- cheryl goldstein
Your Ultimate Camp COVID Survival Guide
Whether you are shutdown this summer or running a limited program, your camp has been impacted by COVID. But you can survive and even thrive if you focus on things you can control and prepare for your future.
Can you guess the #1 priority for enduring troubled times?
If you have been reading my blogs, then you know the answer…marketing. Continue communicating with your campers, potential families, staff and alumni. Keep them in the loop. Remind them why your camp is special. And share situational updates regularly.
However, this alone cannot address every challenge you may face. Other survival tactics to consider are:
Grow and innovate
Think about what you can do now to increase your exposure. Refine your social media, newsletter, and blogs. Create new content channels like podcasts or webinars. These are great tools to reach parents, staff and gatekeepers.
Discover innovative ways to adapt your offerings and programming. Virtual camps are a great example of how to continue to provide your service. Can you offer additional products or services that can complement your business model? For instance, starting an online camp swag store could generate extra money or you could offer your camp to location scouts looking for unique destinations for photo shoots. The opportunities are there for you to build revenue and create awareness. It is up to you to think out of the box and embrace new ideas.
Organize and generate leads
Most camps I meet have not segmented their marketing lists and databases by audience, or they have not updated their list in a long time. Without planning and organization of this information you will not maximize your marketing efforts. Spend time cleaning up your contact lists and segment them logically. Start small by dividing the list into current, potential, and past campers. Then separate them by age or other relevant demographics. Don’t forget to organize your staff and alumni lists as well.
Reevaluate the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform you use. Does it meet your needs? Your platform should help you build and manage your pipeline of prospective campers, by streamlining inquiries and responses, two-way communication and ultimately registration. A good CRM solution should help you grow your business and keep you connected to your customers.
Plan for Summer 2021
Now is the time to plan for next summer. Even without all the answers such as new health protocols or dates and rates, you must consistently promote your program and keep your audiences engaged. Launch your registration campaign, and let families know you will open again. There is no reason you cannot take refundable deposits from interested families. If camp doesn’t happen there is no risk. A lot can change between now and next summer. Continue providing updates as they become available.
What you do today has a direct and lasting impact on what is possible in the future.