Whether your church is hosting a simple potluck dinner or a big annual carnival, there’s a lot to do before the event. Efficient planning and time management are essential to organizing a great church event. Follow these steps to host an amazing church function that everyone will enjoy.
Define objectives for the event
Before you make any phone calls or create fliers, sit down and create a list of goals for the event. These should include how many people you want to attend, how long you want the event to be, how much money should go into planning and what the church wants to accomplish. Ministry Today magazine suggested creating “SMART” objectives: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. For every goal, there should be a means of assessment. Attendance objectives are easy to measure, but the purpose might not be. If you hope to connect with newcomers to the community, determine a specific number of families as well as a method to follow up with them.
Create a marketing plan
The size and purpose of your event will be critical in devising a marketing plan. If the event is a small gathering for church attendees, marketing efforts can be as simple as a few fliers on the bulletin board and a reminder email. Larger events might require advertisements in the local paper, radio spots or printed brochures. Either way, attendance will be determined by how well news about the event is spread. By establishing a marketing strategy in advance, you can ensure that word of your event reaches the right people and sends the perfect message. The general goal should be to remind your patrons about the event regularly and generate excitement.
As you get down to the details of the event – food, decorations, activities – you’ll also want to start gathering volunteers. Smart Church Management explained that there are lots of necessary jobs when facilitating an event, and careful planning is the key to success. Once you have a list of volunteers, assign jobs to everyone. Don’t wait until the day of to figure out who will do what. Create specific job lists and assign leaders to each task. If any prior training is required, schedule it in advance.
As the event approaches, stay in contact with your volunteers. Send polite reminders via email that detail what each member’s job will be, what their duties are and when they need to arrive. Staying in touch with your volunteers will also help you stay in the loop about any last minute conflicts or cancellations.
Don’t forget to decorate
Even the most intimate of events can benefit from a great decor. Having beautiful decorations will set the tone of the gathering and help to leave a lasting impression. If you assign this task to a volunteer, take the time to sit down and discuss a strategy for appropriate and festive decor.
For a potluck dinner, invest in a few tablecloths, centerpieces and balloons. These things are easy to make yourself, or you can ask for donations. Another nice touch might be to have a Custom Ceramic Mug that each guest can take home. These inexpensive gifts will serve as a reminder of the event.
For a volunteer event like a soup kitchen or food drive, hand out promotional products like thank you cards or Reusable Shopping Bags to your helpers. Decorate the event space with streamers, quality disposable tableware and posters about your organization. These small touches will help to make the event feel personal and welcoming to guests without breaking the set budget.