Recently we canceled an event I was really excited about – a senior trip called The Last Hurrah – and I think to one degree or another we hit all 3 of these common mistakes when planning it. Hope you can learn from this!
3 COMMON MISTAKES WHEN PLANNING A NEW EVENT
You put it in the wrong spot on the calendar. The strategy behind putting The Last Hurrah in May was to help keep seniors around toward the end of their senior year – but I think we might have pushed it too far back. As the school year winds down, everything comes to a head for them and something has to go. For our seniors it was this event, so 5 days before the event we still had a whopping registration of zero. Ouch. Our goal of secretly keeping students in youth group trumped what should have been our real goal: hanging out with our seniors for one last time. Ironically, we now have neither.
You charge too much for it. I don’t think this was our biggest failure, but this economy is starting to hit us pretty hard, too. We were charging $95 for essentially an overnighter. I think for what we had planned it was a steal! We were keeping some of the details quiet and it ended up at least factoring into the decision whether or not to register for it. Another pricing model has to be in mind for next year.
You plan something people won’t get behind. I’m still not ready to give this one up altogether, I think the idea is sound and want to try it again next year. However, we might ask our senior small group leaders more to gain some insight on what type of a seniors-only event might work best. We’ll do some research and figure out when. Then we’ll have a “can’t miss” event instead of a “totally missed” event.
The next time you’re tempted to drop a new event into your calendar, spend an extra minute to think about when it is planned, how much it costs and if people will get behind the event. What else do you need to think about?