Summer Camp Review: Analyze and Adapt

Summer Camp Review: Analyze and Adapt

With summertime programs wrapping up, it’s time to comb through the data to determine what worked and what didn’t. Analyzing how your programs performed will help you plan for next year and give you a leg up on your competition. Try these tips for conducting a thorough summer camp review to help put yourself in the best position for next summer.

Start Summer Camp Reviews With Marketing

Regardless of the size of your summer camp program, marketing plays an important role in your budget1, ranking just after daily operational expenses2 like maintenance and employee salaries. Spending that budgeted money well is a priority for operating a successful camp, but you can’t spend it well if you don’t know what marketing tactics bring in registrations.

The end of the summer is the best time to review the performance of your marketing tactics, including:

Thanks to the digital nature of today’s marketing, you should be able to collect and analyze data on email open rates, which blogs get the most clicks and which social media posts earned the highest engagement rates. While there may be an overwhelming amount of data available, it’s worthwhile to sort through it and determine where you’re getting the best return on investment (ROI) from your marketing efforts. Use the data to set benchmarks that you can aim to exceed next summer.

While you’re conducting your summer camp review, we also highly recommend taking stock of your word-of-mouth marketing, especially solicited feedback from parents. Parents report7 that they expect immediate post-camp communication from their camp director regarding their child’s experience. It’s a great idea to use this communication opportunity to leverage feedback from parents.

Learn more about the best ways to get feedback in our five-part guide on making the most of your customer feedback efforts.

Demographics as Part of Summer Camp Review

Your best target for next year’s marketing efforts are people similar to those who attended your summer camp this year. During your summer camp review, take a look at your participant demographics, paying special attention to:

  • Location: Where are participants coming from in terms of distance from your camp?
  • Age: What age groups stand out in terms of volume?
  • Economic factors: Do you have a particular group of participants benefiting from scholarship programs where you may want to increase funding?

Looking at this data, you can determine if there are any surprises in terms of attendees. You may see patterns you weren’t aware of and be able to tweak program offerings to include a broader set of attendees, such as addressing transportation or affordability issues. However, your best bet is to look at which groups are already participating and maximize your efforts aimed in their direction.

Include Financial ROI in Summer Camp Review

Your summer camp’s return on investment (ROI)9 is one of the strongest indicators of what is working—and what isn’t. Calculating ROI throughout the year should be a top priority of your financial department, and you will need to take it into account in your summer camp review.

The simplest way to determine ROI is to subtract your expenses from your income. There are other, more complicated calculations10, but this will give you a general idea of how profitable or successful your summer camp is. You will need to get a handle on all spending from the summer, including salaries, marketing, maintenance, supplies and anything else that cost your camp money. Make sure you track revenue from all sources, including fees, donations and merchandise sales.

Using insights from your ROI calculation and your summer camp review, you’ll be able to set a reasonable budget for next year. You can also determine where to cut spending, based on which efforts are bringing in registrations and which aren’t.

Use Summer Camp Review to Gain an Advantage

To set your summer camp apart from other similar programs in the area, you need to have complete visibility of your programs and the ability to gather and review hard data easily and quickly. Having a complete summer camp review can give you an advantage over other camps by allowing you to adapt for next summer. But gathering the information and analyzing the data for a summer camp review can be tedious, especially if you don’t have the right tools.

ACTIVE Camps11 can help you differentiate your program over the competition by providing the data from your registration, marketing and other programs, all in an easy-to-access digital method.

Talk to a Product Specialist today to find out how you can be in a better place next year with the help of ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager.

 

References

  1. https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/camping-magazine/dollar-cents-operating-camp
  2. https://www.acacamps.org/sites/default/files/resource_library/camping_magazine/Dollars-Cents-Operating%20Camp-1209.pdf
  3. http://www.activecamps.com/resources/whitepapers/31-camp-email-templates
  4. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2017/01/how-to-write-blogposts-that-matter-to-your-customers/
  5. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2015/04/is-your-camp-website-fulfilling-its-1-goal/
  6. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2018/06/the-ultimate-social-media-plan-for-camps-classes/
  7. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2015/08/your-top-priority-immediately-after-the-last-kid-rides-away-guest-post/
  8. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2016/08/now-that-your-session-is-over-customer-feedback-is-your-top-priority/
  9. http://www.activecamps.com/lets-talk-camp/2018/08/how-to-calculate-your-summer-camps-return-on-investment/
  10. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/10/guide-to-calculating-roi.asp
  11. http://www.activecamps.com/

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About Sara Rathbun

Sara Rathbun is the Digital Platforms Specialist for ACTIVE Network, where she optimizes content and marketing campaigns for online delivery. With over 8 years of experience working in a variety of markets, she's well versed in marketing strategies for events of all kinds.