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Your Next Retreat Could Be Sold Out…

 —  August 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

I saw a blog post on ways to sell out your next big event and it got me thinking about that in our youth ministry circles.  We want events, retreats, and trips to sell out…So what are some ways we can get the word out without paying big bucks?

Before I give you some ideas I want to let you in on a promise I give to those in our ministry.  I do my best to NEVER over promise or under deliver. I tell my kids that I will do everything in my power to host an event that they will not be embarrassed that they invited a friend.  I am talking about quality of program, speakers, band, staff behavior, getting Mountain Dew vs Mountain Lightning or Dr Pepper vs Dr. Thunder…you get the idea.

Here are 7 easy ideas to get you going…

  • Ask Students to post blurbs about the event on their social media sights
  • Have a facebook page dedicated to the event and constantly update it! (you keep going to the cookie jar because of the cookies, right?  Well, if you keep going to the cookie jar and there are no cookies you just stop going…UPDATE IT!).
  • Promotion! Pull together a cool looking flyer and get some quality printing.  You can get 500 post card sized handouts for under $80 and 5000 for under $200 at Stickers and More.
  • Leverage your location. Use pictures and videos to build anticipation for the destination.
  • PLAN AHEAD! At this years event (whatever that may be) interview some students on video.  Ask questions like: Tell me about your favorite moment this weekend, why will you come back next year, if you could say something about this evnet to a friend who is at home right now what would you say? Edit that video and use it as promotional material next year in your meeting times, on the web, in church service, etc
  • During one of your group meeting nights ask your kids to get their cell phones out and have them text a friend (or friends) and invite them to the event.  If you have an early bird rate the message could be something like, “Hey (NAME), I am going to (EVENT) and I think you should come!  If you can come you should sign up this week and save ($X).”
  • Ask your band and speaker if they have any things to give away.  CD’s and books are a great way to introduce your kids to these people. The better they feel they know these people the more likely they are to invite others.

What are some ways you are using technology to build anticipation for an event in hopes to fill every seat?


Brandon Early

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I have been serving in youth ministry for nearly 20 years, am currently the Director of Student Ministries at Valley Church in Des Moines, IA, and am on a first name basis with several Best Buy and Apple employees. My wife Keri and I have been married over ten years and have three great boys. My four favorite things are Jesus, my wife, Chicago Style Pizza, and fighting off our boys with sweet ninja moves.

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