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Generating Interest NOW for your Fall Retreat

By Courtney

Today we're still enjoying warm sunshine, the sounds of kids splashing at the pool, and evenings at the ball park.  Fall seems a long way off but has a way of coming upon us quickly after the more relaxed pace of summer vacation from school.

So when is Fall exactly?  Well the calendar tells us the first day of Fall is September 23rd, meaning you have the next 51+ days to help generate interest in your Fall event, and that doesn’t feel like much!

So here’s some tips for you to consider when building a promotional plan to encourage internal participation as well as recruiting new potential attendees through external means.

Build Anticipation:

For all people it is important to look forward to what they are going to experience; your event shouldn’t feel like a chore.  If they have an idea of what to expect this will lead to anticipation, and the higher the anticipation the more likely they’re talking about it with friends… and possibly inviting those friends to join them.  A big draw-in for attendees for a Fall event is relaxation and renewal.  It’s the time between the busy summer and holiday seasons and attendees look forward to mild weather with quiet reflection in the midst of beautiful Fall foliage.

Answer the "Who, What, When and Where" Questions:

Remember to re-state the basics for your event with each communication as well as the way to connect with you as a key leader to answer any additional questions. 

Internal Promotion:

Use every means available to build interest and anticipation within your church membership or ministry organization.

  1. Inserting a promotional slide if your church runs a pre-church slideshow.  It can be a teaser with basic information or even a promotional video.
  2. Bulletin inserts, if applicable
  3. Schedule people to give their feedback or past experience (if the event is annual) and promote the event as part of the weekly church service.
  4. Insert into any type of physical newsletter or e-newsletter your church or ministry has.
  5. The church or ministry website
  6. The church or ministry social media platforms

External Promotion:

Think about every possible way you can reach people that might be interested in what you are coordinating.  Gather your planning team now and divide assignments so this way you will be ahead of the curve.  When kids begin returning to school and people begin getting into the Fall mood you will have already had your event in the front of their minds AND hopefully already reserved the time on their calendars before other extra-curriculars consume the time. 

Ways to expand registration beyond your internal members and grow your event:

  1. Submit news releases with 2 to 3 photos on a schedule to the local media (newspapers, radio, TV, etc.).  Make sure the photos are at least 300 dpi if sent to the newspaper and a photo cut-line is included.
  2. Enlist members of your congregation to gain permission to place a stack of flyers or invitations to the event in prominent places like gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, etc.
  3. Ask your congregation to share social media posts about the event on their own profiles to reach more people.
  4. Partner with other local churches.  This is a great opportunity for their members to attend an event that they didn’t necessarily have the resources to plan on their own.
  5. Signage: Place a banner outside your church to promote the event.

For additional promotional resources check out Create a Buzz! Event Marketing strategies for any event year-round.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626