It’s officially spring, which means summer is fast approaching. Soon, the kids will be out of school, the days will belong, the sun will be out, and everyone in your community will be looking to get active and enjoy the natural resources of their hometown. Whether your community is known for its challenging hiking trails, family-friendly parks, crystal clear lakes, or desert rock climbing, you need a marketing plan to promote your local indoor and outdoor parks and rec facilities, and all the classes, leagues, and activities your community has to offer. To help you plan for a successful summer, we have your complete guide to promoting your summer events, no matter the size of your community, or your parks and rec staff.
Distribute Your Course Catalog Throughout Your Community
Create a digital course catalog with full listings of all your summer activities. Include times, locations, registration deadlines, and instructor information. Be sure to make it visually dynamic with photos from previous years. Distribute printed catalogs at community events, as well, like fairs and parades, and make them available at your department offices and civic recreation facilities. One of the best times to get citizens registered for an activity is when they’ve just finished a previous course, so plan to have your summer course catalogs printed soon, before your spring activities end, so that they can be distributed to participants on their last day of spring courses.
Put Your Course Catalog Online
Be sure to also make your course catalog available online. A large portion of your citizens will start their search for summer activities for themselves or their kids with a search engine. As a bonus, if you use rec management software with an integrated online catalog, citizens will be able to register immediately once they find the activities that interest them most.
Send Targeted Emails
Keep citizens informed with seasonal email reminders with direct links to view your online course catalog, register, and pay online. Such conveniences will enable easy registrations and help you meet participation goals. If you don’t already have an opt-in list of citizen emails, start asking citizens to provide their email address when they register for activities. Also, encourage sign-ups on your local government website and your parks and rec department page, so that citizens can stay up-to-date on new opportunities all year long.
Design Your Parks and Rec Web Page to Be Visually Engaging
When citizens searching for summer activities land on your local government parks and rec web page, you want them to feel excited about possible activities and classes to encourage immediate registrations. One of the best ways to generate interest and engagement is with a website that utilizes dynamic videos and photos that draw in the visitor and help them visualize the benefits of their own participation. Also, make sure that your parks and rec web page and any recreation management software you use is mobile responsive to make it easy for citizens to search and register for activities from a smartphone or tablet.
Distribute Coupon Codes to Past Registrants
Reward continued participation in community programs by generating coupon codes that can be sent to past registrants. Encourage them to use the coupon code to earn a discount on their summer class registration.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
It’s estimated that there are 2.3 billion active social media users across the globe. Whether your community is urban or rural, with 1,000 or 1 million citizens, it’s likely most are utilizing social media to engage in their community, share content with friends, and learn new information. Make sure you are promoting all available open registrations on social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
Enable Point-of-Sale Upgrades
If your parks and rec software includes a point-of-sale solution, train your on-site staff to encourage summer class registrations among sprint class participants. By viewing a citizen’s participation history and asking a few simple questions, trained staff can encourage citizens to engage in future activities.
Offer a Discount for Early Registrations
Everyone loves knowing they got something at a discounted rate. Promote 10 percent off course registration fees for those citizens who register by a certain date. Such advanced registration tactics are easy to implement with a robust parks and rec software platform and they create a sense of urgency that helps you meet registration goals.
Research Effective Channels and Replicate Your Promotional Plan Each Season
Track the source of your registrations so that you understand what marketing channels are most effective to engaging the citizens in your community. Once you’ve determined the most effective marketing sources, continue to execute the same promotional campaign each season, to ensure your citizens remain active and engaged in your community year-round.