Event planning is a tricky skill to master. There are many things to learn to execute the event to the best of its ability. In my first year, I made many mistakes when it comes to this area. Many obvious, but also things that I needed to mess up with to learn. To help you avoid these mistakes, I have put a list together of things I have learned when it comes to event planning.
You can’t over communicate.
This is something that is so true when it comes to events. You literally cannot over communicate. I send out a week family ministry newsletter, text announcements, a calendar for the semester, social media posts, announcements in the bulletin, and constant verbal communication, but still, the day before I will get texts from people asking if the event is tomorrow. Over communicate, even when you think it is too much, it is probably finally getting to everyone you want to hear about it.
Look at sports schedules
I made the mistake of scheduling the Winter Jam concert on the day of our state’s swimming sectionals. Of course, that was a bad idea that I did not think about. I asked the teens which date they would rather go to between that day and another. Guess what day the swimmers chose? The day they would be doing sectionals. You can’t always trust that students in sports will check their own sports schedule, so you yourself need to check online, or grab a schedule from a student to check what all is going on.
Ask about sports schedules outside of school sports.
When it comes to sports, you also need to ask about their participation outside of the school system. This way, you can be sure that you steer clear of any roadblocks from students attending events. While this may be extreme, it still helps to allow your group to have the most participation at an event.
Be ahead of the game.
I always try to plan a year out with events. This will allow you to stay organized and help you to know when to begin hammering out details as that certain event date is near. It also gives you more time to do other things for the ministry. I personally set a day or two out in the beginning of summer to plan the year’s events and sermon series. This helps our volunteers, parents, and me to at least have an idea and be clear of what will be happening in the next school year.
You can still have fun when you don’t hit your target numbers.
The first big event we did, we did not hit the numbers we wanted. We were far from it. What I learned that day, though, is that while you want to reach the most people possible, it is okay if you don’t hit your goal. The event is going to be amazing for your students that are a part of it that day.
Enjoy the event.
If you let yourself worry and be stressed about the event going perfect, then you are not going to enjoy it. While the event is for the students, and also for leaders to connect with students, you should have fun, too. Events are meant to be full of hype and to reach new students, usually. If you are not having a good time and enjoying the event, students will see that and sometimes wears off on them, which makes the event a disaster. Enjoy it! You can have one, too!
We all love events! When it comes to planning events there are many things to do. It’s like cooking. You have to put all the right ingredients in so that your food will taste delicious. If you don’t put the right ingredients into your event planning, then your event may not be the most delicious event (yes, I’m hungry). You can have amazing events and have some super good memories with your students. I pray that these things I have learned in event planning help you in your ministry!