My husband’s parents are known for taking us on memorable family vacations. One year, all the adults and grandkids navigated down Oregon’s breathtaking McKenzie River in drift boats.

We learned to fly fish like they do in the movie A River Runs Through It, with the long fishing poles whipping back and forth.

We camped along the shores of the river.

Although the scenery was wild and the camping was ostensibly primitive, the trip was an elegantly choreographed experience. It was glamping.


Glamping is glamorous camping, usually hosted by a person or business who specializes in boutique vacations. You might have seen images of creamy canvas platform tents staged with beds topped with goose down comforters or vintage Pendleton blankets.

In this case, the glamorous element was how our river guides choreographed the experience. Every detail was thought out in advance. Everything was flow charted and systematized. The guides were attentive but not fawning. They didn’t over direct us. They gave us the opportunity to have a unique experience yet kept us safe, well-fed and comfortable.


Each day, as we floated down the river, there was a crew always ahead of us, preparing the next landing site. Whether it was lunch, a nature break, a wildlife lesson or a photo opp, they were ready with folding camp chairs, food, and fire. At the end of the day, our campsite was set up, and dinner was never late.

For dessert one night, they laid red coals on a cast iron Dutch oven and baked pineapple upside down cake. It was perfect.

I’m sure they had stress and unexpected elements on their side of the operation, but we never saw it. From the owner who personally welcomed us at the livery, down to the camp cook and the cleanup crew, every person on the team knew what to do and how they were expected to interact with us.


Remember, customers tell other people about their unforgettable experiences, both good and bad. Think about what our print buying customer sees, especially during the onboarding process. Is everything obstacle-free, organized, intuitive, accurate and professional? Is it a high-quality experience?

Give customers the glamping treatment and see what happens!

By the way, my in-laws have taken us on many wonderful vacations over the years, but none was as memorable as our glamping trip on the McKenzie River.

Read more from Sandy here. 

For her entire deadline-driven professional career, Sandy Hubbard has produced and published a wide variety of business magazines, B2B newsletters, video programs, and email marketing campaigns. She considers the entire printing world part of her proud print-loving family.

Find @sandyhubbard on Twitter every Wednesday at 4 PM ET, co-hosting #PrintChat with host Deborah Corn of @PrintMediaCentr — Everyone is invited!

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