Every exciting journey starts with a single step. The same goes for summer camp, with the first step of this outdoor adventure being filling out the camp registration form.
However, more often than not, this part of the process isn’t viewed as the beginning of an adventure but rather as a necessary evil—something to get over with as quickly as possible.
But did you know it doesn’t have to be that way?
It is possible to create a great registration form. So great, in fact, that it could help you improve your camp in so many different ways.
Therefore, if you’re interested in finding out more about how to create awesome registration forms and their many benefits, read on!
Fulfills Expectations for a Digital Registration Process
To say that technology plays an important role in modern society would be a huge understatement.
Today, seemingly everyone owns a computer or a smart device and relies on them to carry out different tasks throughout the day.
From work and shopping to entertainment and communication with friends and family—we can do it all on a single device.
So it comes as no surprise at all that modern consumers have come to demand a seamless user experience every time, all the time, and with everything.
Camp registration, which was until recently carried out manually and mostly in person or over the phone, now needs to reflect these modern needs.
American Camp Association (ACA) analyzed data from 7.2 million camp and activity bookings and concluded that more and more parents use their mobile devices to register children for camp.
In fact, 60% of parents used smartphones or tablets to book camp in 2022, according to the ACA’s report.
Your registration form, therefore, needs to be tailored to the digital environment. The whole registration experience must be seamless, quick, and, most importantly, mobile-friendly.
Today, there’s less and less room for registration forms that need to be filled out manually. They simply take too much time to complete and are usually very hard to fill out on mobile devices.
Just consider, for example, downloadable PDF files. They are a nightmare to interact with on a smartphone.
So what it all ultimately boils down to is convenience.
Your registration process should reflect and cater to the needs of a modern consumer, which means parents should be able to do it from the comfort of their own homes, in their own time, and without having to deal with overly complicated forms.
Solves Most Common Camp Registration Pain Points
Otherwise, you risk losing your potential registrants.
Lengthy, drawn-out, complicated forms filled with unnecessary questions are, in fact, more than just annoying.
According to a survey by The Manifest, they’re the main cause of online form abandonment, along with security concerns.
The fact is people abandon online forms all the time. It’s so easy to do. One click on that “x” button, and that’s the end of it.
But what happens after that? Do people return to finish the form later?
According to research, this is very unlikely. Only a small percentage of The Manifest survey respondents said they completed the online form later.
So, what you need to do is find a way to incentivize parents to actually complete your registration form.
The best way to achieve this is through a form that’s as short as possible, easy to understand and to navigate through, with no lagging between steps and no redirect pages.
In essence, you need to create a form that’ll solve the most common registration process pain points.
Luckily, camp registration software like Regpack was designed precisely with the intention of solving such problems.
With Regpack’s online form builder, you can quickly build a registration form and tailor it to your own needs—those of your registrants.
The feature also allows you to select mandatory fields, so you get all the vital information every time. No more incomplete forms!
You can even style the form however you want to make sure it matches your website perfectly.
But don’t get intimidated. Thanks to its drag-and-drop interface, Regpack’s online form builder is super easy to use, too.
And when you’re happy with the form you’ve created, simply embed it on your website so parents can easily register and pay for camp without being directed to a third-party website, even if they’re booking the camp over their phone.
As a result, parents get to register their children for camp easily and quickly, and you get forms that are filled out correctly, completely, and promptly every single time.
Talk about a win-win situation.
Allows Registrants to Perfect Their Camp Experience
A seamless registration process, however, is not only about getting it over with quickly. A great camp registration form should also have a role in perfecting everyone’s camping experience.
In other words, a truly efficient registration form will let registrants tell you all about their preferences, needs, and expectations.
As a result, they’ll feel like the whole experience was created especially for them. Almost as if they organized the whole thing themselves.
So let’s see how exactly you can elevate everyone’s camping experience using registration forms.
For starters, if it makes financial sense for your camp, consider offering different pricing tiers and options to show that you really care about your campers.
The reality is not everyone can afford summer camp, and this is a great way to make the experience accessible to more people.
In a similar vein, not everyone will be able to drive their children to your camp themselves, either. So why not organize different transportation options?
From various activities and additional offers, to letting your campers choose their own cabin buddy—the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to creating camp registration forms.
Don’t get carried away, though. You don’t want a form that takes too long to fill out.
Moreover, by offering these different options, you’ll make sure that, with each answered question and selected option, the excitement about your camp grows.
The emphasis will no longer be on how complicated the form is but on the good times that are about to come as a result of filling it out.
So don’t look at the registration process as a necessary evil but as an opportunity to create an amazing camping experience that’ll surely be remembered forever.
Provides a First Impression That Promotes Retention
Essentially, your registration form is what sets the tone for the rest of the camping experience.
It tells you what your campers expect, but it is also a key factor in the parents’ first impression of your camp.
And a good first impression can go a long way.
In fact, it has the potential to bring campers back to your camp year after year.
Oftentimes, businesses focus their efforts on growth and acquiring new customers, while retention remains overlooked. This is not the best strategy.
Camper retention can do more for your business than you might expect.
For starters, it saves you a lot of money in the long run because acquiring new customers is usually much more expensive than retaining old ones.
In fact, putting efforts toward customer retention can decrease your customer acquisition costs by up to 40%, research shows.
More importantly, returning campers are the best type of feedback you could possibly receive. If the same campers return each year, that tells you you must be doing something right.
And if you’re doing things right, it’s highly likely those happy campers will spread the word about the amazing time they had at your camp.
After all, there’s no better marketing strategy than word of mouth.
Naturally, the overall camping experience is crucial in retaining campers, but don’t underestimate the effect your registration process can have in this regard, too.
No matter how much fun their children have at the camp, parents will surely think twice if they have to go through the same tedious process all over again year after year.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make the registration process more accommodating for returning campers.
For instance, consider reducing data re-entry for repeat registrants. Have the parents create an account during registration so the system can pull the necessary data every time they register.
This data can include:
- Contact information
- Health conditions
- Payment information
Of course, make sure they can edit the information later on, but the general rule of thumb here is the less typing involved—the better.
Helps You Remain Informed Throughout the Process
After the crucial information is entered or re-entered, great registration software stores all the data in the cloud, and you’re able to access it anytime and anywhere.
Consequently, you and your team remain informed throughout the whole camping experience, i.e., before, during, and even after the camp takes place.
As the first day of camp approaches, you need to carefully track the registrations for each session, their numbers as well as outstanding payments.
Camp registration software does precisely that, and it does so 24/7.
Based on this accurate and timely data, you can now create groups, assign counselors, and send out payment reminders.
As a result, when the camp finally starts, you’ll be better prepared, and everything’ll be more likely to run smoothly.
Was this year’s program more successful than last year’s? Is the new marketing strategy working? What’s your camp’s retention rate?
Are there more female or male campers, and what does that tell you?
With a good registration form, anything and everything that’ll help you improve your decision-making and take your camp to the next level can be measured and analyzed.
Never underestimate the power of accurate and up-to-date data.
There’s no denying that running a summer camp comes with its own set of challenges, so it’s hard to imagine that the registration process could make your job any easier.
Still, this is very much possible.
One well-crafted, automated, mobile-friendly registration form with integrated payments can go a long way in terms of providing a better camping experience from start to finish for both you and the parents.
In other words, neglecting to create a great registration form means missing out on more registrations, more happy campers, and more overall success.