Popdance Kids Camps are very popular – and, if you get them right, they can sell out fast!
Consistency is key, and, if you are just starting up with camps, don’t try to do too many at first, start off slowly – it’s better to have full camps rather than lots of half empty ones!
Many of our teachers run their own camps so do feel free to chat with them in the Popdance Licenced Teachers Facebook group
We also tell our Popdance “campers” dates for upcoming camps before we email them out to the rest of our database, making our “campers” feel special and that they are getting priority treatment ?
So, how do you go about starting your own camp?
Venue is really important. You are going to be spending much of the day in the venue so you need to have room! We look for venues where you have sole occupancy, i.e. no members of the public have access to the venue, this makes it safer for you and the children and also enables you to have freedom of the place, children can go to the loo on their own etc.
All Saints Studios, where we hold camps, has two studios and a kitchen, we usually have tables and chairs in the downstairs studio for colouring in activities, creative play and where the children have their lunch, we dance in the upstairs studio and we have the kitchen where we keep the children’s lunchboxes and our teachers can make themselves a cup of tea ?
Community centres work well and if you have any outside space you can use, just check that it’s safe for the children, i.e. fenced off, no cars, no members of the public etc.
The other great thing about All Saints Studios is that it is next door to a softplay centre and we spoke with the owner there and arranged that we go in with our Popdance “Campers” for an hour. They wear orange tabards and are checked in and out by our Popdance Teachers and our teachers also stay with them at the soft play – it’s literally next door to the studios. This works really well as it gives our teachers a break, the kids go crazy in the soft play and it’s an added extra on our sales literature to parents.
If you have a leisure centre near you that has a softplay centre, perhaps you could arrange a similar deal, or perhaps you could hire the dance studio at the centre and book time in the softplay too.
Plus, you could speak to your nearest softplay centre to see if they have a party room or something similar that you could run your camp in, and include softplay.
Do ensure that if you do run camps in a public place, that your “campers” are safe and are escorted to the loo if the toilets are open to the public.
Ok, so you have the venue now – negotiate on venue hire rates to get the best price possible, you could mention that you are looking to run regular camps, so it will be a regular hire for them.
You will also need 2 Dance Teachers to run the camp – so bear in mind if this will be you and another teacher and how much you will pay that teacher – or whether you want to run it as a joint venture.
Our venue hire is £80 per day (8.30am – 3.30pm – actual camp runs from 9.00am – 3.15pm) – you can run whatever hours you want to but we find that covering the school day is great for working parents!
We pay our teachers £70 each per day.
We pay soft play £4 per child
We charge £20 per day per child
So we know we have £220 in costs (without softplay) and need 14 children to cover these costs (based this on £16 per child as £4 goes to softplay).
We take a maximum of 25 children and either sell out and start a waiting list, or sometimes we may have 22/23 children. When we sell out, our profit is £180 – so if you are running this camp and paying one teacher to assist you, you would make £250 in one day!
Think about how people will pay you – bank transfer, paypal etc. Paypal is very simple to set up but remember that PayPal do take on average 3% of the transactions.
DATES AND TIMES
As mentioned previously, consistency is key – if you stick to a certain day of the week and run every school holiday at first, and then perhaps see what the demand is and increase from there.
We chose Wednesdays (good mid-weeker) and also wanted to cover the school day, making it attractive to working parents too. So we run 9.00am – 3.15pm
So you are all set with your venue, price, date and time, you now need to market the camps.
Visuals work really well when spreading the word – here’s a copy of the Halloween Flyer our teachers use.
Email all your existing customers to invite them to the camp and mention that as they have danced with you before, you are giving them a sneaky early booking opportunity before you tell everyone else.
Ask us to email out to customers we have on our database in your area too ?
Then, feature on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Go for facebook groups too, things such as St Albans Mums, parents in Watford, parents in Hertfordshire etc. but obviously look for groups in your area.
Remember not to just “link dump” or “blatantly advertise”, social media is called social for a reason ?Introduce yourself and say something like “Hi, my name is Sue, for all you working parents out there, you may be interested in our Halloween Camps that cover the school day, take a look” and add a photo of your flyer.
If you have a Popdance Licence, you can find out more about marketing your camps, tips on what to do during your camps, download tons of free resources such as Halloween Activity Sheets and how to give your customers EXCELLENT customer service by visiting POP (the Popdance Teacher website) and heading to:
- how to
- activity camps
- marketing your Popdance camps