In our Network’s 2018 Fall Edition magazine, we wrote an article about the different types of planners that we have seen throughout the planning process. On top of this piece, we additionally encouraged event planners to participate in one of our constructed surveys, so they could see for themselves what type of planner they truly are. As a whole, we received positive feedback, but found the responses to one specific question to be quite intriguing. Have you been promoting your event?
Based on our survey’s results, a whopping 73 percent of planners said they have promoted their events by making flyers, sending out email blasts, putting info online, and announcing them in church. Talk about creating commotion for your event through promotion. However, to really get your church excited about an upcoming event, it’s critical to do more than the three percent who, “told a few people,” and consider tackling a variety of promotional methods. To increase the number of participants who say they have been promoting their event, let’s dissect each method individually.
First, it’s perfectly fine to be a little old fashioned by designing print flyers and hanging them up inside the church or including them in the weekly bulletin. However, you do want to make sure that people are clearly seeing your message about an event in order for it to stick with them! If you are concerned that print materials will be overlooked in the foyer or simply end up in the trash once people return home, consider going digital. Get creative by designing a graphic that can be posted online or displayed on a monitor inside the church. Visual communication is just as important as verbal or written communication!
Promote your event even further by utilizing email. Certain email marketing providers, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, are great resources for event planners due to a variety of unique and free features on top of being very user friendly. These platforms allow you to create campaigns for your events that can be sent out to targeted recipients. Worried about not being tech-savvy? No need to stress. If you have people’s email addresses saved from a past event or because they have expressed interest in an upcoming one, copy and paste them all into a generic email that details this year’s event. You don’t necessarily have to be fancy to get your message out there.
Wherever we look today, it is clear that digital media has now become a powerful resource when providing information to others. From videos to banner ads, it seems as if messages are always in front of us. However, as a planner, you have to make sure you are using digital media correctly! Promoting your event on your church’s website and social media channels isn’t as simple as posting one, universal message for everyone. There is a strategy involved. In terms of your church’s website, your information needs to be easily accessible, so viewers don’t have to navigate through several webpages before finding what they are looking for. Not sure where to start? One example would be to include a banner image on the homepage, which highlights dates, links for registration, and anything else that needs to be announced.
The same can be said for utilizing specific social media networks. When asked about their favorite social media site, 84 percent responded with Facebook, while Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat generated much smaller numbers (11%, >3%, and <1% respectively). While Facebook is a valuable platform to post photos and videos about your event or create an event page that people can join, it is still important to use other social media outlets for promotion, especially when you have to consider your target audience. You want to post engaging content that guests will be able to comprehend instead of create confusion! For example, recording a Snapchat story would be a great way to inform the youth about your event. Whatever the platform, share your story and encourage others to attend your event.
To make the most out of your promotion, one final, yet essential, step is to announce details about your event in church. Telling the congregation about your event numerous times at church is one way for them to remember your upcoming event. Using the church itself may also be the only way to communicate your message to guests, especially if they are not active online. This type of notice can be as simple as having someone read a brief message before the service starts on Sunday.
As a planner, there are a number of ways to relay information about your future event. In the end, it all boils down to putting several of these options into practice if you want people to remember the details. Create commotion through promotion and make guests excited to attend your event!