If you’re thinking of running a summer camp, you’ll want to make your sign up process as easy as possible by offering online event registrations. This makes it easy for parents to learn more about the event, register their kids, and purchase tickets in a matter of minutes.
In this post, we’ll explain what you need to do to setup an online registration system for your summer camp. We’ll also explain how you can do this using the Event Espresso plugin for WordPress – an event registration solution that can help you streamline summer camp registration.
Step #1: Set Up an Online Registration System
Taking summer camp registration online allows campers to fill out any necessary forms and send their registration payment to you quickly. It also allows you to process registrations automatically so you can spend more time planning a great, engaging experience for camp goers.
Additionally, it makes it incredibly easy to track registrations, manage cancellations, set event dates, and accept payments. Instead of manually checking through papers or forms to get this info, you can simply search and sort attendee registrations using an online registration system.
Here are the main features you should look for in an online event registration system for summer camp:
- Accept group registrations. You need to make it easy for parents to enroll multiple kids at the same time. An event registration solution – like Event Espresso – lets you accept group registrations and collect payments quickly using the same payment gateway.
- Ticket selector. You should offer multiple types of tickets for your summer camp so campers can choose the experience they want. For example you might offer 3-day pass vs 7-day pass or regular pass vs VIP pass.
- Summer camp registration forms. To deliver a great experience, you need to gather important information from prospective campers using an online registration form. With Event Espresso, you can easily create customizable online registrations forms which means you can ask attendees as little (or as much) as you’d like. That said, we recommend only asking for the essential information at the time of registration including parent name, contact information, child name(s), age, and address, allergy or meal considerations.
- Custom confirmation emails. It’s important to communicate with parents and keep them updated about their kids’ summer camp activities. For this reason, you’ll need an event registration plugin that lets you send personalized confirmation emails. Your emails might contain the camper’s registration information, payment details, and activities they’ve signed up for, and a schedule.
- Waiting list. If your summer camps are popular or if you have a limited number of registrations available, you might consider creating a waiting list. When you reach capacity, parents can add their kids to a waiting list. This means that if someone cancels their registration, the child on the waiting list will automatically be promoted so a parent or guardian can finish up their online registration.
As a summer camp organizer, you need to keep parents informed about the details of their kids’ registrations, stay, food, and activities. One way to convey this information is by publishing a summer camp calendar on your website.
Here are some useful suggestions to keep in mind when creating a summer camp calendar:
- Determine the dates and duration of your summer camp. Let parents know exactly when they can drop off and pick up their kids. This is especially important for summer camps that are scheduled back-to-back.
- Plan out camp activities. Depending on the number of days you have, plan one main activity per day, and one secondary activity. For example:
- Day 1: Kayaking and art class.
- Day 2: Archery and tie-dye shirts.
- Day 3: Rock climbing and bird watch.
- Create an event calendar and share it on your summer camp website. Events Calendar add-on lets you easily display all your summer camp information and planned activities in a calendar view. This also allows parents to quickly select a registration date that works for them and initiate the registration process.
- Provide iCal download links. Add iCal download links to your event calendar page so parents can download the summer camp calendar and add it to their personal calendar (such as on their smartphone or Google Calendar).
- Share the camp location on your summer camp website. You can make it easy for parents to find the campsite by embedding Google Maps into your event site.
Step #3: Sell Tickets for Summer Camp
As we mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to offer multiple types of tickets based on the activities, amenities, and access you plan on offering.
Alternatively, you can create a single ticket for your summer camp. This is ideal for cases where you want to charge all participants the same registration fee instead of offering several different ticket types.
To make sure you remain profitable, it’s worth spending some time thinking about how you’ll price the summer camp tickets. Start by estimating your budget and setting your profit goals. We recommend that you also consider the market you’re catering to and the various amenities you’ll offer potential camp goers.
The ticket prices shouldn’t be so expensive that parents can’t afford them while also not being so low that you can’t deliver a valuable experience. Make a list of all of the costs you’ll incur like food and equipment, renting out cabins and boats, providing transportation, and organizing activities. As,
Total Expense = Renting spaces + Buying food and drinks + Transportation + Security and Staff + Activities
Use this formula to find the total cost of one camp goer.
Expense of one camp goer = Total expense / Number of camp goers
You can add 10% to the expense of one camp goer to determine the final ticket price. This will be your profit margin.
One way to deliver a seamless user experience is by letting parents print out summer camp tickets at home so they don’t have to go out to collect them or wait to have them delivered via post. An event management plugin can help you automatically send registrants printable tickets.
Here are some useful strategies for selling tickets for your summer camp:
- Offer early bird tickets. Lowering your ticket prices for a limited time before your summer camp registrations open will help you attract more campers. This way, you could offer a certain number of tickets for a discounted price and register campers early on.
- Tiered pricing. You can create multiple tickets (at different price points) for your summer camp events. For instance, you’ll be able to charge more for VIP upgrades which offer enhanced experiences to campers like amenities and access not available to camp goers who spring for general admission tickets.
Step #4: Collect Payments Online
To accept payments for your registrations you’ll need to set up online payment gateways (such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net) as well as offline payment options (check or bank transfer) on your summer camp website. This allows parents to pay for their kids’ registrations using the payment method of their choice.
Event Espresso comes with six payment gateways out of the box including PayPal Express and Authorize.net AIM with 17 additional payment gateways offered as add-ons. This enables you to collect payments from parents via their credit card, PayPal, or an offline payment method.
Step #5: Begin Marketing the Summer Camp
Once you’re done setting up registrations for your summer camp, the last step is to promote the event to attract potential campers.
Come up with a marketing strategy that’s based on what you’re actually offering to your customers. Ask yourself: Is the summer camp designed around physical activities? Or is it focused on academic enrichment? Or maybe a combination of both?
Keep in mind that the posters and brochures you design should clearly describe what the kids can expect from attending summer camp.
Let’s look at some steps you can take to effectively market your summer camp to parents and kids:
- Write blog posts on your summer camp website. Blogs and articles can help you educate parents about your camp activities as well as let kids know what they can expect from attending. Plus, blog posts also enable you to improve your search engine visibility. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Summer camp for teens in Utah
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- Best disposable cameras to take to summer camp
- Share summer camp details on social media platforms. Post event details on your business’ social media pages including the dates, venue, and planned activities. For instance, tweet about it and use a relevant hashtag such as #summercamp, #summercamp2019, or a personalized hashtag such as #CampCrescentMoon2019.
- Offer incentives to past customers. Maintain a list of past campers or email subscribers in MailChimp and offer them exclusive promotions and discounts on registration or tickets.
- Encourage social sharing. Allow parents to promote your event for you by sharing on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook after they register for the camp.
Online summer camp registration offers a simple and easy way for camp organizers to ask for camper information and collect payments. It also lets both parents and the campers know what they can expect by attending.
Using an event registration and ticketing tool like Event Espresso takes the heavy-lifting out of setting up summer camp registration. It offers helpful features like online registrations, ticketing functionality, event calendars, access to online payment gateways, and built-in marketing tools.
Are you considering using event registration and ticketing software to organize your summer camp? Let us know by commenting below.