Seeing that spring is just around the corner I figured it would be appropriate to talk about campground season, and what we do to prepare for it. If you don’t already know (which you probably don’t) Field Technique Films (FTF) started two years ago wanting to shoot videos for Wisconsin campgrounds. The idea was a lot simpler than the actual execution, but nonetheless we found a specific niche and ran with it.
I’m not going to sit here and give you a history lesson on our company, but what I will say is that those first two seasons really gave us a good idea on how to market to campgrounds. Originally we drove and drove around the state, knocking door to door in an attempt to get our business up and running. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, to give you an idea who/what we were dealing with, think Walter Mathua’s character Max Goldman in the movie Grumpy Old Men. I think that first year we did around 200 some cold calls, we managed to close a total of four campgrounds. In our minds we were already making it.
We quickly found out that shooting videos for campgrounds wasn’t like anything else we had shot before. We knew we wanted to give these campground owners only the best product to showcase their campground, at first we really weren’t sure how to go about doing that. Every video was more like a documentary than a promotional video. There was no time to set up and plan shot for shot, we would merely park the car, talk to the owner, figure what they wanted to show, and go from there. All our pre-production was done by scouting while we walked to set up our campsite. When you only have two days to shoot you really have to get the ball rolling as quick as possible.
I remember very specifically the moment I realized what our videos had become, an “experience”. They weren’t just another video showing what a place offered, they evolved into something more. We were able to capture what goes on during a weekend at these places. The smiles on kids faces, the beers being tipped back, the family getting together and being a family, a dad teaching his kid to fish, all of these life experiences were captured on our cameras for everyone to see. We were no longer just shooting videos, we were capturing memories. By giving potential campground goers the idea that their families can experience the same thing, was the sole reason our videos became successful.
So here we are, 2013, ready to roll for another season of campgrounds, yet this year is a little different. Last year was our first year attending the WACO convention, a weekend where nearly every campground owner in Wisconsin comes to attend seminars and see what’s new in the campground industry. Last year we were the “new” thing, but don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean our videos were flying off the shelves. We left that first convention with five jobs, and to be honest I was pretty freaking pleased with that. We learned a lot from that weekend, and met a lot of great people.
It’s been a full year sense then and we’ve evolved a lot as a company. With the 2013 convention just around the bend, we couldn’t be more excited to throw up our booth and use what we learned last year to make more sales/connections this year. Campgrounds need video to showcase the experiences they offer, they just don’t know it yet, and it’s our job to make them realize that.
Until Next Time,