b'MODERN MARKETINGCreating a Great First Impression by Nurturing New RVers While the practical stuff cant be overlooked, much of the RV magicis found in the experiences at your park. If you operate a transient Evannepark, stock a little grocery in your office, have local restaurant or de- Schmarderlivery menus handy and provide a map with walking routes.Itfinallyhappened.Myniece uation.Eventhesimpleactof items like tank chemical and TP, a not in the scope of your opera-and nephew, part of the Millen- drivingdownasmallroadcan level,somethingbrandedlike tion? You can still make a lastingnialgenerationofSchmarders, turn trees into obstacles. RV sys- kooziesandastaffmemberto impression. Choose three topicsmessaged me asking for advice on tems are different than they are help them with their first hook- weve discussed above and createfull-time RVingtheir next chap- used to in a house or hotel and up.handouts or tip sheets. These canter. Its not surprising. What used whiletheywillexpandtheir Offereducationalopportuni- be single-page or mini-booklets.tobeanunusualchoiceboth knowledge with time and experi- ties. These can range from a full- They can consist of images, sto-full-timing and RVing in generalence, human nature never lets us blownbootcamptaughtby riesandchecklists. Youcanin-has rapidly gained popularity, fu- forget those first faux pas. It is in someone on staff or brought in for clude recipes, resources and topeling incredible growth. With re- the handling that makes us cringe the occasion, small group semi- tips. If you have a robust onlinenewed interest in the RV lifestyle, orchucklewhenlookingback. narswithampleQ&Atimeora presence,converttheseprintedbusiness in our sector is booming. This is where you come in. If our personalhands-ontechteam. products to digital for download.I think it is safe to say that a goal is to create loyal, lifetime cus- Guests might also be interested in But no matter what you choose,large number of your guests this tomers, it is up to the entire out- bookingalaser-focused,all- you must always follow two rules:season will be new to this type of door hospitality industry to help about-themhourwithaknowl- it must be pleasant and entertain-travel. They might be full-timers, new RVers ease in, bumps and all, edgeableRVertolearnfrom inganditmustcontainyourlike Will and Velvet, or they might and deliver the relaxed memories othersexperiencesinamore branding (logo, park name, con-be weekend warriors. Maybe they were selling.structured setting than a camp- tact information).have decided to bring the family Depending on the type of prop- fire. backtonatureorarekicking ertyyourunandyourlocation, Each Outing Countsaround a retirement lifestyle. Re- youmightconsiderpartnering Show Them What Theyll Want Whether you market your parkgardless, there is a lot to learn and with local RV dealers to provide While the practical stuff cant be as a newbie haven, are in a high-theyllbelookingtoyou,park shakedown cruises, the first out- overlooked, much of the RV magic demand area or along the high-owners and operators, to set the ing in a guests new rig. This al- is found in the experiences at your waysandbywaysofAmerica,stage for their (and indirectly, our lows the buyers close proximity to park.Ifyouoperateatransient theresaverygoodchancethatindustrys) success.thesalesandserviceteamthey park, stock a little grocery in your newtravelershavechosenyourpurchased their unit from in case office, have local restaurant or de- park for one of their first outdoorGive Them What They Need of need. But, if your location does- livery menus handy and provide a hospitality stops. This makes youWe can start with a few basic as- nt lend itself to this proven pro- map with walking routes. Youre abenchmark,ameasureforallsumptions. Unless they are/were gram, other things can be done to alsoinanexcellentpositionto others that come after. Yes, theretruck or bus drivers, maneuvering attractandaidthisburgeoning givesomethinglikeahandyli- istheobviouslookandfeelofalarger-than-usualvehicleisa market segment.cense plate number business card yourproperty,firstimpressionschallenge they will have to meet. Develop package stays aimed at for their wallets, reminding them matter. In the end, however, itsNavigating is different and, if not new RVers. These might include of your park each time they com- the way a stay makes new RVerscareful,theycanquicklyfind designated easy in/easy out sites, plete a new check-in form. feelthatmattersmost.Aimforthemselves in a tight (literally) sit- awelcomepackagewithuseful Take some time to think about betterprepared,confidentandwhats new and different in an RV thrilled.and how you can help build mem- Being out on the road for theories and skills around this new first time can be exhilarating, liketraveling style. a breath of fresh air. But it can alsoEveryones got to eat and cook- be frustrating and a little scary. Itsing at the campsite can be a chal- up to us, the outdoor hospitalitylenge.Teachcampfirecooking, industry, to live up to the hype.how to make meals in a rig and After all, Will and Velvet only knowtips and tricks for stocking an RV what theyve heard. Well have topantry and fridge. Offer cooking show them the rest. demos, hands-on classes, even awine tasting if you operate in wine Evanne Schmarder, principal andcountry. founder of the RV industry-specificDifferentfromthego-go-go digital marketing firm Roadabodepace,campinginvitesgueststo Production, has a new book to helpslow down. This can be a difficult you do just that. Marketing Your transitionforsome.Helpthem RVPark/CampgroundOnlineisenjoy their time at your park (and availableasane-bookatyour maybe even find their passion) by favoriteonlinebooksellerorinprovidinghobbyorrecreational print at Amazon.com. WCMskills instruction. This can rangefrom knitting kits to orienteeringtofishing,kayakingandbirdwatching.Integral to the camping experi-ence, relaxing around a campfire isoften what comes to mind whenpeople think, camping. Make thisdream come true with a short how-to on building a campfire, makingsmores and storytelling. Share en-tertaining card or other campfiregames.Makeiteasytogetfire-wood with at-site deliveries.Live and in-person happenings8 June 2021 Woodalls Campground Magazine'