impressions count: make sure there is a welcome party in reception, briefed and enthusiastic. Ideally use some of the collateral ( to decorate your reception. Use the stickers so visitors can be identified, and so visitors can recognise the agency facilitators. Make sure there is a reel of your current and popular client work on screen to excite the visitors. Display the social media hashtag #adunlocked and encourage them to use it throughout their visit.

Tip #3. This is a great opportunity to get your apprentices or new recruits to take charge of the time the visitors are in your agency. Assign them to the project in good time; brief them to come up with a timetable, content, workshops and how they’ll evaluate the success of the day etc. in advance.

Tip #4. Make sure to also utilise your youngest members of the team on the day and get them to explain why they chose the industry, how they got the job, what they do and why they enjoy it as well as showing them what a vibrant social environment they get to work in. It will help the visitors feel connected to the time when they will be in work, and makes the idea of working in an agency like yours feel more achievable and appealing.

Tip #5. Food: the visitors will need some kind of sustenance. If they are a school group, they may need space to eat a packed lunch. Schools operate on quite a strict timetable, so make sure you have discussed with them start times, meal times and end time. Make sure there are drinks and snacks available at opportune times as well – they will be very popular!

Tip #6. Take the group on a tour of the agency. During the tour, make sure members of your agency take time to introduce themselves and explain what they do. It could be useful to ask the visitors what kind of qualifications they think they need to do the jobs they are being told about – and then comparing it by asking the staff members how they actually got in to the job (if no-one mentions an apprenticeship make it clear that they can also get these jobs through apprenticeships now). Get some interactivity going – it could be worth challenging the visitors to ask your team members about their favourite ads/apps/YouTube videos etc. and vice versa. Take pictures, encourage visitors to video and post using #adunlocked.

Tip #7. After the tour you need to think about getting them engaged and warmed up for the rest of the day, warm up games can be fun – again take photos, make short video clips and share on social media:

a. A quiz about advertising and famous advertisements, with prizes
b. Team games: divide the room into smaller groups and get them to write down an A-Z of brands names in a minute. The team that gets to Z first wins a prize
c. Get everyone to ask a question, write it on a piece of paper then scrunch up/make a paper plane and throw it at the moderator – refer back to the questions at the end of the session to see if you have covered what they want to know.
d. Pair everyone up and ask them to grasp the other by the shoulders. Then ask them to lift each other off the ground at the same time. After a few seconds one team will get it and with both jump in the air at the same time – this will set off a wave of everyone following – it gets the energy going and illustrates a viral idea.

Tip #8. Explain what your agency does, how you work with other agencies in the process (if possible bring in a partner agency to cover off both sides) and how a brief moves through the agency. Show examples of the work you do across the broad range of channels and opportunities (include emerging technology!) and how you got the client on board for those riskier ideas. Talk about brands you work with and highlight what differentiates you from the other agencies out there. Be interactive and ask them why they think these channels were chosen for the campaigns and what each channel is good for, explain how you achieved the affects and what the original client brief was and ask if they think you achieved it.

Tip #9. If you choose to show a presentation please keep it to a maximum of 45 minutes for peak concentration levels! Ideally, top and tail it with the Advertising Unlocked branded slides provided Treat it like a pitch presentation – make sure everyone is comfortable presenting, practiced and energetic.

Tip #10. Give them some information that is shocking! Tell them what tools you regularly use to track what consumers are doing, what they are watching and how you reach your audiences. This will not only intrigue them but it will also provide an opening to all the various technical roles now available.

Tip #11. Make sure you have plenty of breaks so people can go to the loo, get some fresh air or have a snack.

Tip #12. Collect feedback throughout the day – talk about what is going well, what not so well. Switch things up as you go if necessary. Ask the students questions – ‘what would you like us to cover?’, ‘what would you like to know about getting a job in advertising?’ i.e. is the pay good?! Show them how achievable it is to progress.

Tip #13. If at all possible make sure they learn by doing, they won’t take as much out of the day if the whole thing is you presenting to them:

a. Get them working in teams on quick easy projects: get them to create ideas to differentiate two bowls of white crystals (sugar and salt), introduce them to a piece of new technology (a teapot) – ask them to come up with ideas as to how to use this technology to bring people together. Get them to rate each other’s ideas and award a prize for the winning team.
b. Organise a game of charades themed around famous ad campaigns or YouTube videos.
c. Run a competitive brief for one of your clients, get the group to work in pairs to solve the brief and present to some of your agency team. The winning pair get an internship at your agency as a prize.

Tip #14. Don’t forget about feedback. The IPA will be providing a simple poll tool to assess the value of the day to the students and whether or not they’d consider a job in advertising – please encourage them to download it at the start of the day and use it at the end. However, you should consider your own data capture (where appropriate):

a. Get them to visit for ways to apply including apprenticeships.
b. Encourage teachers to make a connection with you for future years – establish a dialogue where your younger team members visit the school to present to the students about careers; or create an internship programme with the school.
c. Keep in touch with visitors of 18+ about new vacancies, internships, work experience etc.
d. Keep in touch with unlocked using
e. Keep in touch with your chosen partner organisation for future opportunities
f. Get your own feedback to assess what went well and what you could change for next year.

Tip #15. Once the day is over take out the team who ran the show to relax and say thank you!

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