Do you give away little goodies to get people to come to your camp fair booth? If so, does it help?

A couple of weeks ago I was at a camp fair along with dozens of other camps trying to stand out from the crowd to prospective campers and parents. At the door visitors were given a bag to keep their brochures and goodies in. As parents left I noticed that there bags were full of brochures and goodies alike. Camps were giving all kinds of things away. Here are some of the give-aways I saw…


  • Very nice embroidered hats
  • Hawaiian leis
  • Hacky Sacks
  • Frisbees
  • T-Shirts
  • Candy
  • Keychains
  • Grab bags of Oriental Trading toys

We contemplated giving something away, but as I put myself in the shoes of a parent I decided that getting a “goody” would not have any bearing on whether or not I would choose a particular camp for my child. The brochure, staff that I met, price, location and programming options would. Of course, kids walking around or going to school with a t-shirt or hat displaying the name of my camp would certainly be a good thing.

I may be totally off on this. All I know is that I saw kids and parents going around the fair grabbing all the freebies they could, but they were also picking up the brochures from the camp booths that weren’t giving anything away.. What do you think? Does it make sense to give away goodies? Does it really make a difference?