September 19, 1996 / Fall 1996 / Marketing

Open House Generates Sales

Written by Idea File Staff

The line stretches out of the building and into the street. People wait with money and checkbooks in hand, shifting from foot to foot and craning to see the head of the line. It may sound like the ticket line at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert, but it’s not. It’s the yearbook sale during Parents’ Open House Night at Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.

For the second year, Dr. Phillips’ yearbook staff offered parents a chance to purchase the Panther when they came to meet their children’s teachers. The success of the sale has convinced adviser Ann Whitt that Parents’ Open House Night is a perfect opportunity for yearbook fundraising.

“Now, lots of people come just to buy the yearbook,” said Whitt. “[The sale is] a really big thing here.”

Advertising the sale in a parents’ newsletter and the local newspaper, as well as offering the yearbook at the lowest price of the year,Whitt generated advance excitement for the sale. By 6:30 on the night of the Open House, parents were already lining up for yearbooks to go on sale at 7:00.

Fourteen students and I were writing receipts furiously during the entire two and a half hours of the sale,” said Whitt. “We didn’t get a break at all!”

Whitt overheard one waiting mother comment to another, “[The yearbook] can’t be worth all this.” The other woman replied, “It is! Even if you don’t know anyone in the book, it’s worth it. You won’t just read it once…you’ll read it over and over again.” The staff sold over 700 yearbooks at this single event, raising more than $22,000 for their yearbook fund. According to Whitt, the stack of checks and money that was collected stood “31 picas tall.”

Spoken like a true yearbook adviser! With such an overwhelming response, Dr. Phillips’ staff is already planning to sell the yearbook at next year’s Open House.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.