Black Friday Sunday: Boost All Your Event Attendance

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Sometimes it feels nearly impossible in youth ministry to get students signed up for trips before the last and final deadline. Even more, there is no telling how many times I have run around on the morning of a retreat or mission trip making copies of insurance, filing medical forms, and conduct coveants. I have spent lunch breaks from driving on a trip filing papers to hand in to the mission camp because I just could not seem to get the families to turn in forms before the day of the event! For someone who is by nature organized, this drives me bonkers!

In our city, we have a wonderful network for youth pastors where we get together every few months and have a meal and share wins in youth ministry. A couple years ago a guy in our community, Dominick Farone, shared this idea of A discount day. I took it and tweaked it a bit. I had done the one month of discounts and such but this totally revolutionized my organization for 2016!

This year, I am capitalizing on Black Friday! Our families spend money on discounts upon discounts for items that in really don’t need. This year, I am giving them the chance to get discounts upon discounts on what is really needed!

Check out this game plan:

1) Pick 1 Day: For me it is not actually on Black Friday. I picked the Sunday after Black Friday. Most families will be back in town from travels and trying to get their house in order for the school week. People should be home!

2) Short Time Frame: This is a drop in and go home sort of event! It won’t take more than an hour so it is easy to commit to coming!

3) Showcase 2017 Trips: In the first 15 minutes I showcase videos, and tell information about every retreat and trip of the next year! I will go over our Discovery Weekend, Lock-Out, Mission Trips, Camp, Guys Camping Trip, you get the picture! I have a captive audience there for discounts, so let’s inform them!

4) Booths: I have booths set up for registration for each trip! All of the forms and information is available. You will need a few volunteers to be stationed here. I ask adult leaders who have been on those trips or are planning to in the future.

5) Discounts: I discount every trip $20-$25 off! With this only being one day, you really don’t lose money. You start out with all of your deposits for 2017!

6) Sneaky Time Saver: In order to get the discount you must turn in every form for each trip as well as a deposit!

7) Piece of Cake: Grab a piece of cake, since the whole process is a piece of cake, and go home!

Last year when I did this event, I had over half of my students signed up for each trip, deposits for all of those, and all of their forms! This was a time and energy saver for me! When summer hit this past year, I suddenly did not feel like I was chasing people down or collecting papers constantly. I went into the year ready to go!

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Caroline has served in student ministry for almost 10 years, and is currently the Youth and Young Adult Minister at Destin United Methodist Church in Destin, FL and co-founder of WAVES Girls Event, a conference for girls ages 14-24. Getting a call into youth ministry at age 16 in Nashville, TN led to Caroline getting a degree in Youth and Family Ministry and a certificate through PREPARE/ENRICH for Premarital Counseling at Abilene Christian University in 2009. She got her start in full time student ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. Caroline loves to encourage students in their faith, and see them be lights in their community. Some things Caroline enjoys is time on the beach, reading, sushi, coffee, traveling and time with her friends and family. You can follower her on her blog, called “Big Hare & Big Faith,” www.carolinehare.wordpress.com, or on Instagram and Twitter: @CarolineHare

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