Lake Blaine is a small nonprofit Bible camp located in Northwest Montana. We see the value in summer camp and strive to provide a quality program at an affordable price so that kids that don't have a lot of financial resources can still attend. Conquest graphics has been a big help to us - providing quality print materials at a reasonable price. They have always been very professional to work with. Their lead times have been short, and their shipping times have been quick. A couple of times, we needed them to ship to an alternate address, and they have been flexible and accommodating to our needs.
I guess we would all agree that one of the main reasons we invest in printed materials is to connect with potential customers or clients. We have a beautiful location, a wonderful staff, and a great program, but that doesn't help if people don't know about the camp. One of the main purposes of our print and mailing materials is to get the word out to those that might be interested. The camp tends to sell itself once people experience it, but the challenge is getting connected with potential campers that have never heard of us.
Since we are a small camp, we operate primarily in the summer season. For this reason, we have one main printing project each year, and that is a full color 4 panel brochure. We send it out to each camper that has attended camp the previous 2 seasons. The brochure is eye catching and fun! We include a lot of pictures from the past summer, and kids are always looking to see if they made it in the brochure! It also includes all the information parents need to see in order to register their kids, as well as the necessary registration and medical forms. We often send each camper 2 brochures and encourage them to keep one and give the other to a friend. Word of mouth is the best advertising, but when you can combine word of mouth with a quality printed brochure, you double your chances of success!
With all the changes in technology in the last decade, we have been encouraging online registration through our website. It's been a slow process for some, but we are seeing more than half of all registrations come in this way. While the web site is a valuable tool to promote the camp, we find that having a physical brochure, something the kids can actually hold in their hands, still makes a huge difference. In our opinion, printed materials are still worth the investment.
We do have several other retreats after the summer season ends - one for men, one for ladies, and another one for teens during Christmas break. These are smaller retreats, primarily for those that attend the churches associated with the camp. Since we're not casting as wide of a net, it's not been cost effective to have these brochures professionally printed. We just print them in house and then mail them out to each church for distribution.
We would like to explore other mailings in the future - I think the more we can connect with our campers during the year, the more likely they will be to continue their involvement in the future.
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