Showing posts from 2020

Add your camp to, the top Virtual Camp Fair website

  Last summer didn't turn out the way most of us hoped, but we've all learned a lot since then. Many of the camp directors I've spoken to are highly optimistic 2021 will be a great summer camp year. As many of you know I, together with my business partner Megan Cassidy, produced the L.A. Camp Fair family of camp fair events annually in Los Angeles including L.A.'s biggest Camp Fair at UCLA where over 1,000 families attend each year.  Unfortunately, at least for the time being anyway, live events are still on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. If anything changes we'll pull together several live camp fairs quickly. Meanwhile, kids still need to go to camp, and their parents still need to find suitable programs for their kids. We created , the 1st-of-its-kind purpose-built online camp fair platform that rivals an in-person event, to solve this probelm.  You already know the importance of meeting families in person so you can earn their trust be

Top 17 Best Marketing Books for Camp Directors

    I hope you're healthy, safe and looking forward to the Holidays. What an incredible year it's been.  Even though many of us weren't able to run camp last summer, I'm hearing lots of optimism from camp directors (even amid the latest coronavirus surge) about reopening in 2021. I hope it happens. Meanwhile, more good news. Demand for camp is at an all-time high. But that doesn't mean you should stop marketing. From from it. The camps who put their best foot forward, marketing wise, will have a huge leg up on those who to sit back expecting to generate enrollment anyway.  The demand will be there, but camps that put themselves out in front of families stand to gain the most. Prospective campers will be there, but competition for them will be just as fierce if not more so than usual. Now is the time to get your marketing plan in place. Many of the marketing and advertising tools I use today, prior to practice into practice in the real world - I first read about in b

Don't Make the Same Marketing Mistake I Did, Otherwise You Could Lose Some Very Hot Prospects!

I almost made a huge mistake while redesigning my website that I don't want you do make, so here's a quick reminder: Any time you provide information such as a brochure or other promotional or educational material to a prospect, make sure you get their contact info in exchange! Here's what happened.    In an effort to reduce paper consumption (not to mention printing and distribution costs), we decided to put our brochure online as a PDF this year. We are not producing a traditional printed one. I worked hard designing the new online brochure, and was proud of my work! In my haste to share it with the world, I put it online for families to download without much thought.    But then, after a few days, I realized I forget to include a form for people to fill out so I could capture their contact info. All anyone had to do was click the PDF logo, and the brochure was theirs. The brochure, in essence was "free" to them!      Here's what it looked like: How dumb of

Top 7 Ways to Market Your Virtual Summer Camp

Summer 2020's turned out differently than any of us could have ever imagined. Thanks to coronavirus, many camps aren't operating or, if they are, don't look the same as before. Many camps have moved their programs online. And many others have been wanting to try to virtual summer camp concept, but haven't been sure where to start. If you've been meaning to move your camp online but need some initial guidance, the American Camp Association has some helpful tips and guidelines to point you in the right direction. Anyone Camp Open a Virtual Summer  Camp For better or for worse, starting an online summer camp is available to any person, anywhere, anytime. This means lots of potential competition --even Walmart and YouTube have jumped into the fray -- and market saturation quickly. But there's also many benefits to offering a virtual summer camp. For one thing, it gives day camps -- which are generally limited to their immediate geographic areas from which to draw

Is Your Camp Operating this Summer?

With so many camps doing different things this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic I thought I'd ask if you wouldn't mind sharing your status in the comments? Is your camp operating as usual this summer? Are you closed this year? Are you offering virtual programming rather than in-person camp? Are you offering a combination of traditional, in-person programs plus online programming together? I'm sure other folks would like to know your status. Please feel free to comment below. We are all pulling for each other. Good luck to all.

Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson: One of the Best Marketing Books You'll Ever Read

Some of the best marketing strategies I've ever learned I've read in books.  I've probably read over 150 sales and marketing books in my life, maybe more. When I say "best," I mean affordable, effective, understandable,and easy-to-implement marketing strategies that work and have been proven in action. If you enjoy reading and want to pick up some low-cost yet very effective marketing tools you can start using right way, I suggest Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. This book is an all-time classic -- by far one of the top two or three marketing books I've ever read in terms of providing actionable marketing ideas than can be implemented quickly, cheaply, and easily to help you fill your camp with kids. It's a treasure trove of marketing ideas that will help you learn how to out think and outsmart your competition rather than outspend them.  Even if you've read this book before, it's worth reading again. Yo

How to Market Your Camp on a Budget in the Age of Coronavirus

Sometimes people ask me what I think the single best way to market a camp is. I honestly don't know a   single best way. In my opinion, marketing works best when you have a number of strategies going at once. When you drop a single line in the ocean, you might catch a fish. When you drop five or six lines in, you have a better chance of catching your dream fish. Now this doesn't mean you should start indiscriminately spending your money on every marketing idea that comes your way. Doing so could be a very painful financial lesson to learn! It's always nice to allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to good old fashioned experimentation, but a more efficient strategy in my opinion is to constantly test what works and what doesn't while sticking to your budget. This is more important than ever in today's coronavirus environment. Maybe your camp isn't operating at full capacity right now, if you're even operating at all. In either case, you h

My Camp is Closed. Here's My Marketing Plan Until We Open Again.

I usually don't cave to fear but I confess the whole COVID-19 has been pretty scary.  But not from an, "I hope I don't catch the virus" standpoint -- I've never really been afraid of that. More frightening to me is the fact I can't operate my camp this summer due to the pandemic and the associated financial ramifications, many of which aren't even known to me yet. We Were Hopeful to Open Camp I was hopeful to operate in at least some capacity this summer. But given the modifications we'd need to make and virulent way coronavirus is tearing through L.A. County right now, it's highly unlikely (let alone advisable) to open camp this summer at all. From a financial standpoint, it's been a killer. I know many of you are facing your own struggles and hardships due to coronavirus. I hope everything works out for you. But as difficult as all of this has been (and continues to be!), we have to move forward. We owe it to our staff, campers, customer fami