Summer Camp Trade Shows
Summer camp trade shows are making big waves across the camp industry. Large camp organizations like the American Camp Association host some of the best networking and educational opportunities of the year. Although attendance is on the rise, it’s certainly not yet booming. It’s often the case that potential attendees just don’t understand the value and impact trade shows can have on growing their business or brand.
So, do camp trade shows really have that much to offer?
For those of us in the day, summer, and residential camp industry: the answer is yes.
When many types of camp industry professionals unite under one roof with a common goal, something happens: synergy – or, a collective buzz. Regardless of what your goals are camp trade shows and conferences will leave you inspired and motivated. You’ll be ready to lay out your A-game well before registration season. Below are some of our favorite takeaways from summer camp trade shows we’ve attended. (Keep a lookout for our list at the bottom of this post where we connect you with the camp industry’s best conferences!)
1. Networking Convenience
Once you’re on the trade show floor, camp industry professionals are all around you. They’re at your left and at your right. They’re giving speeches, showcasing new products, and talking camp. In addition, there’s also a ton of enthusiasm and buzz. As you trek from booth to booth, you’ll begin to see just how vast and diverse the camp community is. Everyone is there for same purpose, though: to meet new people, share goals, and expand their horizons. Trade shows excel at bringing people together.
As we saw with the constraints of 2020, virtual trade shows and conferences took the place of conventional, in-person events. Innovative hosting platforms made it easier for organizations to get online, sell sponsorships, track attendance, and offer virtual exhibit halls. Although it’s not quite the same as meeting old connections in a new city, online conferences are probably here to stay given the convenience and turnout.
2. Immersive Community Building
Conventions are the best place to interact with like-minded individuals in the camp industry. You’ll exchange stories and experiences as you grow your professional network. This is the perfect place to begin a bond with a potential new business partner. Of course, you’ll also build up interpersonal relationships among your staff, clients, or both! You might even consider sharing the experience on social media. This adds variety to your yearly social media strategy and allows you to digitally connect with those you meet at the trade show. Most importantly, you’ll become an active member of the community you strive to serve.
3. Influential & Educational Seminars
Perhaps the best part of any summer camp trade show is the free education and seminars littered throughout the event. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on new industry requirements and regulations and network with folks who can easily become year-long resources. In addition, there’s always a chance for you or your camp staff to learn something new! Whether it’s a program you hadn’t yet thought of offering, a better staff-management approach, or an innovative way to tackle registration or transportation. Every trade show has something different to offer, so presentations vary depending on the crowd, location, and theme of the conference.
It can take a few tries, but you’ll settle on your trade show favorites before you know it! You can find CampSite at any of the shows below!
Our Favorite Summer Camp Trade Shows
American Camp Association National Conference
American Camp Association Tri-State Conference
Ontario Camps Association Annual Conference
National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference
American Camp Association New England Camp Conference
American Camp Association Spring Leadership Conference
For more inspiration on expanding your networking and communication efforts beyond summer camp trade shows, check out this blog post.