Showing posts from 2017

How Three Magic Words Can Help You Sell the "Why" of Your Camp Every Time

Back in May, my friend Travis Allison on his Go Camp Pro blog posted a very interesting and worthwhile article about how families go about choose your camp or, more specifically, the reasons WHY they do it . As Travis explains, it's all about selling the features, not the benefits, of the camp experience you deliver to kids. That means you're not just selling the camp experience itself, but something deeper. You're selling the OUTCOME of that experience in terms of personal growth for kids, making new friends, overcoming fears, or whatever else kids TAKE AWAY from the program you deliver. Selling benefits, outcomes, or, as Travis explains, the reason(s) "WHY" families choose your program over another isn't always easy to convey.  But I learned a little trick regarding how to do it, which works every time, and I'm happy to share with you. Seven years back, I discussed this trick in another blog post . I wanted to recount it here because Travis'

Exhibiting at L.A. Camp Fair 2018 Could be Great Way to Fill Your Camp With Kids!

  Years and years ago ( we're talking 2005 ) I organized Camp Fairs for the American Camp Association. Then, not only did I stop promoting them for a period of time, I stopped attending them altogether. My feeling was the internet made Camp Fairs irrelevant. Boy was I wrong. Here's the backstory. Last year I decided to put on my own camp fair (without ACA) in Calabasas. I called it the L.A. Calabasas Camp Fair. I wanted to see what, if anything, I was missing by not going to Camp Fairs. Aside from the uneasiness I always feel knowing my competitors went to Camp Fairs when I didn't, I wanted to know if Camp Fairs still worked as a summer camp marketing tool. Things went pretty well last year for the first time out. Over 400 families and 51 camps attended the Calabasas event. Needless to say, I am once again a staunch supporter Camp Fairs for marketing a camp, namely because it's the best way to find so many potential campers all in one place. We'r

Camp Fair Tips and Strategies for 2018

Everything comes full circle, including my opinion on the value of attending camp fairs as a summer camp marketing tool. Fifteen or 20 years ago, I felt attending camp fairs was among the best (if not the best) summer camp marketing strategy around. You couldn't really count on filling your whole camp just by going to camp fairs, but just signing up a couple campers per camp fair provided a huge return on my marketing investment not to mention the opportunity to meet so many new family prospects in single spot. Then the internet came along and, pretty quickly, rendered camp fairs irrelevant in my view. With so much information available online, why should anyone (camps or parents) waste time at a camp fair? Families could just go online, find your nice-looking website, read some good reviews or testimonials about your program, and sign up for camp instead. But now I've changed my mind again. I feel like I did 20 years ago. Ironically, the internet itself  has made at

How Does a Resident Camp-Only Camp Fair Sound?

 Don't Worry, Even Day Camp Directors Should Read this Post As you may know, I put on a camp fair here in Los Angeles (specifically, Calabasas) last April where over 50 day camps, specialty camps, resident camps, and all kinds of camps attended. We got off to a late start, deciding only in late February to host the event in April. If I do say so myself, it was a pretty successful event considering I only had a few weeks to find a facility, recruit camps, and promote the fair to the public. Over 400 families attended. I learned a lot from last year's event, and I'm planning on doing it again in 2018 with many improvements made over last year's camp fair. The camp fair this time will take place in March rather than April. I'll post more info here soon about dates, times and registration details. Just as before, the camp fair will be open to all kinds of camps and programs who are looking to promote their camps to the public and get more campers in 2018. We

Top 4 Summer Camp Marketing Tips for the Off-Season

Now that camp's over, you have a decision to make. Will you wait several months before you start marketing your camp again, or will you use this time to your advantage to get a head start over your competitors who are sitting around waiting until January to start promoting their programs again? My feeling is, there's no time like the present to create awareness for your camp, especially right now when no other camps are doing it and you have the stage to yourself.  Even though summer's over and families probably aren't thinking about camp these days, any promotional activities you undertake now will pay big dividends later among families who are interested in trying your camp for the first time next year. Before I share some marketing concepts to use now in your off-season, please note I am NOT a proponent of spending lots of money to do so. With your peak money-making season behind you, the goal is to work harder, smarter, and more creatively than

Can't Make the April 23 Camp Fair? We can Distribute Your Brochures Anyway!

As you many know, I'm putting on a Camp Fair April 23 in Calabasas. I've been to many Camp Fairs over the years and have promoted many others. This one's gonna be big. Right now we have approximately 20 camps attending. We have room for about 20 more. The registration fee is $195 until March 20, and $225 thereafter. Both day and resident camps will be displaying at this Camp Fair. The types of camps will be in separate areas making it easy for parents to distinguish the difference. Can't Make the Camp Fair? Let us Distribute Your Brochures and Marketing Materials Anyway! We're expecting a nice turnout of many potential campers for you, but even if you can't make the Camp Fair or don't want to come, you can still get your promotional materials in front of everyone who attends. We'll have a "resource table" at the entry and exit doors filled with brochures, flyers and other materials from camps who aren't attending. If you'd

How to Connect With Hot Camper Prospects You Didn't Even Know You Have

As you can imagine I get asked many different marketing questions from many different people, but one question comes up time and again? How can I get more campers right now? I could probably spend days showing you how. But here's a quick tip: Focus on your hottest prospects first -- those most likely to sign up for camp or who've expressed interest in doing so -- and go after the colder prospects later. Not only is this a sound marketing strategy, it's easier on your marketing budget, too. Now maybe you're asking yourself who your "hottest prospects" are? There's tons of them! Two groups that come immediately to mind are: Campers who attended your program last summer (and even the year before) but who haven't signed up yet for this year; and Families who've emailed, called, or otherwise inquired about your program, such as asking for a brochure or other information But there is one additional group of people -- potentially HUNDREDS OF

How Resident Camps Can Get More Camper Prospects Right Now

Summer camp marketing is like baseball. Making a small adjustment to your approach can result into the huge positive results you're looking for. Here's what I mean. As you may know I own a day camp in Los Angeles. But I also started a 1-week Hawaii sleepaway program last summer. Even though L.A.'s a huge city, one of the reasons I started the Hawaii camp was because I wanted to reach a worldwide market rather than just a local one. As a new camp, enrollment was so-so until I made one minor adjustment to my website which vastly improved leads and registrations: I added google's website translator tool, so now people all over the world (or at least in China and Japan, who I am principally targeting for my overnight program) can read the site in their language. If you run a day camp, it wouldn't hurt to add the language translator to your site. But for resident camps who serve campers from all over the world, this is a must-do. I've been getting at le

L.A. Camp Fair 2017 - Registration Information for Camps

The 2017 L.A. Camp Fair is a GO! I have not even had a chance to officially promote it yet and am still preparing all the promotional materials, but a number of camps already got wind of the idea and want to sign up. So here are the details: What: L.A. Camp Fair 2017 When : Sunday, April 23, 2017 Where: AC Stelle Middle School, 22450 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302   Price: $175 per camp to when signing up by March 15, $195 after March 15. FREE Admission for Families and Kids! More Information: L.A. Camp Fair 2017 Registration: Camps who want a booth at the Camp Fair sign up here .

Would You Be Interested in Attending My Camp Fair?

Hi Everyone, Been a while since I've posted. Quite busy getting ready for camp this year and working on a number of projects. I hope your enrollment is coming along nicely and you're preparing for a big-time year filled with lots of kids. I wanted to let you know I'm considering putting on a Camp Fair here in Los Angeles at the end of March, beginning of April, something like that. The Camp Fair would be sponsored by, , and other kid-friendly organizations. I realize many Camp Fairs take place in February, March and sometimes earlier. But given the huge number of potential campers in L.A., and considering the fact many families seem to be waiting until later during the spring to register for camp, this timing seems to make sense. This would also be a good chance for meet in person and get to know each other after so many years of communicating through this blog. It also a sounds like a good opportunity for all of us. If w