The start of your summer camp may be months away, but marketing your camp needs to happen now when families are planning their summer activities. The quickest, most effective way to get the word out and get sign-ups is to use online registration software.
Get with the (Software) Program
Today’s consumers are accustomed to making purchases online. Registration for your camp (or any event you hold) shouldn’t be treated any differently. Being your customer should feel easy. Online event registration software does that.
Using a program like Event Manager enables parents to sign up their children for camp and pay online using their tablets, laptops, desktops, or phones—at any time they choose. If they want to register at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., they can—quickly and easily. There are no paper registration forms to fill out. No checks to write. No stamps to buy. No envelopes to mail.
Parents click on your registration link, fill in their contact information and credit card information, click the register button, and they’re done.
Registrants aren’t the only ones that benefit. Taking your sign-up process online will save you and your staff tons of time. Imagine no longer having to:
- Create and print registration flyers and brochures
- Open envelopes with handwritten forms and checks
- Mail out brochures and pay for postage
- Re-enter registration info in a spreadsheet
- Decipher illegible handwriting on paper registration forms
- Collect payments in person
- Make trips to the bank to deposit cash and checks
- Manage and store stacks of paper registration forms, permission slips and rosters
Sounds good, right?
Setting Up a Registration Page
Setting up a registration page in Event Manager can be done in 20 minutes or less. Even better, you can accept payments online immediately that very same day. No merchant account is required to use Event Manager.
Payments are processed through the Member Solutions’ Level One PCI-compliant payment processing platform. Level One is the most rigorous industry-recognized payment card security standard available. Knowing this you can rest assured all payment data entered in Event Manager is secure.
Once in the Event Manager program, you enter your camp name, beginning/end date, start/end times, and your camp fee.
You’ll also add an event description for your camp that appears above the form section of your registration page. Keep the description brief but benefit-rich. Answer the question on parents’ minds:
“What’s in it for me or for my child? Will extended child care be offered for those of us that work 9-5? What will my child learn? Will he or she master new martial arts skills? Partake in activities like crafts and games? Make new friends?”
Market Your Summer Camp Online
Each online registration page created in Event Manager has its own unique link. All you need to do is copy and paste the registration link into online marketing outlets to get the word out, and you’ll begin to see registrations come in.
Post your link on Facebook, in emails, on your website, in Google Ads, in online directories. Post repeatedly on each channel up until the event date. Remember the more you promote your camp, the more impressions you make, the greater your event sign-ups and revenue.
Quick, Easy Tips to Boost Sign-Ups
It’s common practice in event marketing to offer special incentives that add value and encourage prospects to sign-up. Tools like Event Manager give you controls to easily manage incentives. For instance, you can:
1. Offer a payment plan.
Because most camp registration fees can be substantial (anywhere from $199 to $600 per week), you may want to offer the option of paying in installments. This is particularly attractive to cash-strapped families and helps set your camp apart from others.
Event Manager gives you controls to set the number of payments, the required down payment, and the last acceptable collection date.
2. Set an early-bird discount.
People love getting a bargain. In Event Manager, you can plug in the early-bird registration fee and the date you want to have it expire. The software will automatically update the registration page with your new price when the expiration date passes.
3. Offer a sibling/friend discount.
Chances are good that parents will be signing up more than one child or know someone who is interested in attending camp with their child. You can encourage parents to register a family member or friend by offering a discount on multiple registrations. A common offer: “Register One Camper, Get Half Off the Second Registration”.
Again, Event Manager gives you controls to set discounts for multiple registrations. No matter which incentive(s) you employ, make sure you promote the options in your marketing so parents know about it.