Once you’ve planned your summer horse riding camp offerings for 2018, it’s time to market them. Louise Bienieki, the Equestrian Center Manager at Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, Vermont, and Lisa Moosmueller-Terry, Director and Intercollegiate Dressage Association coach at Emory & Henry Equestrian Center in Virginia, offer five tips for marketing your summer camp.
1. Know your market.
Once you decide the type of camp you’d like to offer, advertise to clients who make a good fit for the program.
“If you are looking to have eventing camp, don't advertise in a Western style magazine,” Bienieki said.
2. Connect with local groups.
Cultivate relationships with these horse club leaders and ask them to share your camp information with their members. “4-H and Pony Clubs will often do some camps as a group,” Bienieki said.
3. Promote online.
“Emory & Henry camps are marketed mainly through our website and also included in our marketing information,” Moosmueller-Terry said.
While the college has a sophisticated website that is maintained by IT specialists, summer camps can leverage the power of a website that is simple, straightforward and easy-to-read. There are a number of ways to have a budget-friendly and effective site built.
4. Meet prospective customers in person.
Face-to-face interaction with potential clients is a powerful marketing tool if you can make it work. It’s not always possible to meet the campers and their parents in person ahead of time, but connect with other “influencers” who might recommend your camp.
Bienieki suggested visiting local horse shows and posting information at your local tack stores. Moosmueller-Terry added that talking about Emory & Henry’s camps at college recruiting events is an effective way to reach potential camp attendees.
5. Word of mouth.
Recommendations from previous clients are the best advertising, Bienieki said. Ask satisfied campers (and their parents) for testimonials that can be used on your website and in other marketing materials.