Let’s face it; events are a lot of work!
Lots of time and energy go into them,
so if you’re like me, you want to make sure there is a big payoff. Here are three effective strategies to get the best results from your next event.
Take Names and Follow Up
You have asked your kids to bring your friends and… big shocker, they actually did! Now what are you going to do about it? Get their names and contact information. Hopefully you are already doing that (for a lot of reasons), but what are you are going to do with that information? Some wise youth ministries have a simple follow-up plan that begins with a welcome package, either at the event or in the mail, followed up with a personal call from a youth worker or adult leader inviting them back to the group.
The contact info should also include who the student came with, so you can affirm that student and so that you can encourage them to bring their friend back. Our group sent out YOUTH BUCKS that visitors could spend at our snack counter on youth night. Some groups have a free give away like a Soda or some novelty with youth group information on it that they collect the week after the event.
The goal with all of this is to get them back so that they can accept Christ, grow in their faith, or commit to the group.
Take Photos/Videos and Show them Next Week
Create some reason for teens to come back next week. (This is good for your whole group not just visitors!) Showing a video of the previous event, hand out prizes to teams, or some kind of perk for coming back can be an incentive to return after the special event is past. Build on the momentum from the event night by promoting the next youth night at the event. If students know that they are welcome and expected to attend on “normal” youth night, it is more likely that they will come back!
Assign Visitors to a Leader who will build a relationship with that student
As I said in a previous blog (Stop Losing Kids) each student should be assigned to a leader who will contact them each week. This goes for new youth as well. So, at your Wet and Wild Water Park Event, each of the leaders hangs with a group of kids and gets to know each one. If a teen brings a friend, naturally their friend will be part of that group.
During the week it won’t seem so weird to be contacted by that leader. Great leaders will get together with that student and their friend as soon as possible after the event. Eventually you want these new students to attend youth, even if their friend is absent. To see this happen they need to make friends with other youth and it’s crucial that they connect with a leader.
It is an amazing opportunity when God brings new students to our events. As wise ‘fishers of men’ we want to be sure that they don’t slip through our fingers. By getting to know visitors by name, connecting them with a leader who invites them back week after week, and providing some kind of follow up night to each event you can maximize the impact or your kick off, party, outing, games night, movie, concert or sports event.
That is what has worked for me. How are you getting visitors to return after your events?