Summer is often a busy season in ministry with extra events, special services, and even overnight trips. So much planning and preparation go into these events that we can sometimes forget about the importance of following up AFTER the events are over! But we miss out on crucial opportunities to connect with families when we ignore the follow-up opportunities that summer events provide. So here are 6 ideas for following up after your summer event(s).
- Plan ahead. Make your follow-up procedure part of the planning process for the entire event. So while you’re thinking about VBS decorations, volunteer appreciation, and worship playlists, think about how you can follow up with families after your event is over. When you include the follow-up in the main planning of the event itself, it helps make sure follow-up doesn’t slip through the post-event cracks. This may even look like having the dates and times of your next family event ready to share so you can let families know about the next event.
- Don’t feel like you have to do it alone. Invite a team of people to help you follow up after an event! This may look like a group of women who pack small goody bags with inserts about your service times to hand out at a Family Trivia Night event. Or a few people who are willing to stamp some envelopes as you send kids postcards after an event. It may even look like a team of people to help you sort through the feedback you received from a big event like VBS. Whatever it looks like, invite people into the follow-up process. It not only takes some of the weight off of you, but it also helps families make connections with other members in the church too.
- Email. You’re probably emailing parents about a special event anyway, and it’s totally OK to send an email AFTER the event too! In this post-event email, you can include things like links to pictures from the event, details about your Sunday morning services, and an invite to the next summer event. This email is also a great place to ask for feedback (so maybe it includes a short survey for families) and a great place to invite families to share a story or something their kids learned from the event.
- At-home resources for families. Consider sharing resources related to the event that families can use at home to keep the learning and fun going! Maybe that’s a family devotional or another parent resource that equips parents to have faith conversations at home. Maybe it’s a short and simple podcast you create that families can listen to on the way home from the event. This may even be as simple as sharing some discussion questions grown-ups can ask their kids in the car on the way home or at dinner that night. Sometimes parents need some help thinking of relevant questions beyond “Did you have fun?” and “What did you learn?” so providing questions that are directly related to a main lesson, theme, or activity from an event can be really helpful!
- Write letters to the kids! Everyone loves snail mail, and sending a simple postcard to kids who attend your event is a great way to remind them of the event and invite them to the next one! Tip: Use postcards instead of regular folding cards and envelopes. That way parents can see right away who is sending mail to their kids and what the notes say.
- Send home a souvenir. Whether it’s a craft, a t-shirt, or a small goody bag, consider if your budget allows you to send something home with the kids! Whether the event lasted 4 hours or 4 days, a small gift or souvenir gives them a tangible, physical reminder of the event. Every time they see or wear that item, they’ll be reminded of your church!
No matter what the follow-up looks like, give your families a next step. Invite them to the next big event, let them know what your weekly services look like, or give them more information about baptism (when applicable) or small groups. We want families to have fun at our special summer events, but more than that, we want them to connect and know they are invited back.
Looking for summer events? Find our favorite summer event resources here!
Looking for an event to invite them to this fall? Check out some of our favorites below: