One of the biggest problems I face as a designer who works for churches is timing your seasonal events and promotion.
Seasonal events are a critical part of a churches annual diary and yet on the whole they aren’t given much thought, but more to the point, the design and promotion of said events are given very little thought.
Now i’m not saying every church in the entire word does this, but my experience tells me that “last minute” is the most common approach to design for seasonal events. This helps no one!
Tintup recommends you promote an event 6-8 weeks before the date.
They also provide some great tips on ways to promote on social media; I highly recommend reading this blog post.
So, what can we take away from this suggested time scale when thinking about seasonal events and promotion?
- Christmas – 6-8 weeks before Christmas means that the absolute latest time to start promoting your event is sometimes in October.
- This means that you need to start thinking about Christmas in September!!! SEPTEMBER!!! Yup!
- Think about what it might be that you will print or produce for online content early and don’t forget to pre-book any venues (actually most venues need to be booked almost a year in advance)
- Printed materials should start to circulate End of October/Beginning of November.
- Social Media promotion should begin in November.
And there’s also October, what if you plan to do a Halloween Alternative or a Bonfire night?
- That means you need to promote these events IN SEPTEMBER
- So you have to start planning these during the Summer (July / August)
- It’s important to give people as much notice as possible so plan well ahead of time and give your teams the time they need to get the promotions sorted.
- Printed materials need to be released as soon as kids are back in school in September (UK Schools)
- Social Media promotion should be released end of September.
And what about the whole Easter season?
- Easter Weekend
- Palm Sunday
- Pentecost Sunday
- Thinking of these events needs to start in January/February
- Advertising might need to start as early as February depending on if Easter lands in March or April.
- Prepare your congregation with flyers, brochure, booklets in February, depending on what promotion you choose to use and which part of Easter you are participating in.
- Make sure you get all your printed materials early.
- Social Media promotion for special events should start 4-6 weeks before any event – and if you are inviting your congregation to participate in Lent or any kind of Fasting, make sure you prepare them well ahead of time.
Whatever your calendar is filled with, what ever events, programs and themes you are planning, get ahead of the game, use the tools to hand and have a happy time preparing your events.