5 Tips For Planning Your Event Calendar – What the students told me!

Here’s an idea for planning your student ministry events…ask the students!  What a novel concept.  Why didn’t I think of this sooner!

So that’s what I did.  I wrote out all the events and service projects (including mission trip and children ministry events we served in) and put them in a survey.  I had the students rank the events from 5 (awesomest) to 1 (never, ever, do that again).  And let me tell you, if pictures speak 1,000 words, surveys got to speak at least 124 words.  Lots of interesting thoughts came that will help your event planning tremendously.

  1. Don’t Assume.  Don’t assume since you thought you rocked out an event that all the students feel the same way.  The one event I thought was the most amazing event I have ever was ranked in the lower half of the events.  Shocking.
  2. Pump up the volume.  I’ve realized that according to the scores, it is important to pump up the excitement and importance of a service project.  Most of the service projects were ranked low, could be because teenagers typically like to have fun more than get their hands dirty…but I’d like to take some responsibility on this one as well.
  3. Summer Down.  This summer I toned down the summer events and focused more on leadership conferences & mission trip.  Why, well if you look at the numbers, it proves that summer events are just now well attended.  So you won’t see my summer filled with day and weekend events.  It is more informal and specific life-changing trips that I focus on in the summer, and the numbers don’t lie that it is the right way to go.
  4. Time to March on.  March had my bottom two rated events.  Be careful to not schedule two potential duds on the same month.  Both the service project & event (we do a service project & event every month, you should try it!) bombed…not good for momentum.  Maybe pair a risk with a known commodity to make sure you don’t do this blunder like I did.
  5. No clones, just improvements.  Here’s something to remember.  Be wise (pray for this!) about what events you think had a low number because they need improvement and what was low because they are stinkers.  Don’t be afraid to cut, but don’t be afraid to cut for surgery repair either.  Also, don’t make a clone event list like last year.  Maybe take a high rated event away so you don’t repeat and have them lose interest.  Your calendar cannot be a clone of last year’s or apathy will reign.


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