3 Strategic Steps to Take After Your Halloween Outreach Event

It's that time of year.  The leaves are changing colors (depending on where you live) and the weather is getting cooler.  

October 31 is just a few weeks away.  Many of you are doing a Halloween outreach event (or whatever you call it) at your church. 

If you are hosting an outreach event, I'm sure you are busy preparing for it. 

But what about after the event?  How can you follow up with guests?  How can you see families visit your church on a weekend?  How can you see families get involved in your ministry?  How can you grow your volunteer team by enlisting some of the volunteers who served for the first time at the event?

Here are 3 strategic steps you can take after your Halloween Outreach Event.

Actually let's back up.  Because the first strategic step actually takes place at the event.  And the step is this - Give families a great experience at the event. 

It is vital that families have a great experience at the event.  If they don't, they simply won't come back.  If people are rude to them, if their kids don't get enough candy, or if the festival doesn't match what was advertised...it doesn't matter how much you follow up.  They won't come back.  The first impression truly is a lasting impression.  

The second strategic step is to be intentional about inviting guest families to a weekend service at your church.  Here are some ways to do this.

Collect families' basic contact information You can't follow up without it.  Here's some ways you can collect it.

  • Let them know up front that you are not going to show up on their door step the next week.  Ask permission to send them some info. about your ministry. People will be hesitant to give you their information if they think you are going to show up at their house unannounced.
  • Have people register for a free gift that they receive right on the spot.  It might be something as simple as a full-size candy bar for their kids.  With all the mini-candy bars being passed out, you'd be surprised how many people will give you their contact info. just to get a large candy bar for their child. 
  • Have a drawing for some large prizes like a bike, family meal certificate to a local restaurant, movie tickets, etc.  Ask people to register for the drawing.
  • Have a table or booth set up with church information, brochures, etc.  Staff it with friendly volunteers who can answer questions.
Follow up after the event. 
  • Follow up as quickly as possible.  If you follow up within 48 hours, the likelihood of them returning goes up. 
  • Send them an email or better yet, a handwritten note, that thanks them for coming.  Include information about weekend services or other upcoming events.  Ask them at the event if you can send them some information about your ministry.  Keep it short and simple.  Here's a sample.
Dear Parent,

Thank you for being our guest at the Family Fall Festival.  We hope you had a great time.  your church's name is a family made up of people just like you and me, who come together to encourage and support each other on this journey called life.

One of the most exciting and challenging parts of life is being a parent.  At your church's name, we want to help your kids learn more about God and discover the purpose He has for their lives.  We also desire to come alongside parents to provide parenting tools, resources, encouragement and support.

You can get more information about your church's name by visiting our website at your church's website or by calling phone number.  We also invite you to be our guest at any of our weekend services.  We're here for you and your family.

Hope to see you this weekend!

  • Include a coupon that they can redeem for a free gift the next time they attend the church.  It might be a drink for the parents and a small toy or t-shirt for the kids. 
  • Invite them to your next big event.  Add them to your mailing list and invite them to your next event.  Even if they don't show up for a church service the next weekend, you may see them return for another event.  Keep planting seeds...God will bring the fruit.
  • Call them.  A short...thank you for coming...if we can be of any service to you...phone call is appropriate.  I would encourage you to keep it light and not come across as pushy.
The third strategic step is to invite first-time volunteers who served at the event to join your volunteer team on a regular basis.
Before the event, do a church-wide push to enlist new volunteers to serve at the event.  Once the event is over, call the new people who served and invite them to join your volunteer team on a regular basis.  I've seen as high as 85% of people who volunteered at the event to join our team as a full-time volunteer.
Halloween is one of your best opportunities to reach families.  I'm thinking of a family who came to our Fall Festival.  It was their first contact with our church.  They came back on the weekend, gave their lives to Christ and are now growing in their faith and serving in the ministry.
Take these three strategic steps and you can see new families come to your church and people step into serving roles.