When it comes to camp, schools, programs and events, seasonality is everything. Though spring and summer are abuzz with activities for kids, the cold weather doesn’t have to slow down your efforts. Fall and winter can bring a lot more than holiday cheer to your business. The holidays are a great time to drive registrations and build brand engagement with current and future campers or students.
Here are some of the best ways we’ve found to make the most of the holiday season:
- Two Words: Cyber Monday. Everyone and their uncle shops online the Monday after Thanksgiving. They’re buying everything from winter wool socks to summertime kayaks. Why wouldn’t they want to save some money with the great deal you’re offering for Early Bird Registration? Throw in a contest to win highly-coveted gear and you’re all set to lock in early registrations.
- Gift of Camp/Gift of Programs. Make gift certificates available and promote them as the perfect holiday gift. Grandma would LOVE to help send Billy to soccer camp this summer and give Elise those dance class lessons she’s been asking for.
- Camp/School pride. Nowadays young people are used to posting, tweeting, snapchatting and wearing their interests. The power of social proof is in the hoodie. Targeted communication to encourage merchandise as holiday gifts not only builds brand loyalty but also encourages peers’ interest in your camp or program.
- Group chats and forums on social media can warm even the coldest months with fond memories of summer camps or classes. Set up scheduled times for students and campers to re-engage with each other, share stories and pictures from past sessions and make plans for the upcoming months. This is particularly effective if you have participants from across the country (or world!).
- Reunions. If it’s feasible, the holidays are a fun time to throw a reunion party or gathering. Some programs or camps offer a scaled-down, winter version that many kids find perfect for bridging the gap until they can get back together next summer.
- Introductory Offerings. Take advantage of school breaks to offer short, introductory classes or camps to help parents who are looking for short-term activities for their kids while they work. The low-risk component could appeal to parents hesitating to commit to an activity they’re not sure their child will enjoy, and earn you a long-term customer if they do!
- Greetings. If you just can’t get the gang together, reach out the old-fashioned way with a holiday or New Year’s card or e-card. If you want to take it to the next level, consider a holiday “gift” for your participants, such as a goodie bag, bumper sticker or other appropriate token of your brand.
- Promote a referral rewards program. Offer current families a discount for referrals. Send a communication around the holidays when families are getting together and spending quality time. An expiration date on the offer will help create urgency.
A child’s time at your camp or program is special, not just because of what they do, but because of how they learn, grow and connect while they’re there. It’s all about the relationship, and keeping up relationships take work – year round.
Holidays are the time for giving, connecting and expressing gratitude. What better time to show you care about your customers than during the holiday season?