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Tips for stand-out summer workshops

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Summer intensives are not only a great way to increase revenue during a traditionally quiet time for dance studios but can also help attract new students.

Timing is everything

The key when scheduling your summer workshops is picking dates that will work for the largest number of people. You won't be able to please everybody but plonking your workshops smack bang in the week after Christmas might not be the best idea! It's important to remember that your students do need some form of break and chances are families will use the traditional Christmas-New Year period for getaways. Look at when school goes back and work backward from there.

Who is your audience?

Are your workshops going to be for current students only? Are you planning a high-level intensive? Or is it more of a school holiday type of activity where everyone is welcome? Once you determine the type of workshops you'll run you can start thinking about your program and pricing. If you have multiple spaces, maybe you could run more than one type of workshop. An elite program for dancers in one studio and a more recreational-style summer camp in another.

Think outside the box when it comes to teachers & classes

A big-name artist is wonderful to draw a crowd and looks great in your advertising but make sure these artists are good educators - not just good dancers! If you're running an elite-level intensive consider 'out of the box' sessions such as mindset and goal setting, a fitness boot camp, nutrition, makeup or even yoga. If you're running a recreational summer camp, a great strategy is to pick a theme and create sessions around that.

Set your price

When determining how much you'll charge for your summer intensives, consider the cost of teachers, venue, advertising & marketing (more on that below), equipment, utilities.... and don't forget your time too! This event should ideally result in a good profit for your studio if you do it right. If you're running more of a recreational summer school, look at how much other similar activities are selling for in your area and price accordingly.

Spread the word

Marketing your workshops is VITAL so take the time now to draw up a marketing plan including email marketing as well as organic and paid social media.

Website: Create a page on your website devoted to your workshop/s with all the important details (when/where/how much) PLUS links to book tickets.

Email Marketing: Use your email list (current students, past students & leads) to promote your workshops with a 4-5 week campaign:

  • Email #1 - Introduce your workshops & give basic details

  • Email #2 - Explain what to expect at each workshop. This is where you can announce teachers/classes.

  • Email #3 - Explain who the workshops are for. Encourage people to share details with friends who they think would enjoy them.

  • Email #4 - List the reasons people should enrol (ie. chance to take professional workshops, great alternative to vacation care, chance to try other dance styles etc.)

  • Email #5 - Let them know time is running out and places are filling fast!

  • Email #6 - Answer any questions about the workshops. Use this email as a chance to identify objections your clients might have and explain how they can be overcome.

  • Email #7 - Last chance to book!

Social Media (Organic): Use your email marketing campaign as the basis for promoting your event on your studio's social media page. Share your posts to local community and kids groups and, if you can, make sure you include video from last year's workshops plus testimonials from parents.

Social Media (Paid): A paid advertising campaign on social media doesn't need to be expensive. A great way to target people who might be interested in your workshops is to create a 'lookalike audience' from your current email list. If you need some help with Facebook Ads, I can help! Click here to send me a message.

Flyers & Posters: Printing some posters to hand out to students and to place at local, supporting businesses like ice-cream shops, cafes etc can be a simple and fairly inexpensive way to increase awareness and excitement.

Your 'marketing' shouldn't stop once your workshops have started! Use social media to post photos and videos of your dancers enjoying their classes (make sure you have permission). You could even consider building in a mini performance on the last day of your workshops and inviting parents and friends.


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