We all have that fear…No one is going to show up! It’s a fear that plagues us anytime we’re planning a meeting for parents, training for our volunteers or even an event for our teenagers. The problem is that ministry is messy. You are dealing with so many people who have a variety of schedules.
To get on their schedule with a meeting, program or special event there are a few factors to consider. If you want people coming to your next event you need to make sure:
THE DATE HAS BEEN COMMUNICATED
Sounds obvious; however, it can be easily overlooked. You might find yourself so focused on the actual event that you forget to tell people when, where and how long. With busy schedules it’s hard to get anyone to show up on short notice, that’s why you have to get the date out.
After you ask people to reserve the date work on reminding them. Send out reminders via email and if it’s a public event then post it on social media. Don’t be afraid to overcommunicate it. Someone complaining that they received too many emails is better than them missing the one that wen to their junk mail.
THERE IS A TEAM TO CARRY THE BURDEN
Planning an event can be overwhelming especially when you go at it alone. There are a lot of people to reach and you cannot do it on your own. On top of having a team that’s going to help you coordinate the program you need a team that will help with:
- A social media presence
- Communicating to parents consistently
- Reaching out with personal invitations
The more to help you spread the word the more you can guarentee will come. Not only will your numbers increase but so will your ability to reach new people.
IT’S CLEAR WHY IT EXISTS
Before you do any type of event you need to know why it exists. In other words what are you trying to achieve? Is the point of the event to:
- Connect teens into the local church?
- Provide parents a resource they can’t get through the schools?
- Empower volunteers to take the next step in leadership?
- Raise funds towards a specific initiative?
When you have a purpose behind your event it’ll be easier to invite people to join you, recruit volunteers to serve and communicate why it’s worth their time and energy.
POSITIVE PAST EXPERIENCES
If this is your first event then you assume some people will refuse because of negative past experiences you had no control over. It stinks but it’s a reality. Your job is to make sure that your event is worth their energy and time. If that’s the case the few who do attend will reward you by advocating on your behalf.
To create a positive experience remember to value:
- Time. Be sure to start and end when you’re supposed to.
- Experience. Make sure your environment is clean, engaging and welcoming.
- Sacrifice. On top of time consider everything they have to rearrange (dinner time with family) and give up (money for a babysitter) to be with you.
If they feel like you’ve shown them value they are then more likely to make future sacrifices to be a part of whatever it is you are building.
How do you promote and get word out about your events?