Contributing author: Chris Carver
Running a camp is a difficult job. From managing the registration process, daily operations, and also keeping the safety of those enrolled. In order to provide an experience worth the time and money, it is important to know how your camp is being received by attendees and their parents!
By keeping track of your numbers with regard to registration and attendance, you can deduct a lot of feedback about how valuable your camp is. You should ask yourself THREE important questions:
- How can you make this process quick and easy for you?
- What kind of data should you collect?
- Finally, why is this important for your camp participants?
Let’s dive deeper into those questions and see what exactly goes into each:
How can you make the reporting process quicker and easier?
You should certainly look into an integrated online registration software. It should work in accordance with your website, making the registration process as simplified as possible. This allows you to manage data, watch trend reports, and collect required documentation.
- Utilizing an online registration solution saves time for registrants, as well as for you on the administrative side of things.
- Online registration comes along with easy reporting features that you can customize and eliminates hours of sifting through paperwork.
- Having a live database helps to eliminate errors that come along with entering information into a simple spreadsheet.
What kind of data should you collect?
In order to properly market and cater to campers’ needs, you want to know more about them. In an $18 billion industry, camps are certainly a place where a lot of customer data needs to be collected. This comes from 14 million campers and 1.4 million camp staff involved in the industry yearly. Furthermore, all of these people’s sensitive information needs to be securely stored. You can collect this information without being invasive using online registration software
- Knowing how many new and returning registrants is a must.
- Compare the marketing you did in multiple consecutive years to the net difference in registrants. Analyze and look at what year had the highest yield of registrants. This may help you identify where you could improve your marketing and registration processes.
- If you know how many new campers you had for the season, as well as how many returning campers showed up, it will give you an idea of how well your marketing is working, or how easy your registrations process is.
- Finding out how registrants heard about your camp is a key component for the future of your camp.
Why is this important for your camp Participants?
It's simple, you need to focus on the camp itself. As a camp manager, your business leverages on the fact that your activities are experientially beneficial to registrants. You likely hire a sizable group of employees or use volunteers to oversee the function and safety of your camp. Instead of paying a number of people to do accounting and registration for the camp, you can easily designate a single person (or do it yourself) to manage registration.
This is important for your camp because you are able to have more instructors and camp personnel to help make registrants’ time a more safe and memorable experience. More one-on-one time with instructors and more time for learning and fun. With less time focused on making sure things are prepared and organized, more time can be dedicated to experience.
Running a camp should be fun, rewarding, and also manageable. You can do this by updating the way you do things through: shifting from paper, simplification through availability, and reporting on your outcomes. You no longer have to pay 3rd party sites or analysts to help you solve your problems. By shifting to an online registration software allows you the autonomy to create your own customized reports. You can also save time allowing you to focus on the important things like camp-goer experience!