As the air gets a little crisper and the leaves start to turn colors, it’s easy to feel the excitement of fall. Along with those cooler temps comes opportunities to plan outreach events at your church. These are designed to reach your community and spread the message of your church and of the Gospel. One of the best ways to do that is by planning and promoting a church fall festival.
Whether your church fall festival has 50 people attend or 500 people attend, it’s important to put in the work ahead of time so you can ensure the event goes off without a hitch. Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve put together to help you plan and promote the best fall festival yet.
Planning Your Church Fall Festival
If you’re one of those people who says, “I’m not much of a planner,” buckle up and get ready to become one as you think through your church’s fall festival. You’ll thank us when the day arrives. If you are a planner, get excited because this section is for you.
Think Through Timing and Location
Be strategic when it comes to the time and location of your church fall festival. Don’t just host it at the church because it’s always been there. Consider finding a local park to use to reach the community or starting the event earlier to appeal to families with young children. Study your area and do what’s best for the community.
Next, you can’t plan or put on a church fall festival on your own. You’ll need a team of volunteers that is ready and willing to put in the work. Equip people for their tasks and let people serve using their spiritual gifts. This will go a long way in ensuring your volunteers are both happy and useful.
Choose a Theme
The best fall festivals are themed. It can be anything from western to Disney to one of the decades. Whatever you decide, encourage your volunteers to dress accordingly and use this in all of your decorations and activities.
This is the fun part! Make sure you have plenty of activities planned for attendees of all ages. Here are a few ideas (with links to Pinterest examples) to get you started.
- Trunk or treat
- Pumpkin decorating (consider painting instead of carving to keep it safe)
- Corn hole
- Candy corn ring toss
- Pumpkin checkers and tic-tac-toe
- Face painting
- Pumpkin throwing contest (take it up a notch with a trebuchet)
Focus on Outreach
Lastly, it’s important to remember that this is an outreach opportunity for your church and you should plan accordingly. Have guest cards that people can fill out so you can gather their contact information. Also, plan to have volunteers stationed around that are solely there to talk to people and make them feel welcome. Finally, have gift bags that people can take that have an informational card about your church with service times and your church website URL on it.
Promoting Your Church Fall Festival
You could have the most planned out fall festival ever, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t be successful. This is where promotion comes in. Check out these ways to effectively promote your church fall festival.
Utilize Your Church Website
Your church website is the best tool you have for promoting your fall festival. Create a page dedicated to this event that lists the details like where and when, as well as introduces the theme and creates excitement. Consider including high-quality photos from events in the past and even including reviews from people who attended last year.
Integration is key. When your church website integrates with your church management software, you can help your congregation connect outside the walls of your church without doubling efforts. You can add an integrated calendar, small group and ministry sign-up forms, online directories, and event registration in a style that matches your website design.
Once this page is created, make sure that it is easily shareable on social media and that there’s also a link to it from your homepage.
Create a Social Media Campaign
Social media campaigns are powerful and effective if done correctly. Take time to plan out posts that promote your event and are branded to introduce the theme. In each of these posts point people to your church website for more information.
Hang Door Hangers in the Surrounding Area
Once you have decided on the location of your church fall festival, go out with a team of volunteers to hang door hangers on the surrounding neighborhoods or apartment buildings. While this is a little old school and takes some work, it goes a long way in getting the word out to those who are closest to the event.
Pass Out Invitations
Give your members invitation cards to hand out to their friends, families, and coworkers. A personal invitation always speaks volumes.
Promote a Freebie (candy, meal ticket, balloons, etc.)
Lastly, plan to give away a freebie when promoting your church fall festival. People love free things and will come to your event if they know that you are giving something out. This can be something as small as candy, a meal ticket to your weekly fellowship meal, a coffee coupon for your cafe, or even a balloon. Whatever you decide to give away, make sure people know.