With summer camps coming back last year, it’s fair to anticipate that the market for summer camps will be back in full swing this year. Parents of children of all ages are looking forward to seeing those smiling faces come home from a long day of fun (and, let’s be honest, the break!).


Why Now?

There’s several compelling reasons to get your dance camp marketing going now to ensure higher enrollment this year. Here’s just a few:


Parents are thinking about it now

While it may seem early, the summer camp market is insanely competitive and it’s important to get your foot in the door before everyone else does. Parents will start browsing for summer camps right around the time they start planning summer vacations and worrying about child care- and that time is now. The earlier you can put your camp out there, the more peace of mind those parents will have, and the higher the rate of your enrollment will be. 


Gauge Interest in Your Program

Not only that, but opening your registration early is the perfect way to gauge interest in your program. Which weeks seem to be the most popular to dancers? How many people will you need to staff your program adequately? Should you add new weeks or take away ones with no interest? These questions are important to be asking yourself, and the earlier you get involved with the registration process, the sooner you’ll have an understanding of the answers.


Sharpen Your Competitive Edge

Let’s face it- the reality is, there are hundreds if not thousands of summer camp organizations for parents to choose from. If you’re one of the firsts to start marketing, you’ll increase your chances of being the one that they choose thanks to the tried and true method of brand awareness. If you get your foot in the door now, you’ll have more time to increase the reach of your organization and get people talking about it. Waiting until the rush will only make the space more competitive, and make parents choose between your camp or another.


Now you know why, what about how?

At this point you’re likely wondering exactly how you can start setting yourself apart and beating the competition. Marketing your dance camp with the right tools and best practices will help make sure your dance camp is the one people choose, and keep coming back to! 


Offer Early-Bird Discount Rates

There’s not a person in the world who doesn’t love to save a little extra cash, and there’s a lot of benefits for you to set early registration rates. Like we mentioned before, gauging interest for your program can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders. Being able to plan ahead is the biggest benefit of all, and will certainly relieve some stress when summer is right around the corner. On top of that, offering these rates will create a sense of urgency for people to sign up for your program. The more registrations, the better!


Increase Engagement with Themed Weeks

Themes can offer a sense of uniqueness to your program and can set you apart from the competition. You can stick with tried and true themes (princesses, superheroes, dinosaurs and more) or do a little research into trending topics that will get your dancers engaged and parents excited. Exploring themes this year will also help you in the long run, allowing you to understand which themes are the most popular. Furthermore, when next year rolls around, a “Princess camp is back!” campaign is a wonderful marketing strategy that will increase your returning camper rates. 


Consider Hosting a “Trial Camp” 

For the parents with new dancers that might be a little nervous to join camp, you can consider offering a trial camp- these are often one to two day sessions in the beginning of the summer season, and are a great way to introduce what you offer without the full commitment that can sometimes be difficult for parents, especially post-pandemic. This is also a wonderful opportunity to get your counselors and teachers into the swing of things before the rush of camp starts.


Engage Free Marketing with Social Media

Relying solely on word of mouth or posters can be tough in a digital age. Consider using your social media accounts to get people interested! You can post fun pictures from a previous camp or class, advertise your themes, and it will be the perfect way to keep parents engaged when actual camp rolls around! Moreover,  engaging referral codes and coupons is easy with fun social campaigns, such as “Share this post for a chance to win two free days of camp!” Using your social channel is completely free and can yield amazing results to get the word out.


Pro-Tip: When posting on your social media, geo-tag the location of your dance camp! Better yet, use hashtags for the surrounding towns and cities. This will get people in the area to your page, and help you reach any and every dancer that might be interested in your program!


Build Excitement For Your Program

If you’re looking to build excitement, we have a few ideas on how to do it. You could engage in a super fun summer camp countdown on your website– or countdowns until the last day for early-bird registrations, the last day until final registrations, etc. This builds anticipation and is something parents can get excited about with their kids- and a great, easy way to promote on your social media! You could also do a fun marketing campaign to introduce your counselors for the summer, which is a great way to make parents feel comfortable with your organization and will make first-day jitters much easier for their kids. 


Implement Sibling and Group Coupons

Getting people to sign up for programs in groups is a sure-fire way to fill up spots. Like we mentioned with early registration, people love a deal! Consider offering sibling rates, group rates, and referral discounts to returning families who invite a friend to come to camp this year. Parents with more than one child, or children with friends they’ll want to spend all their summer fun time with, will love this- and your enrollment rates will too!


Make Registration Easy and Professional

When parents are sorting out their plans for the summer, the last thing they want on their plate is to have to figure out how to sign their kids up on top of what to sign their kids up for. If they’ve come to your program’s website with interest in your program, they’ll quickly turn away if the website is difficult to navigate and registration is complicated to complete. The faster and easier the registration process is, the more likely they are to follow through. 


On The Stage

Built by industry veterans, On The Stage is a robust platform designed to streamline the business side of things for your organization, so you can focus your valuable time and energy into your craft. From classes and camp registration, to social media integration, show site building, marketing and more, it’s everything you need to run your program successfully, all-in-one place. Book a personalized demo today to see how we can help you decrease your stress and increase your enrollment!

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