Dancers don’t need wings to fly. But dance studios certainly need a successful dance camp program to stay afloat in the summer season.
Even though summer is still a few months away, parents are already starting to look into creative ways to keep their children busy and active once schools close. Summer dance camps rank high on their list of possibilities so it’s a great idea to start planning your dance summer camps now!
With more and more summer camps for parents to choose from, you need to ensure that you have a stellar program in place to attract new students and bring back current ones.
An outstanding dance studio summer camp program requires careful and thorough planning. So, how do you go about planning for your upcoming summer camp? Easy! Follow the steps below to help you plan a successful summer dance camp program and ensure revenue during your off-season.
4 steps to planning a successful summer dance camp program
Analyze previous years’ summer camps
Before you start making any decisions for your upcoming summer session of dance camps, pull out your previous years’ reports. Sit down with your team and look at the takeaways from your past experiences to help guide decisions as you draft your summer camp project plan.
Logistics and organization
Ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- What went great and what could use improvement?
- Were there too many children at each camp? Or were there just enough?
- How did similar programs offered in your area compare?
- Did you have any late registrations that you were unable to accommodate?
- What about the teachers? Which fan-favorites should you add to this year’s camp schedule?
- How were the end-of-camp customer reviews? What did the parents have to say?
When it comes to putting together this year’s camp plan, find out what the parents and students loved most about your summer camp previously, and be sure to keep it. Similarly, pinpoint what seemed to be the least exciting part of your summer camp, and be sure to skip it this year.
You can check out past reviews for other dance camps and see what the competition seemed to nail and where they seemed to flop. This should help you decide on the type of classes or dance camp themes you will offer, the teachers you will hire, the daily program you will follow and the number of children per class.
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Once you have taken a close look at logistics and organization, it is time to review the financial data. Things you should consider from last year’s summer camp season:
- How much did you pay for teachers’ salaries?
- What did you spend on running expenses?
- How much did you charge per child to register for camp?
- Was your allocated advertising budget ideal, too little or too much?
- After all of the expenses were paid, what was your profit?
Now it’s time to take your findings and put them into action!
Review the numbers for decision-making
Once you have collected the information on past summer camps, you are ready to make some decisions for the upcoming summer season.
With a budget and ideal income in mind, you can determine how many students you need to enroll in order to reach that revenue goal. From there, set the price of your summer camp to ensure that you make the desirable profit.
From there, consider the number of guest instructors and choreographers you’d like to include in this year’s summer camp lineup. Factoring this increase in payroll costs, in addition to your regular summer camp staff, should not be overlooked!
How much are you willing to spend on marketing? Word of mouth is crucial but isn’t nearly enough when you have summer camps to fill. Step up your game and show prospective customers that your dance camp is the best camp in town for their child.
Paid social media posts, local parent directories, community newsletters, drop flyers off at local preschools that are soon to be closed for the summer are all great ways to spend your marketing dollars. Buyer beware: make sure to target your ideal customer so compelling marketing doesn’t become money wasted.
Plan fun and creative activities
Any dance studio can host summer dance camps. However, planning fun and creative activities will keep your summer camp top-of-mind when parents are looking to see where they want to send their child.
How do you stand out from the crowd? Think outside the box!
Here are some ideas:
- If local dance studios are holding 2-month sessions for summer camps, you may opt to offer camps on a weekly schedule. Typically parents find it easier to commit to a weekly program in the summer. It also allows students to try a short session before enrolling in classes during your regular season.
- If you offer camps weekly, you can assign a theme or style for each week. Themes can help draw in more dancers as some will be more interested in one theme or style than the other.
- Take the experience beyond the barre and plan a surprise at the end of each week. This will keep your students motivated and excited for each weekly session. Some ideas include visiting a local theater, a party at the dance studio, a raffle with prizes – the sky’s the limit.
- Depending on the length of your camp, you can plan a performance for the parents. Parents love to see what their kids have learned and your students have something to work hard for during camp. Is there anything better than showcasing all of the hard work?!
Making sure your dance camps create a special and exciting experience will bring in revenue all summer and maybe even secure some new students for the fall!
Advertise your summer camp
You have all these creative ideas in mind and have put together exciting lesson plans with an impressive staff. But all of this hard work won’t pay off if you don’t get the word out about your summer camp program.
A successful plan for marketing your business should include the best way to reach your audience. Here are some easy steps to make sure you cover all your bases:
- Email newsletters to last year’s summer camp attendees and include special offers for early registration.
- Find new customers via paid social media ads.
- Design print ads and hand them out to your current students enrolled in your dance season.
- Create landing pages and videos to bring your audience back to your website.
Using a strategic plan that includes ways to connect with prospects and current customers will ensure your dance camps fill up.
How to manage summer dance camps with Jackrabbit Dance
The key to managing a successful summer dance camp program is studio management software. With an all-in-one system like Jackrabbit Dance, you can:
- Set up summer camps for online registration
- Assign policies that are specific to camps only
- Collect payments at the time of enrollment
- Manage attendance and supplemental resources with the Staff Portal
- Run historical enrollment and financial reports
- Market to prospective campers
- Communicate with families of enrolled campers
- And much more!
With summer dance camps ensuring income during the slower summer months, having studio management software that can help you put your well-thought-out plan into action with ease.
If you’re looking for the perfect software to help you boost your summer revenue, we would love to help you. Start a 30-day trial and work with a product coach to get your summer dance camps set up and open for registration!