If you are like me, you tend to feel a little let down after a big project or event. After working so hard for weeks or months to prepare, and experiencing growing excitement and anticipation, it’s suddenly over. So how can you make the best use of the days following the big event?
With Christmas now behind us, you may be experiencing the let down after your Christmas events and projects. We planned, prepared, and practiced, and suddenly it arrived and was over. There are some things we can do to make use of the “letdown” period. There are things you can do even as you are preparing your event, and there are some specific steps to take shortly after the event.
Because Christmas is still on my mind – and it is likely on yours as well, I’ll refer to common Christmas events when discussing steps to take before and after an event.
Use the event as a springboard for more. While planning your event include in your preparations what you will do following the event.
New Guests: You may have seen a few new quests at your Christmas events, and reconnected with some you may not have seen for a long time. It is important that each person visiting feels welcomed. Get their contact information, – and then contact them in a few days following the event. You could include a guest form on each seat and ask anyone new to fill it out, or even encourage visitors to connect on an app. Some churches even offer a gift if people take their filled-in form to a welcome centre before they leave. However you choose to connect with each guest, make it simple and clear, informing them how you will use the information you acquire.
Volunteers/ Staff: Throughout the preparations and during the event, record each volunteer and staff who contributed to the event and thank them after in a personal way.
Our church just did a Living Nativity led by one of our members. Our church’s average attendance is around 85-90 people, and the leader on this project counted 75 people involved. Most of the church participated in some way! Thanking as many volunteers as possible will go a long way. And who knows, it may encourage them to volunteer again? This is going to take some work but should bring you benefits down the road as people want to serve again because they felt appreciated.
Post-event Opportunities: Plan a class or training to follow the event. These opportunities will provide meaningful material that builds off your event. For example, after a Christmas event, plan to begin new small groups in January and invite those who attended the event to join a group.
You could also plan a course to begin shortly after your event and announce this at the end of your Christmas program and allow people to sign up that evening. The course could be all about Jesus or a series like the Alpha program.
Immediate After-Party Actions
Thankyou’s: Extend your gratitude via cards, texts, or emails the day following the event. Handwritten notes are probably best. Thank all the staff and volunteers who contributed. If you had sponsors, thank them with a note, and maybe even a nice card or certificate they would like to display in their office.
Offers: Send a follow-up thankyou to all who attended and offer something before inviting them to attend something else. More than getting them to the next event, you want them to have a positive memory of the even they attended and the experience they had in your church. Offer to pray for them and invite them to join you Sundays at your services.
Invites: Invite them to attend your upcoming small groups or classes. Put together an invitation that describes the event and all the details of where and when and who will benefit from it. Do your best to present this as something that will benefit them, not you.
I love planning big events that are well-prepared and practiced and performed. It’s important to know what to do next. I hope you got some helpful ideas from the above steps.
I would love to hear how you use the time following events to connect with guests and develop relationships with them.
Keep looking up,