1. Host a Holiday / Reunion Party
Celebrating is on everyone's mind this time of year. "Traditional" organizations throw Holiday parties for their employees, customers, families, clients, and friends. Why not do this for camp? I'm aware of camp's that have New Year's Eve parties, and they charge money for it. Whether you ask people to pay is up to you, but in my mind, the main opportunity/benefit here isn't making money. Instead, it's getting everyone (campers and staff included) back together in one place to reminisce about the good times you had last summer and talk about the fun coming up at camp next year. Of course, you'll show your camp video, hang photos from last summer all over the walls, and hand out "party favors" including your brochure and a nice offer to sign up for camp early. Don't forget to have one of your favorite counselors dress up as Santa, too, so campers can take photos with him!
2. Attend as Many Holiday Parties As You Can
Do you have any friends who own businesses and serve the same customer base as you (kids/moms/grandparents/families), but don't directly complete with you? How about the toy store down the street? The mini-golf place across town? The pediatric dentist two miles away? These people are probably having Holiday parties, too. Are you attending them? Can you arrange get on their guest list if not? Attending these parties would be a great way to make a few new contacts, if not prospects, for the coming camp marketing season.
3. Get Creative with your Christmas / Holiday Cards
I assume you're sending Christmas cards to camper families this year? Not a bad plan, but EVERYONE does that, so you need to make sure your card stands out. But how? Well, if you're sending a traditional Holiday card, stick a lottery ticket in there. You can bet every person will remember your gesture! Another idea is to send a video card rather than a traditional one. Gather a few counselors or office staff together to say "Happy Holidays" on the video. Then email the video to all your customers and prospects and post it all over social media, too. And by the way, when you make your video, don't forget the subtle use of "product placement." Everyone should be wearing camp gear, your ropes course should be highlighted in the background, etc.
4. Make a Special Offer You Wouldn't Otherwise Make ... It's the Holiday Season, After All
This is the season of giving. That means you have an opportunity to do something special for customers and prospects you've never done before. How about an enrollment offer or discount you wouldn't otherwise make? Do you know any mommy bloggers or other people of influence? Have them send a quick email out, or sponsor one of their emails, offering their subscribers a special Holiday discount at your camp, exclusively for their subscribers and no one else. Not only will you be creating lots of goodwill, you'll also generate a few more bucks this time of year when it's generally still your slow season.
That's it for now. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll try to post more in the future. I wish you much prosperity in 2017 and a camp overflowing with enrollment and a long waiting list next summer. Happy Holidays!