Best practices to increase bookings in low season

One of the most overlooked benefits of a proper booking and management system, is the ability to direct people towards when you want them to book.

For example: most European schools have no problem finding customers in summer. However, getting the ‘pre-season’ (spring) fully booked is hard. While this is what can make the difference. One of the keys to running a successful surf school, is to get this pre-season fully booked up. How to do that?

Advertise in winter time

Of course you take a short break right after high-season, but immediately after that:

  1. Check and update your products offerings and for the upcoming season
  2. Advertise with promotional packages at special rates, on the condition that they have to be scheduled in pre-season, the months that can otherwise be relatively quiet. For example, offer a 3-day kitesurfing course at a discounted rate for April / may / June.

Create product variants with an expiry date in Viking Bookings

Imagine you already offer a 3-day kitesurfing course, so you already have a product set up. Within Viking you can now create a special variant within this existing product. Let’s call this the 3-day course PROMOTION. Set the price for this variant to your special rate, and make the other settings accordingly. Now In the ‘advanced settings’, there is an option called:

‘Default expiration for new bookings’

By setting this date to, for instance, June 30th, customers will only be able to schedule their lessons before this date!

You can see the product settings on the left, and on the right side the corresponding view in the booking form on your website.

Now if someone booked the ‘Regular’ option, they would be able to schedule this course without limitations. But for the promotional course, lessons can only be scheduled in pre-season.

Note that, because we have created 2 variants within 1 product, Viking will allow students from the promo and the regular variant to be scheduled together in one group.

*Pro tip

Now if you really want to take it to the next level: when the end of your promotional period comes in sight (i.e. it is almost June in this case), maybe not all customers have scheduled or finished their lessons yet. Now you can create an ‘upsell’ variant for them, so they are able to schedule their courses also /after/ the end of June!

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