I’m willing to say you’re planning an Easter event for your ministry right this moment. How do I know? Because events are crucial to bringing your congregation together and achieving your ministry goals, and Easter is one of the biggest times for events within the Church. While planning your event’s who, what, when, and where, don’t forget to think past the event date. What happens after your event for all of those who attended? Do you need to follow up with attendees, and if so, what does that look like?
Let’s look at three key basics you should consider when planning your event follow-up strategy:
- Know who participated.
- Track any achieved milestones from the event.
- Remove post-event silence.
Know who participated.
Your Easter events may include Stations of the Cross events for adults and children, Egg Hunts for your children’s ministry, or your Easter worship services. You’re planning all the event details, constantly posting event registrations, and checking to see who registers daily. But think beyond that. Are you tracking those who actually attend the event? You may be thinking, “What’s the difference between a registrant list and a participant list, and why are both needed?”
Look at it this way: Those who register make plans to attend, but attendees are actually present at the event. This means they are plugged in and involved with that ministry or at least curious to attend and learn more. And you have the responsibility to follow up with them post-event and provide any information they need to either continue attending, get plugged in, or know who they can contact to ask questions.
Tracking participants is easy with MinistryPlatform, as you can view participant lists for events and choose what action to take on those participants. We’ll get to a few actions you should consider here shortly. The most important thing is you know who attended and can reach them to follow up right after the event.
Track important milestones achieved.
Many milestones can be reached during Easter events. For example, those wanting to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist on Holy Saturday at an event called the Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. You may have events coming up during the Lenten season that include milestones being reached by your members. How are you tracking those milestones during each event?
MinistryPlatform gives you Journeys and Milestones, where you can track multiple milestones that walk a person through a journey within your ministry. For instance, your Journey may be Initiation into the Catholic Church, and milestones within that Journey would include Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. You mark those milestones completed for each elect during the celebration event, and they complete their journey.
Extinguish post-event silence.
Let me tell you a quick story. I recently attended an event for a local nonprofit organization. I’ve been to a few of their events over the years and support their ministry efforts in our community. I registered for the event online by clicking through an email they sent. I received a reminder the morning of the event (which was needed if you know my forgetfulness). And I received a text from a friend and her husband that day about how excited they were to join me there. The event went off without a hitch and really showed the impact they are making. However, a few days later my friend reached out because she was interested in volunteering at the nonprofit now that she knew their mission, but didn’t know what opportunities were available or how to become a volunteer. See the problem?
Had the nonprofit followed up with all those who attended with guidance to volunteer, donate, or learn more about their mission, those questions would have been answered. Plus, they would have had a better chance of increasing awareness while the event was still fresh in every attendee’s mind. Don’t make the same mistake.
You will see many new faces this Easter, from out-of-town visitors to those who may only attend church during special occasions. Don’t let them fall through the cracks. Send post-event communications to your participants sharing information they may need to take the next steps within your ministry. Customize the communications so participants easily recognize the communications as coming from your ministry and relating to the event they just attended. And don’t forget about those who registered but didn’t attend. Consider sending them a communication to check in and say, “we missed you”.
Email and text messages are easily sent within MinistryPlatform. There’s no need for a third-party service to build a beautiful email to send post-event. MinistryPlatform’s Template Editor Tool is a single-screen tool that allows you to create beautiful, responsive templates (without using HTML!). You can set up automated messages to attendees with custom messages or files attached. You can even apply custom templates to that automated message so it still matches your ministry and event. Texts are also available to send directly through the Platform, giving you multiple options to reach your audience and stay ahead of their questions.
One last thing…
Easter is a time of celebration and rejoicing. But many walking through your doors may not be engaged in your ministry or with the Kingdom at all. You’re missing a huge opportunity to reach out if you don’t have a follow-up plan in place. Take the time to sit and plan out what your post-event strategy looks like and how you can use the tools you have to effectively guide attendees to the next step. If your tools are lacking, take a look at other tools within MinistryPlatform to help you build a successful follow-up strategy. Check out our recorded webinar, New Attendee Follow-up (Preparing for Easter).
FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS TO TURN THE BIG DAY INTO A BIG YEAR FOR YOUR CHURCH.
Your church will see an influx of visitors this Easter. This guide will ensure you keep them coming back. A well-thought-out plan gives your church the best opportunity to leverage Easter into sustainable growth.
This free resource will cover:
- Making your Big Day Special
- Easter Follow-Up That Works
- Customizable Outreach Templates
- And More!
Get access to simple tools that your church can start using today to connect people to your church.
Leigh Ann joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager. She oversees the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles. Most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC. Here she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.