Filed under: Uncategorized
Creating the Directory: Part I
Each year nearly 15,000 campgrounds call on us to deliver a high quality directory. The challenge of creating the directory is daunting. It happens in an unbelievably short amount of time and with a lot less staff than you may think.
Planning The Future: 2 Years Out
Each fall team leaders get together and plan the details of the directory for the next year….as in what you will see in two years. We are currently planning the products and the directories for 2014. Planning for the future 2 years out can be challenging. Whether it’s reading the tea leaves, going on a contemplative walk about or pondering the future while stuck in California traffic, leaders try to anticipate what is going to be popular and desirable for consumers 14 months from now. For instance….we know that Microsoft is going to be releasing tablets here in the next couple months. Will they be popular with our customers? Will they want an app for their tablets? Leaders must make hard questions and plan out the future in a short amount of time. Once we decide the features and what advertising we are going to sell, a marketing package is put together and everyone gets together to kick off the season. This “rep meeting” is the one chance each year for all of our teams get together.
January is the kick off time for all of our campground teams. A team usually consists of a married couple trailblazing in their RV from January until August trying to visit as many campgrounds as possible within their area. Teams come from all over North America and cover areas that closely align with state and provincial boundaries. With each new year they face a learning curve of new product offerings and new paperwork. In a lot of ways, it’s like the first day of school for them. They are given binders of material and mountains of paperwork to dig through. While some of it looks familiar, most of it is new. Over the course of the year, these teams will blaze through every country, state and province in North America. They will visit countless campgrounds, RV resorts and RV Parks. On some days, they’ll travel hundreds of miles to visit one park. On other days they’ll visit dozens in a single day. At each park they will review the park according to our Good Sam Rating system. They will also see if the park would be interested in having a larger presence in the directory. All of this results in a massive amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out.
One challenge the teams have is that many parks are seasonal. Parks close by to each other might work different seasons. One might cater to snowbirds while while the other might cater to summer loving adventure couples. Teams end up having to criss-cross many of the same roads many times a year.
Building to the End
Deadlines for the printed directory start appearing in August. The thousands of pages of our directory need to be laid out, approved and printed before December 1. With hundreds of thousands of copies set to hit the printer in November deadlines become tight and our offices become busy!
Part 2 of Creating the Directory will be posted next week!
Last 5 posts by Dalin Brinkman
- Disabled Americans Get Long Awaited RVing Advocate - January 21st, 2013
- Black Friday Camping - November 18th, 2012
- All Active Duty Military:Free Good Sam Club Membership - November 11th, 2012
- Woodall's Announces the New 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory - October 24th, 2012
- The Rally - Daytona! - September 10th, 2012