Episode 147: Remarkable moments, hot chocolate backpacks, and the end of dead end events

On this episode, Angie Wysocki shares from her experience as a professional event planner on how any ministry can increase the impact of their events without increasing stress or expenses. We’ll talk about the idea that people support what they create and guidance on creating remarkable moments at all of your events.

Full Show Notes

  • Events done well can accelerate your mission, but without taking care they can drain resources and distract. Make sure there is a direct link to your mission and vision.
    • What are your goals in the season? What are the priorities right now? Does that event advance those priorities?
    • The goal can be as simple as having fun and bringing people together.
  • Yearly planning: consider yearly rhythms and what the felt needs are during certain seasons.
    • EXAMPLE: Don’t introduce something new during the fall when people are already busy starting up new things. Maybe aim for October. Don’t try to compete with what’s going on in their life but add to it.
    • EXAMPLE: Use the start of the year to launch programs that fit well into lives while they are thinking about growth and New Year’s resolutions. (e.g. launch Financial Peace University during the new year or during tax season)
  • “Delegate, delegate, delegate the job you hate.” That’s a nice thought, but you may not have a ton of people helping out with your events. Engage your volunteers!
    • Work to get organized: write down everything that is needed for an event.
    • Then put a name by everything that isn’t YOUR name. You become the team leader and recruiter.
    • Building this team adds by-in! “People support what they help create.”
    • Write a three-sentence description of the role for each person.
  • When planning an event, start by asking what experience you want them to have and how they should think and feel when they leave. Then plan out each step of their journey: driving in, parking, eating, signage and way-finding, etc. Then, think about a “remarkable moment.” Something they experience that makes them remark about it.
    • Could be as simple as someone being thoughtful and going above and beyond for them.
    • e.g. Created a team called the “surprise and delight” team with hot chocolate backpacks
  • Communicating an event (marketing, promotion, getting the word out) are a vital and often-overlooked part of an event.
    • Filling the event is often harder than planning the event!
  • How do you want to continue connecting to people after the event? Always have a next step in mind or a way to help people continue connecting to your ministry.
    • This must be thought through in advance and be done very intentionally. Have the next thing planned already so you can invite them and tell them about it.
    • It’s also possible that the “next step” is just to help people know that you’re here.
  • Evaluating an event is a vital piece of the event! Have measurables (definitions of success) clarified before the event happens during the planning stage. Then use them to see how you did. You can use something as simple as the “SWOT” method (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Don’t forget to celebrate the good things that happened! Don’t get overly critical.
    • Then, next year, when you do the same event, pull out the evaluation notes.
  • There may be times to get outside input (i.e. for larger events).
  • Email Angie: angie.wysocki@ministryarchitects.com
  • Email Trabelus: trabelus.whitfield@ministryarchitects.com