Deliver the Experience You Promised
While the first two points were about getting people to initially show up, the third point is about deals with how to keep people showing up. Really, all you need is good marketing to get people to show up once. However, if you fail to provide the promised experience, people aren’t likely to trust your marketing in the future. To build a relationship with the community, you need events which actually bless the attendees…even if it’s for something as silly as dropping eggs from a helicopter.
Some things to consider:
Beware of the Bait and Switch
I try not to be dogmatic about things which the Bible is dogmatic about. So I’m not likely to say you should never “bait and switch,” but I would be highly weary of doing so.
People are showing up to the event for the fun. They don’t want to hear a Jesus sales pitch. The “bait and switch” is a sales tactic. It sends the message that you have a heavy handed agenda behind everything you do. People catch onto that sort of thing and become skeptical.
If you want to be a ministry which uses events to reach the community, I would recommend being cautious with sermons and presentations, and/or find alternative ways to use the events to reach people.
Beware of Drawing Too Many People
With good marketing you can get people to show up for the show. However, it’s pretty easy to get too many people to show up. Distributing a flyer which says you’ll have a mechanical bull, bouncy boxing, and free pizza can draw a huge crowd. However, mechanical bulls and bouncy boxing are low volume attractions and pizza is limited. What are all the other people going to be doing?
Our Christmas party had a 24ft. slide and an obstacle course. Both are high volume inflatables. In addition we had a video game room with 10 video game systems which could handle 4 players each. Finally we had multiple bands on stage, and between bands we had attractional games (such as the smash-a-thon). There’s always something you could do.
With the egg drop we wanted 2,500 people to show up. Luckily we only attracted 1,700. With larger numbers things would have gotten way out of hand.
Beware of the Weather
There are many things you can control. The weather is not one of them, but it can completely ruin months of planning. Have a contingency plan.