September 8, 2005

Trick or Treat!

Many churches have children and family events around Halloween. Over the years, I've partnered with many churches for a lot of these types of events. Here are a thoughts and ideas on the subject.

Like any other program, be sure you know what you want to accomplish. This may sound obvious, but it is an important and often overlooked first step.

If it is intended to be an outreach event, don't compete with trick-or-treating. Very few non church goers will skip trick-or-treating to come to church, no mater how good your event will be.

If your event lasts for several hours, people won't stay the whole time. People will be coming and going throughout the event. This will affect how you set up the program. For example, if you plan a main program at the end, many people will leave before it begins. Instead, it may be better to put the program in the middle, or have several smaller programs throughout the event.

Door prizes can be a great draw for the event. Some churches find local businesses who are willing to donate prizes. If you do this, be sure to promote the business at your event. If business see results from partnering with you, they are more likely to want to do it again.

When publicizing the event, word-of-mouth is king. The best thing you can do is get your church's kids excited about the event. Begin talking about it four weeks before it happens. If you're bringing in an entertainer, like me, show the kids a video. Send home interesting hand-outs. Offer prizes for the kids how bring the most friends to the event. (Sometimes bribery is a good thing.)

Oh, yes. At least one more thing is needed. Lots and lots of candy!

This year, I'll be spending Halloween performing in the Anchorage, Alaska area. This is my first trip to Alaska, so I'm really looking forward to it. If there's anything I can do to help make your event a success, please let me know.

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