Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes exciting events such as block parties, BBQs, and gatherings hosted by churches to strengthen the community and expand the congregation. However, church events usually have limited budgets, and promotion becomes an afterthought due to other competing priorities. But fear not! There are several low-cost (or even free!) ways to effectively promote upcoming church events before, during, and after they occur.
Before the Event
To start, promoting the event beforehand is critical to ensure attendees show up. There are several tried-and-true methods for pre-event promotion:
Generating buzz before the event is key to its success. Newspapers, local TV stations, and radio stations often accept press releases that detail upcoming events. Not only is this an effective means of promotion, but it’s also free. Local TV stations may even feature a story about your event and invite you to come on TV and promote it further.
Flyers and handouts are another classic and affordable option. Simple flyers, postcards, or brochures provide a wonderful opportunity for the church congregation to spread the word about events. When creating a flyer, it’s crucial to have all the essential details about the event presented in an easy-to-read format. This way, interested parties can quickly and accurately access important information such as the date, time, address, and location of the event.
Event Planners Online
There are numerous online tools available at little or no cost to assist you in planning and managing your event. Some of these are discussed below:
- EventBrite – If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, EventBrite is an excellent organizational tool. It’s an online service that offers “everything you need to sell tickets and manage registration for any kind of event.” You can also use it to encourage attendees to share your event on several social media platforms.
- com – Twtvite is a user-friendly tool for inviting guests, managing RSVPs, and spreading the word on Twitter. Creating an event only takes a few seconds, and both organizers and attendees find it easy to use.
- Punchbowl – This offers both free services and subscription options that provide access to a range of valuable resources for event planning. With this site, you can truly plan your event from online invitations to thank-you cards.
Your church may already have active social media accounts on various platforms. If not, it’s time to create them! Having a presence on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is critical for promoting your event. Expanding your reach even further by using Instagram and YouTube can be beneficial. When using social media, there are several methods of promotion to keep in mind:
- Twitter – Choose a unique hashtag for your event so that you can monitor the conversation surrounding it before, during, and after. Conduct a quick Twitter search to ensure that the hashtag is unique.
- Facebook – You can easily create an event on Facebook and then use your page to promote it. This can be done in conjunction with some of the other tools mentioned above or on its own if your members are frequent Facebook users.
Many churches already have a list of email addresses for their members and send out weekly or monthly updates about various events and community news. Sending out basic information about the event through this channel is critical. You can also include links to your social media sites that promote the event and encourage recipients to share on their own social media channels. Receiving an email can feel more official to attendees, and they will feel more connected to the event. It’s also an excellent way to connect with members of the congregation who may not have attended recently.
During the Event
To create a truly memorable and successful church event, it’s essential to have custom church signs that are promotional and directional.
Easily transportable and storable, yard signs can be placed right in front of your event location. They’re also double-sided, making it easy for attendees to see your message from any angle. Additionally, they can be used for temporary parking and directional needs, which is particularly useful for hard-to-find locations.
Branded banners are an excellent way to make your event stand out. These eye-catching signs can be hung around your venue and provide great photo opportunities for attendees to share on social media. Vinyl banners are durable, weather-resistant, and easy to install and remove. They can also be used for temporary purposes by attaching smaller banner pieces with Velcro for updated dates, times, and specials.
Inexpensive and professional, posters are perfect for directing attendees to smaller activities during your events, such as a BBQ or fundraiser. They’re thick enough to stand up on easels but flexible enough to roll up and store for future use. However, they are best suited for one-time or temporary use and not meant for exterior use due to weather damage.
If you’re looking for something sturdier than posters, foam board is an excellent alternative. It can be used in the same manner as posters for event booths or directional purposes. The environmentally responsible option is made of biodegradable, paper-faced foam board and can be attached to walls or hung from ceilings using string or rope.
After the Event
Just because the event has ended doesn’t mean the excitement needs to stop!
It’s important to continue promoting your event even after it’s over. Keep using the hashtag you created to search for any posts or photos that attendees shared and engage with them. Post your own pictures from the event and thank everyone for attending. This will not only show people who missed out on what they could have experienced, but it will also encourage them to attend your next event!
Effective promotion is essential for the success of any church event, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can use traditional methods like flyers and press releases, or you can use newer methods like social media and online planning tools. The bottom line is, keep the momentum going and let the fun continue!