Your congregation grows through fellowship, and that fellowship happens at your church events. While events are fun and enjoyable for those attending, you as church staff know the hard work and long hours it takes to plan a successful event. There’s planning the small details, working with volunteers to prepare for the event, and letting everyone in your congregation know about the event so they can plan to attend.
Those things don’t happen overnight, and they don’t happen without a clear plan in place. There are 5 steps you should include in your planning to ensure a successful event:
- Recruit and schedule volunteers to work the event;
- Make it easy for those attending to register;
- Communicate and promote your event;
- Setup check-in for those attending the event;
- Find a way to include those attending the event virtually.
Let’s break each of these down and show you how Realm can help so you can create a clear plan for your event.
Recruit and schedule volunteers.
One of the most critical parts of an event is volunteers. Without the right volunteers in the right places, your event will not run smoothly. But how do you know who the right volunteers are, and how do you communicate with them to make sure they are in the roles needed for your event?
With Realm Volunteer Management, you can recruit volunteers based on their Skills and Interests and place them in the Roles you need. Your church members can enter their own Skills and Interests on their Realm Profile, and you can create Roles that are needed for your event and specify the Skills and Interests that best fit those Roles. Once you share the Roles needed, with the Skills and Interests attached, your volunteers will start pouring in ready to serve.
As individuals begin finding Roles that interest them and are a good fit based on their Skills and Interests, you can start adding them to Serving Teams. Serving Teams in Realm allow you to categorize your volunteers with similar roles for events so staff and volunteer team leaders can oversee a single roster. This also facilitates clear communication to the entire team so everyone is on board with the same message for your event.
Don’t forget … your event will more than likely include children and/or vulnerable adults, which means you need to make sure you are providing a safe environment. Since Realm has fully integrated background checks, it’s as simple as visiting your volunteers’ profiles in Realm and requesting a background check screening to get started.
Once background checks have been completed for specified volunteers, it’s time to create your event volunteer schedule. Volunteer scheduling in Realm allows staff or volunteer team leaders to create a single schedule for an entire Serving Team. When creating the schedule, you can easily designate how many roles you need and what time they need to arrive to serve. Once the schedule is completed, communicate it with your volunteers. They’ll see the request in their Realm account or Realm Connect mobile app and can accept it right there. You can choose for volunteers to be reminded of their serving opportunities and on the off-chance that something happens, volunteers can even find their replacements.
Make event registration easy.
What’s the point of planning an event if you don’t share the details and invite people to attend? Realm Events gives you everything you need to share event details, such as the date, time, location, and any other information attendees need to know prior to the event. Plus, event registration in Realm allows you to add a link if you are streaming the event online, limit capacity if needed, and even add custom questions if there are things you need to know such as dietary restrictions.
It’s understandable if you strive to host free events at your church. The reality is, though, that most churches don’t have the finances on hand to host completely free events. Using registration events in Realm, you can make that payment process as easy as possible. You can allow credit, debit, or ACH payments, enable registrants to partially pay or pay in full, apply discounts, and set minimum payment amounts if needed. If your church is using Realm Accounting, you can even select the checking and income accounts to tie registration payments to so you cut down on the work your accountant has to do post-event. If your church is doing a free event – don’t worry, Realm allows you to manage RSVPs too.
Promote your event.
At this point, you’re probably excited to share your event with your congregation. Depending on your goals, there are a few ways you can do this. However, like most church-wide events, you’re no doubt interested in letting those in your community know about it as well.
When creating your ministry event in Realm, you’re given the option to share it in several ways. One way is through your church’s website. You’ll be provided with links you can easily add to your website as well as share through social media. You can also post the event in the Newsfeed in Realm for all your congregants to see.
You’ll also be provided with a QR code. If you are creating flyers to pass around your church or community, you can add the QR code to the flyer. Those that wish to attend your event simply use their mobile device to scan the QR code. From there, they can register for your event.
Make check-in painless for attendees.
While patience is a virtue, people live fast-paced lives in today’s day and age and can get anything ordered with a click of a button. Waiting in a long line to enter an event at your church is not ideal. Be sure to consider Realm Mobile Check-In so your attendees can easily check-in for your event.
Members with the Connect app on their mobile devices will receive a notification when the check-in window is open to check themself and their family members in for the event. If children are checking in, a parent can add or update the emergency contact information in the check-in process. If contactless check-in is enabled, congregants will complete the check-in process in the Connect app. If you want to require labels to be printed for your event, members can scan a barcode at the kiosk or type in a code generated in the mobile check-in process.
If you are providing a virtual option for your event, you can include the streaming link in the check-in process. You can also gather virtual attendance information, which will feed to the attendance dashboard, where you’ll see a breakdown of in-person and virtual attendance.
Provide a virtual attendance option.
Many of us now know the importance of including a virtual option for those not comfortable or unable to attend your event. Realm Streaming allows you to provide a virtual event experience for those who are homebound, out of town, or otherwise unable to attend the event in person.
You can include a link for virtual attendance when you set up your event registration, share the link in the Realm Newsfeed, or post it to your website and social media if you would like to make the event public. You can also record a special message to air prior to the event welcoming your virtual attendees, and all of your viewers will enjoy an ad-free experience with Realm Streaming.
Here are a few tips to help you get started if you are new to streaming:
- Start with a list of what you have and what you need to start streaming. This would be an inventory of your current video equipment versus what you want or need.
- Consider all of the event types you will need to stream. These could range from your church service to weddings to funerals.
- Make sure your internet is fast enough to stream. You can even have an internet line dedicated for your streaming.
- To make sure you have optimal picture quality, be sure to check the lighting in the area you are streaming.
- Ensure you have all of the licenses needed to stream copyrighted music.
- Practice streaming before the day of your event.
Your event planning doesn’t have to be complicated. With Realm, you can manage your volunteers, provide quick event registration, and promote your event to your congregation and community. Plus, give those attending a wonderful experience using Realm’s mobile check-in, and Realm Streaming for those attending virtually.
Not sure what to do after the event? Check out Gearing Up for Fall: Following Up After Events for tips and tricks on how to thank and follow up with those who volunteered and attended your event.