I have not gotten back to this guest services marketing series very quickly. So, here we go.
The first part of of the workshop was about matching the abilities of your camp with the needs of potential groups.
Let’s start with some definitions.
When I say “your abilities” this relates to what your camp is capable of, as well as what is efficient. So, to evaluate your abilities you should look at physical things like capacity, dinning room space, activity space, meeting space, breakout rooms, and location. But you should also look at some less concrete things, for example how good is your food, are you willing to and capable of responding to last minute requests, how flexible is your mindset and policies? You have to consider the complete package of your camp, not just the buildings that you can see.
“Their need” is of course the needs of the groups. Again, this is about more then just how many beds a group needs. For example, what are their AV and meeting space needs? Do they need the ability to change their schedule on the fly or do they stick to a schedule they planned a year ago? What time of the year do they need to come? What is their budget? Do they need help planning or are they experts already?
Once you have evaluated your abilities it seems like there are several ways to go about matching them up with your market, and in truth it is going to be a cycle. The place to start is to determine the potential market. It does not matter how great your facilities are, how good your food is, and how friendly your staff if there is no one to come. So, for example, if your camp is in the middle of nowhere, and there is one church of 50 people in a 1500 mile radius, you’re probably never going to build a sustainable guest services ministry focused on serving churches with youth groups of 500. An exaggeration for sure, but the point is that you can’t develop your abilities in a vacuum. You must be relevant to the potential market.
I want to keep these posts bite sized, so we will stop their for now. Up next, some thoughts on how to evaluate the needs of groups.