Fellowship events are a vital activity for every congregation. They are a chance to connect, reach out to the community, and raise much-needed funds. However, event planning can also be stressful. Here are our top tips to help you plan a successful church event.
1. Set a Budget Before You Plan Anything Else
The budget is the biggest consideration since it determines the scope of your event. Have a firm idea of the spending limit and let it guide every decision you make. You might also need to create a yearly event planning budget so you can allocate the right amount of funds to each event.
2. Create a Yearly Schedule
With event planning, you need to always be looking ahead. Sit down with your planning committee and schedule out the events for the year. If your church is small and has not had an event committee in the past, it’s never too late to create one. Having a group of people to share responsibilities with will make the task much easier.
3. Recruit Volunteers
Volunteers are the backbone of any event. As you are finalizing the details of the event, it’s important to find people willing to take charge of each task. The best way to recruit volunteers is by utilizing the communication channels already available to you. Make announcements at the beginning or end of worship services, advertise in your bulletin, and reach out to the different ministry groups in your church. Ask people to commit to different aspects of event preparation and clean up so that you’re not left doing things yourself.
4. Finalize the Details
The more details you finalize, the better prepared you will be when the day of the event comes. Here is a brief list of items to consider:
- Activities and games
- Seating (banquet chairs or folding chairs)
- Products for sale (if a fundraiser)
- Entertainment (band, speaker, etc.)
- Other furniture (tables, stage, podium or lectern, etc.)
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5. Determine Seating Arrangements
Seating and furniture are critical. You need to be sure everything is laid out in the best format for this particular event, whether it be a banquet, fundraiser, festival, or something else.
Besides determining how many tables and chairs you need, you also need to figure out spacing between chairs and tables, and how to maximize your layout for both seating capacity and the comfort of your guests.
6. Advertise the Event
Once you’ve worked out the details of the event and set a date, you need to get the word out to your community. Consider the audience before you decide the best ways to advertise. Is this a fundraiser for the community or a fellowship event for your congregation? Depending on who you’re trying to reach, you may use different channels, such as:
- Church bulletins
- Social media posts
- Church website announcements
- Printed materials (posters, flyers, brochures)
- Local radio or TV ads
- Press releases in the local media
Tip: Remember to factor in advertising costs when you make your event budget.
7. Coordinate the Volunteer Schedule for the Day
Make sure all of your volunteers know when they are arriving and leaving and who will take over for them at the end of their shift. Have a backup plan if something comes up at the last minute. It could throw everything off if some of your volunteers can’t make their scheduled shift! Having a few extra people on “standby” will make everything run smoothly.
8. Evaluate the Event
After the event is over, your work is not quite done. It’s helpful to look back and assess how everything went, what you did well and what you can improve on in the future. If possible, get feedback from attendees to see what they liked or disliked. There is always room for improvement. Taking this step will make your church a more efficient and successful event planner.
9. Show Your Appreciation
Take a moment to thank all the volunteers and attendees for making the event a success. Recognize that a lot of hard work went into this and sincerely show your appreciation. You may even want to send out small gifts as a token of your gratitude. When volunteers feel appreciated, they will be more likely to help out with future events.
Use these tips as a checklist for your next church event, and you’re sure to keep things running on-schedule and efficiently.
Planning an Event for Your Church?
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