Chances are you’ve come to Caboose & Co. because you’re looking to enhance your pop-up accommodation offering – we believe in giving you and your guests more than just a place to rest your head.

COVID-19 has certainly shaken up the hospitality and event industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the influx in staycations that are set to be popular for the foreseeable future. Our team’s combined years in the industry means we think we have seen it all… but for outdoor venues looking to learn a little something from the glamping industry, Tom’s advice is simple:

Identify your clientele

Over 10 years ago I ran my first campsite and more recently, I’ve been responsible for the camping village at The Open Championship. What started as two rugby pitches and tents now covers 25 acres and operates at a capacity of nearly 2,000 campers each year. What starts off small can grow, so keep that in mind.

Know your customer, work out who you want on site, and then target them. Be ready to adapt and change as location can, and will, dictate what is feasible. I always say that glamping is about making camping more accessible for people who are less hardy; they want to be around nature but not in the thick of it. Glampers want an economical holiday but they also want to have some home comforts like ice in their gin and tonic. The key to growth and the success of your event is about balancing the budget whilst offering a better experience so it’s vital that you know your audience.

First impressions count

Pre-arrival information makes everyone’s lives easier, so fire off some lists and info in an email to guests. We work on the principle that less than half of the people coming to the campsite will have read their documentation before they arrive, so we include check-in time and instructions, direct driving directions and anything else that’s vital in a short communication.

Extra information can be put in a PDF attached to the email, but don’t forget to advise on changeable conditions and the need to bring extra layers/cooler clothes to allow for this. We always advise on bringing a blanket in case they get cold, even though our glamping rooms come with bedding. Check-in needs to be a continuation of this stress-free experience – you don’t always have the luxury of a check-in desk with receptionist or concierge when glamping, so signpost everything and keep it simple, smiley and speedy.

Community, health and safety

It’s always your responsibility to be aware of health and safety measures so utilise a consultant to guide you through all tests, documentation and assessments for fire and risks. Once you’ve done that, go through potential scenarios, however unlikely they may seem, and think about what could go wrong. Fire, accidents, adverse weather, flooding, electricity/water outage (if that’s something you offer). Have a contingency plan.

Have a soft launch

Don’t put all your time into planning and think it will go okay. The proof is in the pudding! When you think you have your glamping operation ready, run some test weekends with friends, family and neighbours. Use this time to gather their feedback and get your team up to speed before you have paying customers on your on your land. Any problems or tweaks are better coming up now so they can be identified and actioned. It’s also a great way to create content for advertising and social media, that can help with bookings which is great when you first start out.

Caboose & Co.’s glamping rooms and pods are the perfect solution for venues wanting to expand into glamping rooms and pods are the perfect solution for venues wanting to expand into glamping holidays.