Planning an event
can be IS stressful. Hundreds of hours over the course of months is poured into creating the perfect atmosphere for your students to have an encounter with God.
You’ve meticulously planned the parking lot team, the cafè menu, the pre-event games. Your social media promotions are on point, you have give aways on give aways on give aways, your worship leader’s jeans have never been tighter and your production team is running things probably a bit too loud, but who cares – tonight is THE night you’ve been working on for months.
Your message goes by flawlessly and you are thinking about changing your name to Levi Lusko. The response is amazing and lives are being changed. You go home excited to give a report to the rest of the church staff the next day on how successful your night was.
This may sound like a dream for you – let’s be real, our events never go off perfectly. But let’s just pretend this too good to be true event really did take place in some alternative universe. Was this event truly a success?
Probably not, and here is why. Far too often, I’ve seen powerful events fall flat because they miss this one thing that all events must have: follow up.
Following up with your guests and students who made a commitment to follow Christ is crucial and determines how successful your event is. Follow up takes intentionality, it takes time, and it takes a lot of work. When we fail to follow up, our events come and go, people get left behind and the transformation doesn’t stick.
Follow up is not a verbal invite to come back next week or a social media post.
Follow up is creating the on ramp for that person to join your community – it is a relationship you must develop.
Here are some tips to have a successful follow up to your event:
1 – Plan the Event after the Event
What are you inviting students to come back to next week? Does the sermon or sermon series you are starting engage a new believer? Write your sermon with the expectation of new community members being there.
2 – Don’t Ask For On Wednesday What You Don’t Use On Thursday
Getting your guest’s information is a great idea at your events, but can we stop being creepy about it? You don’t need their first name, last name, address, email address, phone number, social media profiles, birthday, school, grade, favorite color, and most embarrassing story.
So what do you need then? Here is a simple rule to decide: what information am I going to use on the day after the event? Are you going to call them or text them? Ask for their phone number. Are you going to send them a thank you card and a hand written invite to come back (DO THIS), then ask for their address.
3 – Plan Who Is Responsible For Connecting With Them
After your event, take your guests and assign them to your leaders and student leaders. You simply aren’t able to invest, reach, and connect to everyone, so delegate it. Follow up with your leaders to make sure that no one fell through the cracks.